Singer-songwriter Trevor Jackson recently stepped outside of his comfort zone and into a starring role on Season 2 of American Crime. And from the looks of it, things appear to have worked out just fine for the young talent.
In the famed ABC series, Jackson plays high school basketball star Kevin LaCroix, a kid who finds himself in quite the conundrum when a male student is assaulted at a party thrown by Jackson's character. Throughout the season, as the cast longs to discover the truth of what went down at LaCroix's party, Jackson himself discovered how to break out of his head, be in the moment and learn while working with the iconic cast that makes up American Crime.
Jackson recently spoke with MStars News about being on the show, working alongside the likes of Regina King and Andre Benjamin and his hopes of one day getting behind the camera.
MStars News: How was the experience on American Crime?
Trevor Jackson: It was awesome, man! It met so many talented people and learned so much from veterans in the game. They really pushed me to be better and I'm very appreciative.
MS: Can you tell me about your role and how you fit into Season 2?
TJ: I play Kevin LaCroix, he's a basketball captain. Basically, we win a big game and I have a party. At the party, a young man gets assaulted. Then throughout the season they're trying to figure out if it was me or someone at the school [who did it]. My character is also put in a position because he's 18 years old and a lot of the guys are younger so he could get tried as an adult.
It gets pretty crazy. I don't want to give away too much. [laughs]
MS: Your role is a very integral part of Season 2. What was going through your head when you got the part and while you were filming?
TJ: It still hasn't hit me yet. [laughs] It was just so much fun, and I was so in the moment that it hasn't hit me. Even when I was watching myself on screen, it was awesome. The growth part of it was great. Watching yourself grow as you act- it was crazy.
MS: You have a great resume as it is. How did American Crime differ from your past acting roles?
TJ: It definitely pushed me. For me, a lot of the roles I did before, I had the script beforehand and was able to study. For this, some episodes, we didn't even get the scripts. Or if we did, everything else was blacked out other than our lines. It was definitely different.
MS: Does blacking out the scripts make it harder? I imagine you're then experiencing the story for the first time as you act it out.
TJ: It actually makes it easier for me. In your head it's weird but it makes it easier because your brain isn't everywhere. It's organic and natural. I think that's what [creator] John Ridley did with that. [By that], we weren't pushing anything other than the honesty of our characters.
MS: The cast is an amazing group of people. You're working opposite Regina King, Andre Benjamin, Felicity Huffman, etc. Did you learn anything from them?
TJ: Absolutely! Not even necessarily things they said to me, it was just watching them work. For me, I had to adapt to a lot of technical stuff and I tried to pick up as much as I could. It was cool just to watch [them].
A photo posted by American Crime (@americancrimeabc) on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:35pm PST
MS: Were there any memorable moments working on the show?
TJ: I think when John Ridley told me that I did an awesome job. To me, he's like Mr. Miyagi- he never wants to tell you too much so you continue to work hard. [laughs] But one day, when he said, "You did a good job," I was like, oh wow! That was pretty dope.
MS: One thing about American Crime is that the show seems very real. Did it push you at all to seek other roles that could be seen as dramatic?
TJ: Oh yeah, I love drama and things that push me out of my comfort zone. I love any role that forces me to be both real and different. That's the great part about acting, tapping into that part of yourself that you never really would.
MS: You're also a singer-songwriter. So, music or acting?
TJ: That's hard, but if I had to choose I'd say music. Here's why: When I make music it comes from exactly who Trevor Jackson is. It's very organic and from the soul. When I act, it's from being another character. Acting allows you to be someone else; my music is from the soul. But I do love both.
MS: Would you ever consider writing and directing?
TJ: I think about that all the time, directing too. Even on American Crime, we had different directors each week, and I [loved it]. It'd be great to venture off and try and touch everything I can in entertainment.
Catch American Crime on ABC Wednesdays at 10 p.m.© 2019 Mstars News, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.