DETROIT (WWJ) – An up-and-coming actor from Flint is making quite a name for himself in Hollywood. His name is J.J. Green and he grew up on Flint’s tough south side in the Evergreen-Regency area.
“They say it’s one of the worst places in Flint, but I had a real childhood,” Green told WWJ’s Terri Lee. “You know, everybody’s seen some wild things in life, but I had a real childhood. I was able to grow up the right way.”
There are other homegrown stars who hail from Michigan’s seventh largest city, including actress Sandra Bernhard and former pro football player-turned-actor Terry Crews. But for most people who aspire for a career in tinsel town, Hollywood is a long way from Flint. But it wasn’t for Green.
“It (acting) was the only thing that I ever came across that I didn’t want to stop doing,” Green said.
Green credits his parents with helping him to reach his goals, always encouraging him to follow his dreams.
“My parents have been the most supportive of anybody that I’ve known,” Green said. And the support is not always monetary support. But the support that I get from them, it’s unthinkable. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
As for how he got started in the entertainment biz, Green says he started performing in church as a child. He stuck with it through high school, and majored in theater at the University of Michigan-Flint.
“By the time my senior year in college came, I had been in about 17 independent films, and so I used that time to prove to my parents that I was actually built to take the dream of the entertainment industry because, you know, it’s a tough industry.”
Green is perhaps best known for his role as Trevor in the CBS film, “The Duff,” but one of the roles that really stands out for him was that as a featured extra in the Academy Award-nominated film “Selma.” It was while Selma was being filmed that he got the chance to meet the one and only Oprah Winfrey.
“She laughed at my jokes,” Green recalled. “It made me feel good that she laughed at my jokes because one of those days was the day that Maya Angelou had passed and she was really down, so the fact that I made her laugh made me feel good; made me feel like I was doing something right.”
Next up for Green: he’ll be seen in the feature film, “Stock Option,” which will debut October 1st at The International Black Film Festival (IBFF) in Nashville, Tennessee. “Stock Option” was written and directed by independent filmmaker Mark Harris and stars Actress Tasha Smith of “Empire,” Actress Antonique Smith of “Notorious,” Actor Amin Joseph of “Dope” and Actor Aaron D. Spears of BET’s “Being Mary Jane.”
Green also has a leading role in the new film “Girls Guns & Gangs,” and he’ll be seen in the civil war drama “Mercy Street” airing on PBS in 2016.
Learn more about J.J. Green by visiting his website here.
See you at the movies!
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