Interview: Jahi Winston On His Upcoming Roles in Queen & Slim + Charmed City Kings’

Photographer: Will Kennedy

Actor Jahi Winston has been acting professionally for years. Did you know he actually started on Broadway? His upcoming roles are in the movies, Queen & Slim and Charmed City Kings. In each of his roles, Jahi brings part of himself into making his characters come to life. Jahi talks about his big break, his upcoming roles, the best advice he was ever given, and one highlight of his career so far. He also hints at a film coming out in Spring of 2020.

GLITTER: How long have you been acting?

JAHI: I’ve been acting professionally since I was ten-years-old, I started my career in The Lion King on Broadway; nearly five years ago!

GLITTER: What would you say your big break was?

JAHI: Maybe The New Edition Story, or The Lion King. I purposefully try not to analyze my career in that way, but if I had to say, it would most likely be those two.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about your roles in the upcoming movies, Queen & Slim, as well as Charmed City Kings?

JAHI: In Queen & Slim, I play the character Junior, a very passionate black teenager, who idolizes Queen and Slim and their journey throughout the film, and is fed up with the brutality against black bodies in America. I can’t say much about my other project, but I am SUPER excited about sharing it soon.

GLITTER: Who do you play? How, like, or unlike your characters, are you?

JAHI: I relate to Junior in the way that I think almost every person of color in America does, we’re all just tired of being marginalized. We’re tired of the hashtags with the names of black and brown people after they’ve been murdered by individuals who are sent to protect us. I relate to his fury, his sadness, and his rebellious spirit. We’re alike in a lot of ways. I am Junior; we all are.

GLITTER: How do you prepare for your roles?

JAHI: I don’t have a specific preparation process. I just allow the character to come into their own without forcing anything; my process is really one of spontaneity.

GLITTER: What is your approach to auditioning?

JAHI: Auditioning is not a favorite thing to do, at all. But it is essential, so I really try to formulate the character with the little bit of information that I have. It’s difficult but necessary.

GLITTER: What do you like to do in your free time?

JAHI: I like to write. I’m a writer, so that goes without saying, really. It fuels me in so many ways; I find it to be extremely cathartic.

GLITTER: Best advice you were ever given?

JAHI: Stay in the moment.

GLITTER: How do you shut your brain off when it’s in overload?

JAHI: I don’t think that the key is to shut my brain off when it’s overloaded, or when I’m overwhelmed. I think the key is to soothe my energy by speaking positivity and life within myself and to listen to my body. It’s easier said than done, but it works every time.

GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign. What’s self-love mean to you?

JAHI: Self-love, to me, means so many things. I believe it to be caring for your own soul as you would care for the souls of others, loving your flaws just as much as you love your best qualities and forgiveness. I think that self-love and “the forgiveness of self” are married together.

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