From small-screen ‘Grown-ish’ to the silver screen’s ‘SuperFly,’ this is Trevor Jackson’s year But not long ago, ‘I was going to quit acting. I didn’t want to do it anymore.’
First, there was a breakout television series, followed by two movies and the release of a new album. For singer and actor Trevor Jackson, there couldn’t be a better year.
Jackson, 21, is best known for his roles as Zurich in Burning Sands, Aaron Jackson in Freeform’s Grown-ish and Youngblood Priest in the remake of the 1972 black cult classic SuperFly, which hits theaters Wednesday. This isn’t too shabby for someone who thought of walking away from acting before his role in the television drama series American Crime.
“I was going to quit acting before American Crime because I was trying to focus on my music,” Jackson said. “I didn’t want to do it anymore. My mom was just like, ‘Go,’ and I went and fell in love with it again. Everybody who was on set — Tim Hutton, Andre 3000, Regina King — I was awestruck and inspired by these people. It kind of made me fall back in love with the process.”
His role in SuperFly deepened his passion for acting.
“Priest was a character that was interesting,” Jackson said. “I was trying to find the person that I was afraid of but I also thought was extremely cool. The experience was amazing. I think the coolest thing was working with such amazing people. You got Joel Silver, who has done so many classic films. Director X is a legendary director, and all the actors. They’re all so good at their jobs. It was a blessing to be doing what I love around people that I love.”
Music remains a passion. Jackson signed with his first record label at 15 and released his latest LP, Rough Drafts, Pt. 1, in March. He hopes to continue acting and singing for as long as he can.
“I want to continue balancing,” Jackson said. “I can’t live without either. Even when I was shooting Grown-ish, I recorded most of this album. We would get off around 7 and I’d come home and record. They’ve both saved me. When I wasn’t working, acting and wasn’t getting hired, I was doing music. Whenever one wasn’t happening, the other one was always there. They’re both very close to my heart.”
What was one of the craziest moments you’ve had on set?
I think the craziest moment was when I made Halle [Bailey] cry on set of Grown-ish. She’s vegan and we had tacos. There were beef tacos, chicken tacos and vegan tacos. She was eating a vegan taco, and I’m like, ‘Oh, you know that’s the wrong meat. They had the wrong names on the tacos.’ She started crying. Everyone was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, Trevor. You’re such an a-hole!’ I’m like, ‘I’m sorry! I was just kidding.’ My job is big brother on set. My job is to torture them.
When did you feel like you made it in the industry?
I don’t think I can ever have that moment, because I’m always trying to outdo myself. I don’t look to the left or right of me to see if I’ve made it or not. I always kind of look inward. I feel like I’ll never feel like that.
Have you ever been starstruck?
Perfect time to ask me this. I freaking met Tom Hardy at CinemaCon. He and Denzel [Washington] are like my top two favorite actors of all time. I met him, I yelled at him. It was me and Jason [Mitchell]; he loves him too. He was having a conversation, and we came up behind him and were like, ‘Dude, we’re sorry, but we freaking love you. You’re a legend.’ I’m pretty sure he was wondering who we were, but we took like, three pictures. Then I met Matthew McConaughey on the plane and I was like, what’s happening with my life? He took my clothes off the plane and asked whose bag it was, then carried my bag off the plane. I can always say Matthew McConaughey carried my luggage. I met Will Ferrell too. These are all people I admire and love totally and am inspired by daily. That was too much.
If you weren’t acting or singing, what would you be doing?
I’d be surfing. I’d probably be a pro surfer, skateboarder or playing basketball. That’s how my life is. If I wake up one day and I want to pursue that, that’s what I’ll do. I always try to follow what God puts in my heart to do or achieve, and I don’t stop until I do that. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger. That dream kind of died, but it can come back around.
What’s the last show you binge-watched?
Ozark. It’s probably one of the greatest shows I ever watched.
Which pro athlete would you never want to trade places with?
The ones that I don’t know their names.
What’s your current fashion obsession?
I love silk shirts. They don’t have to be real silk, as long as they look silky and feel silky. They can be 10 bucks. If they look right and feel right, I’ll wear it.
What songs are at the top of your playlists these days?
There’s a song called ‘Tequila’ by Dan + Shay and another called ‘The Long Way Around’ [by Brett Eldredge]. These are all country songs. I love country. It’s my favorite kind of music.
What is the most embarrassing music you have to admit you listen to?
I’m not gonna lie, when Hannah Montana first came out, I was an advocate. I loved it!
What are you looking forward to achieving this year?
I want SuperFly to do very, very well. I want the album to do well, and hopefully a great season two of Grown-ish. And I want to start filming another movie by the end of the year, whatever it may be.
If you could go to dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
I can only pick one? I have more than one, and it would be Prince and Michael Jackson. If I had three, I’d put Martin Luther King Jr. in there.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Keep God first and all things will be added unto you.