The actor presently stars on Prime Video’s Harlem, and in case you’re not conversant in them but, it is time to get acquainted.

The brand new sequence was created by Tracy Oliver and follows 4 bold and trendy girlfriends of their 30s residing in New York. Johnson performs profitable queer relationship app creator Tye, who has a tough time showcasing her vulnerability and purposely retains her romantic companions at a distance. The forged additionally consists of Meagan Good as Camille, an achieved anthropology professor who continues to be hung up on her ex; Grace Byers as Quinn, a clothier who’s struggling to maintain her enterprise afloat, all whereas trying to find the proper accomplice; and Shoniqua Shandai as Angie, a carefree singer and actress who resides rent-free with Quinn.

“It is a hoot,” Johnson advised POPSUGAR in regards to the present. “It’s revolutionary simply in how dynamic these Black girls are, which is one thing that we have not seen earlier than in tv. The way in which we glance bodily as folks is so totally different and so nuanced. The way in which we’re costumed is so totally different from something that I’ve ever seen.”

When Oliver was casting for the a part of Tye, she was adamant that the character be performed by somebody who was truly queer. Fortunately for her, Johnson was one of many first individuals who auditioned for the position. “It was attention-grabbing as a result of it was at some extent throughout my time in LA the place I used to be getting anxious a bit bit,” Johnson recalled. “I used to be getting anxious about whether or not I’d have my manifestation come to fruition of me reserving a sequence common in six months.”

Properly, precisely six days earlier than they hit that six-month mark, Johnson formally signed her contract for Harlem. “As quickly as I placed on the outfit that I used to be calling my Tye outfit, I felt like Tye. And it simply was so genuine,” Johnson stated. “The producers and the writers had been so good, variety, open, and alluring. I wasn’t within the trade and so they did not have an opportunity to see something that I did earlier than that time, so the truth that they took in my vitality the way in which that they did and trusted me with this position, this half, was very stunning.”

Johnson was the primary of the 4 results in e book their position, adopted by Byers. For Johnson, it has been a “very elevating expertise” to get to work alongside such an unimaginable forged. “All of them had been so inviting and the area that was created was so judgment-free,” they defined. “It was instantly like, ‘Oh my God, we hit the jackpot with you 4 girls. We’re so glad that you just love one another. What can we do to make you are feeling most snug?’ That was the vitality the entire time and I believe it is a testomony to Tracy and Meagan for creating this area.”

Whereas the sequence is supposed to be a comedy, it nonetheless does a terrific job tackling real-life points that many ladies face in a really genuine approach. We see Camille wrestle with not having her complete life mapped out like she thought she would, whereas Tye grapples together with her vulnerability points. Via watching the characters navigate their careers, relationships, and lives on display, Johnson hopes folks – particularly Black girls – really feel seen.

“Generally there generally is a tightening that occurs as a result of Black girls are so protecting of themselves and one another, and rightfully so. As a result of who in America goes to guard us if it is not ourselves?” Johnson stated. “I need folks to get via the primary episode and go, ‘Oh my God, I really feel protected on this area . . . for Black girls to have the ability to resonate as a result of that is a therapeutic expertise that some folks haven’t got to consider as a result of they get all of these therapeutic and reconfirming photos of issues which are potential of their lives on a regular basis. And so after we do get one thing like that, it is a breath of recent air.”

Johnson has all the time had a ardour for telling tales. Earlier than touchdown a lead position on Harlem, Johnson made her TV debut on Freeform’s Good Hassle, and approach earlier than that, they had been writing poetry in center college. Johnson recalled certainly one of her academics giving them the e book For Coloured Ladies when she was 13 years previous and the way they instantly felt much less alone upon studying it. “From there, I went to a performing arts highschool, and I have been performing ever since,” she added. “I get pleasure from getting to inform tales that have not been advised. I get pleasure from tapping into one other individual’s psyche as a result of I’m an individual who may be very self-aware and self-reflects rather a lot . . . I like taking part in characters which are nothing like me as a result of I then acquire compassion for an individual that I’ll not have resonated with their expertise earlier than that second.”

Now that Johnson has dipped their toes within the performing world, she trusts their inherent expertise a complete lot greater than they did when she first began out. “I really feel like I’ll have had an inclination in my youthful years to wish to do and be the whole lot,” they admitted. “In grad college, certainly one of my academics advised me that not each character wants the whole lot that you’ve and that was simply such a mind-boggling, prolific second in my life as a result of I believed that that is what it meant to work onerous, to offer each character my all, to push. So now I really feel like I work with such an ease that will actually be pure. However the different factor is reactionary to my life expertise – being a queer lady in North Philly and what that has accomplished.”

Trying forward, Johnson would like to work with Regina King, Regina Corridor, Viola Davis, and Angela Bassett subsequent. Principally, all of the legends, no large deal. She’d additionally like to play a personality that is completely totally different from Tye, like a Marvel villain. As for what she’d like to see from Tye, if when Harlem will get picked up for a second season, that’s, Johnson stated they need Tye to “try to have interaction romantically and constantly with one individual or individuals.” And if the present decides to include the COVID-19 pandemic in its storyline by some means, Johnson is curious to see what Tye would do throughout quarantine provided that she would not be capable to go to the workplace.

Exterior of Hollywood, nonetheless, Johnson is manifesting shopping for a farm. They’d like to arrange therapeutic pods in Philadelphia and have an area the place “Black creatives can come and create with out the white gaze” and reconnect with the land. “I really feel like that is what’s ancestral to Black folks. Simply being all huddled up generally on the East coast or within the concrete jungle is alarming,” Johnson defined. “There’s a element of us going again and rising our personal meals and tasting what we have grown, of determining how we will dwell a sustainable way of life. Within the route that we’re going, sources are low . . . so how can we share that information so that individuals might be empowered? One, you may heal your self. Two, you will have the power to develop what you eat and dwell off the land. And three, there’s nothing we won’t do.” And she or he’s proper, the sky is the restrict.

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