Jovan Adepo talks about “Jack Ryan,” his iconic scene in “Watchmen” and more.
English-American actor Jovan Adepo hasn’t been acting for that long, but boy does he have some memorable films, shows and roles to his name. His first movie appearance, in 2016’s “Fences,” got him three award nominations. On the TV front, Adepo is part of the main cast of action-series “Jack Ryan” and appeared in one of the most iconic episodes of “Watchmen.” And there were plenty of other memorable entries in his filmography so far, and even more to come. So, it was quite a blast hearing the story straight from the man.
DAMAN: Hi, Jovan … thank you for having us. How are you doing?
Jovan Adepo: I’m doing well, thank you!
DAMAN: By the way, how has 2020 been for you so far? And what are you most excited about for this year?
Jovan Adepo: So far so good! I was able to catch up on rest during the holidays, so I’m really excited to figure out what this new year looks like for me. General excitement for what’s to come is the best way I can express my feelings as of late.
DAMAN: So, from our side, we’re definitely looking forward to a new season of “Jack Ryan” this year. Is there anything you can tell us about season three?
Jovan Adepo: “Jack Ryan” was so incredibly fun and new for me. I loved playing Marcus and feeling a strong sense of comradery with the group of guys we had. I haven’t heard of what’s to come for Marcus, but I’d be open to jumping back in.
DAMAN: What has been some of your favorite moments from working on the show?
Jovan Adepo: My favorite things about filming “Jack Ryan” were the weapons trainings and the SEALs diving and swim tasks I got to learn. Expanding my lung capacity and comfort underwater was fun.
DAMAN: On a similar note, what would be your fondest memory about your appearance in last year’s “Watchmen”?
Jovan Adepo: To pick a favorite moment while filming “Watchmen” is impossible to me at this moment. That experience was one of my most challenging and enjoyable to date and I am so grateful for it. To have the faith of Damon [showrunner Damon Lindelof] and company to step into a single episode and portray such a beautiful character … I am forever honored to have worn the mask and cape.
DAMAN: And on a more serious note, you were central to one of the most hard-to-watch scenes we’ve ever seen on TV: the lynching of a pre-Hooded Justice Will Reeves. Looking back at it now, how do you feel about doing that scene? How do you think or hope has it impacted audiences? Especially those from those outside of the United States…
Jovan Adepo: I think our director, Stephen [Williams], did a great job making sure our head space was secure and prepared to film that singular scene as well as many of the other in that episode. We all agreed to approach each scene, each moment, with a mission-based mindset. If we dared to suspend our personal insecurities, discomforts, etc., for the sake of sharing a piece of our history, we could educate a mass audience in a way that is impactful and lasting in the art form. I was excited and found refuge in that general understanding.
DAMAN: Back to your upcoming appearances, we’ll also see you in “The Stand” based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Can you give us a short intro to the series and your role?
Jovan Adepo: It’s one of Mr. King’s more beloved titles, with an incredibly loyal fanbase. I was asked to portray my version of Larry Underwood. He’s a musician whose career hasn’t quite hit it as he planned, from his own or outside devices perhaps. He’s struggled with substance abuse and long streaks of narcissistic behavior.
DAMAN: The original novel was—to put it mildly—well received, and has already been adapted into a TV series once back in the ‘90s and also a comic series. How do you think will audiences react to 2020’s “The Stand”?
Jovan Adepo: I think fans will be introduced to a fresh take on the classic. It takes place in these times. The social media era, perhaps. Up-to-date issues tied in with the specific story of “The Stand does indeed call for some remixing, but it is still very much “The Stand.”
DAMAN: And then you’re also starring in the upcoming movie “The Violent Heart” … which sounds rather ominous for what’s described as a romantic coming-of-age film. So, what’s the movie actually about?
Jovan Adepo: “The Violent Heart” is simply about two young people at pivotal moments in their separate lives who find each other and attempt to entertain companionship in spite of fear and baggage from their pasts. I could go on, but it can be an exercise for me to concretely define what a film is about! I’m terrible at it…
DAMAN: So, it definitely looks like you have a lot on your plate in 2020. Is this the level of being busy that you’re happy with?
Jovan Adepo: It depends. I like to be careful with how I fill my time. I don’t mind filling my schedule if the work is something that I’m really excited about. I do, however, appreciate rest and living out of the work. I’ve cultivated new hobbies through work that I’m excited about as we. It’s great.
DAMAN: Last combo question: What has been the best part of 2019 for you and what do you hope will be your 2020 highlight?
Jovan Adepo: 2019 was a giant blessing. A chance to continue to evolve as a person, and an actor. New challenges have presented themselves in a great way. 2020 will be what it will be, but it will be eventful for sure!
Photography Jalen Turner
Styling Monty Jackson at SWA Agency
Grooming Stephanie Hobgood at Cloutier Remix Agency
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