|About Jharrel Jerome|
|Known As||Jharrel Adolfo Marte Jerome|
|Birth||October 9, 1997|
|Parents||Radoyka Dee Jerome|
|Alumni||Ithaca College, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts|
|Hometown||Bronx, New York|
|Movies & Shows||Moonlight, When They See Us|
Jharrel Jerome first came on the scene with Moonlight, and this critics’ darling is now moving us to the core with his portrayal of Korey Wise in Netflix’s When They See Us. Playing one of the principal figures of the Central Park Five who were wrongfully prosecuted by Linda Fairstein is only one of the high points of what will surely be an illustrious career. As his star continues to rise, our Jharrel Jerome wiki details his path to sure stardom.
Jharrel Jerome Is from New York
Jharrel Adolfo Marte Jerome was born on October 9, 1997 and hails from Washington Heights, New York. He was raised in an Afro-Dominican family in the Bronx, where his mother, Radoyka Dee Jerome, is from.
Radoyka is active on social media and loves gushing about her son’s achievements (and why shouldn’t she?). Jharrel has limited activity on social media, but his dad has featured in his posts a handful of times.
Jharrel has never missed an opportunity to pay tribute to his maternal grandfather, who passed away of cancer.
Jerome Studied Acting at LaGuardia
As a child, Jerome always displayed a flair for entertaining. On his mother’s suggestion, Jerome began acting through a youth theater group.
Jerome’s acting skills were later developed at the famed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. He had taken two acting classes to prepare for his audition into LaGuardia.
“Before I got to that high school, acting was not on my radar,” Jerome said. “I wasn’t looking into plays and movies growing up. When I was in eighth grade, I decided I didn’t want to go to a regular high school.”
Jerome found himself a classmate of Ansel Elgort and would go to auditions with no agent or manager. But talent scouts frequently came to the school and offered him opportunities after seeing his theater performances.
At LaGuardia, Jerome had the opportunity to meet John Leguizamo when he came to speak at his school. They met again in When They See Us, where Leguizamo plays the father of Raymond Santana, one of the Central Park Five.
“I got to tell him the story and he actually remembered it, so it was very full circle for me,” Jerome recalled.
He Debuted in Moonlight
Jerome later enrolled in Ithaca College, where he was pursuing a BFA in acting. While still studying there, he successfully auditioned for and landed a role in Moonlight.
His debut as a young Kevin in the Oscar-winning Best Picture film catapulted him to instant fame. He would go on to win an MTV Movie and TV Award for Best Kiss for his scene with Ashton Sanders.
Jerome’s very convincing portrayal of the bisexual teen had many wondering if he is gay in real life. But Jerome is straight, one of the things that initially made it difficult for him to connect to his character.
“Considering I identify as straight. And I’m not from Miami. I didn’t really grow up around the types of people Kevin was around. So I felt like I was going to be disconnected,” explained Jerome, who later went about portraying Kevin in another way.
“But then I realized that Kevin is really all of us; he really is a lot of us. He really is a person that hides in a shell, and I think everybody at least at one point in their lives, hides in a shell. And I realized that in high school—I even said it in the speech the other day—I was that Latino kid in school.”
There are no reports of Jerome dating anyone at the moment. However, his past social media activity indicates he’s dated a couple of girls.
Jerome Plays Korey Wise in Netflix’s When They See Us
Before he’d graduate from Ithaca in 2019, Jerome landed a role as Korey Wise in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series, When They See Us, based on the Central Park Five case.
Wise, along with Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana, came to be known as the Central Park Five, a group of teens of color who were convicted of a 1989 rape they did not commit. The serial rapist Matias Reyes was found to be the real culprit.
The teens languished in prison before they were exonerated. Korey Wise, a 16-year-old when he was wrongfully convicted, received the longest and harshest sentence. In the four-part series, Jerome is the only actor portraying both the teen and adult versions of his character.
When he went to audition for the young Korey, DuVernay asked him to read the adult Korey’s lines, too. “Ava said she was very impressed I could play young and old and make it blend well, and changed her idea of who Korey Wise was, and she decided to give me all of Korey Wise.”
His performance earned not only critics’ praise, but also praise from Wise himself. And if the buzz is to be believed, Jerome might be on the path to winning an Emmy.
Besides his two major roles, he was also seen on Mr. Mercedes. And he’s got a lineup of other projects in the works.
He Can Freestyle Rap
If you thought Jharrel Jerome could only deliver Oscar-worthy acting, you’re terribly underestimating this talented entertainer. Even before he was an actor, Jerome was busting out rhymes that made him popular among his peers.
“I’ve been freestyling since I was 11 and writing since I was about 15,” Jerome said. “People really like it. I found my sound recently, and music is something that has always been in my life—it’s been my culture.”
He not only rapped on the MTV Movie and TV Awards red carpet, but he also released an EP on Soundcloud.