Jevon also reveals some of his biggest influences and the shocking way he went from Broadway to National Television.
“There was never a time I thought about passing on such a great opportunity,” said McFerrin of Twenties.
How did you get your start in Film & Television, and who’s been your biggest influence so far?
Twenties is actually my first TV show. I had done some webseries and little projects friends were doing to help each other out but Twenties was my first foray into being on a national TV show. My biggest influences would be Donald Glover, Don Cheadle, Robin Williams, Andree 3000. These are all artists to me who aren’t afraid to be themselves when sometimes that is the scariest thing you can be, just yourself.
That’s right! You were on Broadway in Hamilton at the time you were cast.
I was a standby and called to go on as Hamilton. Little did I know that the Executive Producer and Show Runner of Twenties, Susan Fales Hill, was in the audience with her daughter. Sometime later I was asked to do a self tape for the show Twenties for the role of Chuck.
Shows like Twenties are the perfect reminder that casting directors are casting POC & LGBTQA actors.
It really shows you that you never know who’s watching you perform and where it could lead. As an actor you do tons of self tapes so I treated it like any other audition. Fast forward to me getting an email about booking the job a few weeks later from the tape. There was never time I thought about passing on such a great opportunity.
From Alexander Hamilton to Chuck, how did you manage the transition from stage to screen?
I was in a state of shock. I was speechless and excited because this was going to be my first TV gig and I would be working for such an amazing storyteller like Lena! About a month later, I was in LA waiting to do the first table read. Susan came up to me to say hello, and told me how she saw me in Hamilton, looked up my past work and ultimately decided she wanted me to play Chuck. None of this I knew beforehand.
Did pronouns ever come up? What are your pronouns, if you don’t mind sharing?
The great thing about Twenties, across the board, everyone was incredibly accepting and respectful of one another and how we all identified. In my experience working on the show the direct topic of pronouns never came up but the entire cast and crew were so respectful of what we were doing that if it ever came up it would have been an amazingly safe space for everyone to be 1000% themselves. And to answer the latter part of your question, my Pronouns are He/Him/His
What was Lena Waithe’s expectation from the cast?
When it’s Lena Waithe, you already know the tone of the story she’s trying to tell. I believe all her stories come from a basis of truth which is always the best approach. Lena has this amazing ability to be able to write different styles of shows, whether it be comedy or drama, they’re all truthful. “Just be honest to the work”, that’s at the core of it all.
After the table read, what was your initial take on Chuck and Marie? She seems to be the rock in your relationship on the show.
My take is that Chuck and Marie are a Black Power Couple on the come up. They are career focused and focused on achieving the lifestyle that they’ve always envisioned for themselves as individuals and as a couple. What makes their dynamic interesting are the little cracks that we are starting to see in this long term relationship. I think Chuck and Marie are great representation of black couples but also, any couple that has been together for a long time and may now be experiencing the reality of evolving as individuals and learning how to navigate that within their relationship.
I’m floored by all the memes and all the love on Twitter. That really says it all.
What’s cool about the fan response is the overall reaction. It’s that they just want Chuck and Marie to be honest with each other. Trust me, I’ve seen some Tweets, they’re very passionate about it LOL.
Twenties is defining the flavor of queer black television. BET really picked a good one. Where do you think it’s headed for the queer community?
Twenties has been Lena’s passion project for nearly a decade and finally we’re in a time where these characters don’t have to be the “token” or the “best friend” but they can be the center of the story because these are real stories. It’s exciting to see that there’s already a change happening in the queer community on a larger scale when it comes to representation on television and now black television. I hope that now, with a show like Twenties on the air, it gives the queer community and the black queer community more courage to celebrate their authentic selves and be the center of their own story.