Jharrel Jerome

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Jharrel Jerome
Jerome in May 2019
Born (1997-10-09) October 9, 1997 (age 26)
EducationFiorello H. LaGuardia High School
Years active2016–present

Jharrel Jerome (born October 9, 1997) is an American actor. He made his on screen film debut in Barry Jenkins's drama film Moonlight (2016), and gained prominence for his portrayal of Korey Wise in Ava DuVernay's Netflix miniseries When They See Us (2019), which earned him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. In 2023, he starred in the lead role of a 13 foot tall boy in Boots Riley's limited series I'm a Virgo.

Early life and education[edit]

Jharrel Jerome was born on October 9, 1997[1] in The Bronx, New York City, and was raised in the neighbourhood.[2][3] He is of Dominican and Haitian descent,[4][5] and grew up in a close-knit family with parents whom he described as "loving".[6]

His mother suggested he pursue acting when he was in eighth grade, after which he joined the Riverdale Children's Theatre, a local youth theater organization. He attended and graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and commuted to Manhattan each day by train.[7][8]



Shortly after Jerome enrolled as an undergraduate at Ithaca College, he was cast in his first professional acting role in the 2016 independent film Moonlight, as young Kevin.[9] A.O. Scott wrote in The New York Times that he was "excellent" in the role.[10] Director Barry Jenkins said about Jerome, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, "When you watch Jharrel in that movie, he's not a guy who's been over-rehearsing. That's a dude learning by doing. It's amazing."[9]

Since 2017, Jerome has appeared in the Audience series Mr. Mercedes.[2] He auditioned for the role of young Korey Wise in the 2019 Netflix miniseries When They See Us, based on the Central Park jogger case.[8] After his audition the series' director, Ava DuVernay, asked him to read the lines for adult Korey Wise, and he was subsequently cast in both roles.[8] Jerome grew close to Wise throughout filming, and said in a Los Angeles Times interview, "He's my brother now. I look up to him. I look up to his courage. He's taught me so much on how to be strong."[9]


On September 24, 2020, Jerome released his debut single "For Real", featuring Bronx rapper Kemba and produced by duo Take a Daytrip.[11][12] The song was released with a music video directed by Spence Hord.[11] Jerome followed up on August 25, 2022, with "Someone I'm Not", which came with a music video following a day in Jerome's life at home, on a film set, and in a recording studio.[13]

His third single, "Chinatown", was released on May 1, 2023, with a lyric video and the announcement of an upcoming project called Someone I'm Not set for a 2023 release.[14] On August 23, Jerome posted a video on his Instagram of himself which included a snippet of a new song and announced Rap Pack, set for an August 30 release by Sony Music.[15][16] Rap Pack is the first part of Someone I'm Not, to be released as a four-part series.[16]

Jerome's musical style has been compared to early career Kendrick Lamar.[11][13]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2016 Her Coloring Book Artist Short film
Wheels Narrator
Moonlight Teen Kevin [6]
2018 Monster Osvaldo Cruz
First Match Omari Credited as Jharrel A. Jerome
2019 Selah and the Spades Maxxie [17]
Robu Rob Short film
2020 Concrete Cowboy Smush
2023 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Miles G. Morales / Prowler Earth-42 Voice
TBA Unstoppable Anthony Robles Post-production [18]


Year Title Role Notes
2017 Tales Deacon Episode: "Children's Story"
2017–2019 Mr. Mercedes Jerome Robinson Main role
2019 When They See Us Korey Wise Lead role; Netflix miniseries
2019 Live in Front of a Studio Audience Jimmy Pearson Episode: "All in the Family and Good Times"[19]
2023 I'm a Virgo Cootie Lead role; also executive producer[20]
2023 Full Circle Aked Miniseries

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Project Result Ref.
2016 Austin Film Critics Association Honorary Award for Best Ensemble Moonlight Won
Gotham Award Special Jury Award – Ensemble Performance Won
Independent Spirit Award Robert Altman Award Won
MTV Movie Award Best Kiss Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2018 Black Reel Award Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series When They See Us Won
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Won
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Limited-Series or Movie Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Won
Satellite Award Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nominated


  1. ^ Jerome, Jharrel (October 9, 2020). "Birthday tweet". Twitter.
  2. ^ a b Bergado, Gabe (February 7, 2019). "Jharrel Jerome Says Depicting One of the Central Park Five Was the Hardest Thing He's Ever Done". Teen Vogue. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "These Latino Leaders Are Reshaping Their Industries—and the Country". Time. September 21, 2023. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  4. ^ Sáenz, Lissete Lanuza (March 25, 2024). "15 Actors You Didn't Know Had Latin American Heritage". Remezcla. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  5. ^ "Latino Leaders 2023". TIME. September 21, 2023. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  6. ^ a b "'Moonlight's Jharrel Jerome Talks Playing A Queer Man As A Straight Latino". Vibe. February 16, 2017. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  7. ^ Venable, Malcolm (June 5, 2019). "When They See Us' Jharrel Jerome Is As Blown Away By His Performance As the Rest of Us". TV Guide. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Herzog, Kenny (May 31, 2019). "How Moonlight's Jharrel Jerome Found Himself in Ava DuVernay's When They See Us". www.vulture.com. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Villarreal, Yvonne (June 2019). "After breaking out in 'Moonlight,' Jharrel Jerome channels the horrors of the Central Park Five case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Scott, A. O. (October 20, 2016). "'Moonlight': Is This the Year's Best Movie?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Smart Young, Taiia (December 6, 2020). "When They See Us Star Jharrel Jerome Drops Fire Debut Single, "For Real"". Essence. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  12. ^ Williams, Aaron (September 24, 2020). "When They See Us Star Jharrel Jerome Branches Out with His "For Real" Video". Uproxx. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  13. ^ a b "Jharrel Jerome wrestles with fame on "Someone I'm Not"". The Fader. August 25, 2023. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  14. ^ Lee, Cydney; Rouhani, Neena (May 1, 2023). "R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week: Rico Nasty, Amaria, Jharrel Jerome & More". Billboard. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  15. ^ Mendez, Marisa (August 23, 2023). "Actor Jharrel Jerome Shows Off MC Skills & Announces Rap Pack Release". HipHopDX. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  16. ^ a b Armstrong, Megan (August 24, 2023). "Actor Jharrel Jerome Flexes His Rap Skills While Teasing His Rap Pack Project". Uproxx. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  17. ^ "'Selah and the Spades': Film Review | Sundance 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. January 28, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 17, 2023). "Jharrel Jerome To Star As Wrestler Anthony Robles Alongside Jennifer Lopez In 'Unstoppable' From Artists Equity And Amazon". Deadline Hollywood.
  19. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (December 12, 2019). "Live Good Times Cast: Viola Davis, Andre Braugher, Tiffany Haddish, Jharrel Jerome and 3 Others". TVLine.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 14, 2020). "Jharrel Jerome Series 'I'm a Virgo' From Boots Riley Lands at Amazon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 16, 2022.

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