Jurnee Smollett was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised by her single mother, Joanne Smollett-Bell. As a young child, Jurnee danced and sang with her mother in the gospel choir of Antioch Baptist Church where her grandmother was pastor. Introducing Lizzy : the Spiderhead Star
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As we’ve been developing Jurnee Smollett’s character for Spiderhead, she and I have had a lot of discussions about who her character is and what she would be like as a person. She went through several name changes before settling on Lizzy which seemed to fit her best. We wanted to create a character that was more than just fodder for graphic violence. From everything we knew about her at first (just an image on a card), it seems like most people expected Lizzy to be cold-blooded and heartless. But after some discussion with Jurnee, it became clear that she was all too human – fragile, emotional and even vulnerable – but when push comes to shove, also strong enough to fight for what she wants.
Where did she come from?
She’s Jurnee Smollett, known to her friends as Lizzy. She became one of Hollywood’s top actresses after being discovered by a talent scout in Jacksonville, Florida. After years on television (Empire and Good Girls Revolt), she made her big-screen debut as Mary Jane Watson in Sony Pictures’ Spiderhead starring opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. She is currently filming The Devil at Every Door in New York City for NBC Universal Television and will star opposite Jason Ritter in Mirada Studios and Turner’s forthcoming TV series Silver Lake .
Can you relate to her?
A lot of times we assume that to be a fan of something you have to be hardcore into it. For example if you’re a fan of Supernatural , you go and buy all their stuff and get tattoos of their logo. Or if you’re a huge Beatles fan then you go buy all their albums, know all their songs by heart, and even build your life around them. This is what I thought being a superfan was but my definition has changed since watching Jurnee Smollett in Spiderhead . Here are 5 reasons why I think she’s one of us (the fans).
The power of digital influencers
In today’s modern world of entertainment and business, it’s common for celebrities to team up with social media influencers to promote new projects. Even at their best, traditional celebrity endorsements feel a little…old-fashioned. But working with digital celebrities can be incredibly beneficial for brands looking to reach specific audiences and cultural segments. In many cases these influencers are more relatable than more well-known celebrities—especially if they’re a member of your target audience—and allow you to create organic content rather than paying huge amounts of money for advertisements. The addition of an influencer also makes brands appear more authentic, which is why so many companies work with them today. Still not sure how digital influencers fit into your marketing strategy?
Emerging from behind the scenes
Though we have no idea what’s in store for Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Lizzy on Spike Lee’s new TV series Spiderhead, there is one thing we do know: She’s one of television’s most exciting rising stars. Prior to landing a lead role on Lee’s show, Smollett-Bell portrayed Tallulah Johnson on ABC Family’s hit series Lincoln Heights. Her work garnered her Teen Choice and NAACP Image Award nominations during her first season on the show. In 2009, Smollett-Bell starred in Stacie Passon’s indie drama Conviction, which premiered at Sundance and was released by Magnolia Pictures.
Her relationship with technology
In 2017, Jurnee is starring in a new television series called Good Trouble. It will premiere on January 9th on Freeform as part of their Pretty Little Liars night. There’s also a sequel to The Book of Henry scheduled for release in late 2017. Finally, you can look forward to several new movies coming out starring Jurnee Smollett including Lionheart with Naomi Watts and Denzel Washington; Outlaw King starring Chris Pine; Alpha directed by Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli); and finally BlacKkKlansman starring John David Washington and Adam Driver (Paterson). Stay tuned for more details about these upcoming projects!
What she’s working on next…
Spiderhead is really interesting to me because of how deep we get into these characters’ backstories, Jurnee says. For such a short film, it’s just so packed with so much character that you don’t typically see in short films. Jurnee’s character Lizzy is one of her favorites because she gets to play a vulnerable character who has been through so much trauma yet is still a fighter. She’s already struggling with her past and then she has to move forward in life with that, Jurnee adds.
Is Jurnee Smollett related to Little Richard?
There is a rumor that Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Little Richard are related. However, Smollett’s representative has stated that she is not related to him. The rumor came about because of their striking resemblance to each other. They both have blonde hair and blue eyes along with an interest in music. While it is true that they do share some similarities there is no proof that they are actually relatives at all. So far no relation has been found between them or any real link between them all except for their common interests in music. No matter if they are truly related or not Jurnee and her father have worked hard on making sure she never turns out like Little Richard when it comes to his personal life choices.
Who is Jussie Smollett’s father?
James Smollett is Jussie Smollett’s father. James and Janet are now divorced. His mother’s name is Sylvia George. He has a sister named Joi. What was Jussie Smollett like as a child? : Jussie was always in trouble as a child. As he grew older he began to focus on his acting career. He started out with commercials and then moved onto roles in TV shows like The Emperor’s New School and Ghost Whisperer. In 2006 he made his film debut in Gridiron Gang. Since then he has been steadily working on projects including guest appearances on various TV shows such as: The Game, Glee, and Law & Order: SVU. He also appeared in films such as: The Mighty Macs, Sparkle, and most recently, which is set to be released on August 9th 2013.
What nationality is Jussie Smollett?
American. His parents are of Irish and Nigerian descent. Jussie was born in 1982 in Oakland, California and raised in Columbia, Missouri. As a child actor he worked on films such as Glory Road and his breakout performance was as Disney’s The Mighty Ducks Trilogy movie which started him off on his acting career. Since then he has worked with many different stars such as Will Smith, Michael Bay and Seth MacFarlane to name but a few. He is best known for being a cast member of Fox’s hit show Empire where he plays a recurring character called Jamal Lyon aka ‘Hakeem Lyon’. There are rumors flying around that he will take over from Terrence Howard who currently plays Lucious Lyon but it is not confirmed just yet. Introducing Lizzy : the Spiderhead Star
How old is Jussie?
I guess I’m getting older. But I’ll be 23 next year. In other words: He’s not a kid anymore. My mom still says that. No, he doesn’t want to get out of bed early on Saturday morning to play football with his buddies—but he will admit to finding himself equally at home in a recording studio or film set. More importantly? He’s become more of a man in both arenas: It’s really easy for me to talk about some things and really hard for me to talk about others, he explains. I’ve figured out that it takes time for me now; it doesn’t happen overnight. The same goes for keeping his emotions (like sadness and joy) under wraps when talking about his work.