Jharrel Jerome’s role in Moonlight was Oscar-worthy, but he was close to not making it into the movie by nearly missing his audition.
In the upcoming episode of Podcrushed, hosted by You star Penn Badgley, Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari, The I’m a Virgo star talked about what it took to get his Moonlight audition ready, which first included remembering to do it. Jerome said he nearly forgot because it was his birthday weekend and his first Friday in college.
“My first Friday in college for my birthday. It was a great weekend, but that’s all to say, the audition–I almost didn’t do it because I woke up, I had class at first, it was my birthday, I was feeling those things, excitement for the night, just a little distracted,” he said. “It was around 3 p.m. when I actually remembered the audition.”
“…I remembered that I had to do the audition and I didn’t want to get any audition and not send it back, because my manager…she believed in me so much…I didn’t want to get one and be like, ‘Sorry, I didn’t make the time,'” he continued. “I did the tape in my dorm room with my friend. I asked him after class if he could come, and we shot the tape for Moonlight in my dorm room.”
He said that because he was doing the audition in his messy dorm room, he was sure he wasn’t going to get the part. He also did what is usually a faux pas in auditioning, doing pantomime. He said he pantomimed rolling marijuana as he was saying his lines in character, which landed him the part. According to him, Jenkins said that the realness he brought to he character is what cinched it.
Watch the clip below.