JJ Green is one of the stars of the upcoming scripted OWN series “Greenleaf,” as Marlon Collins, a young college student who leave school after his younger brother is murdered by a police officer. We had a chance to talk to JJ Green about being homeless to now being on a highly anticipated show in “Greenleaf” and more. Check out our conversation with JJ Green below.
Tell us what has the experience been like on “Greenleaf”?
JJ Green: So surreal. It is always amazing to have an opportunity to work with legends and so many individuals that I can learn so much from. The entire crew was so helpful and the veteran actors dropped so many gems on me for my career and craft. I loved the entire experience.
JJ Green as Marlon Collins in OWN series “Greenleaf”
Was acting always your first passion?
JJ Green: It was always my first passion and you know as a growing boy I ventured off into different sports but I never stopped acting. I always multitasked with acting and sports.
What about your character can you most relate to?
JJ Green: The genuine love he has for his brother.
Have you had a chance to meet Oprah and if so what was that experience like?
JJ Green: I had the opportunity to meet Oprah on the set of Selma. She has a beautiful spirit and is so down to earth. Having the opportunity to make her smile made my entire year.
Being from Flint, Michigan what do you think about what is going on there with the water issue? How has it affected your family directly?
JJ Green: It is a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible and those involved needs to be punished. I will continue to do everything I can to help the people of my hometown. My parents are still living in Flint so I bust my butt everyday to better their situation. The entire city is filled with the strongest people I know. They will get through this and come out on top.
Growing up did you listen to MC Breed who is a fellow Flint native?
JJ Green: Of course I did. I still do to this day. You can’t be a Flintstone and not listen to Breed, Dayton Family, MS1, or Ready for the World!
What would you be doing if it wasn’t for acting?
JJ Green: I may have gone to the NFL Combine but I can’t think of anything else in this world that I would rather be doing.
If you could work with anybody who would it be?
JJ Green: I have a list of directors I want to work with; Spike Lee, Ryan , Tarantino to F. Gary Grey and amazing up and comers like Malcolm Washington. I really want to work with more of my peers like Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Stephen James, Tristan Wilds, Zoe Kravitz, Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lawrence, Zendaya and anyone that I can learn from.
Who is your top 5 entertainers in your industry?
JJ Green: That is a tough one! I respect so many people’s catalogue. I’ll have to say the number one person I study is Forest Whitaker. I also love Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Robert DeNiro, Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep.
Early in your career what were some of the obstacles you encountered and how did you over come them?
JJ Green: My biggest obstacle early in my career was dealing with homelessness. I think I handled my challenges like a champ. I never let my circumstances take my eye off of the ball.
Be sure to watch his new series “Greenleaf” which is premiering on June 21st on OWN.