Today I’m meeting Jemar Michael in Los Angeles. Jemar is an actor best known for his role as Al Lucas on Netflix’s Dear White People and as Smoothe in the original movie. In addition to his amazing talent on set, Jemar has one of the most phenomenal shoe collections I've ever seen. While impeccably dressed on and off screen, Jemar is one of the most hardworking and down to earth actors I've ever met. It's clear from the amazing rapport of the DWP cast that he is an amazing collaborator and one to watch. Check out the new season of Dear White People coming out soon and be sure to follow him @jemarmxchael.
Hello, It’s Ann. It’s great to see you Jemar. Can I interview your closet?
What’s up Ann! I’d love for you to interview my closet!
Dear White People has the best looking and best dressed cast that I’ve ever seen on a Netflix Original show. Can you tell me about your experience with the costume designer and stylists on set? Did you play a part in selecting/influencing the style for Al on set? Ceci is the mastermind behind the styling of DWP. I remember, before trying anything on, she interviewed me about what might be the characters sense of style and what my personal style was. With that short quick interview she somehow fused both of those ideas together. Every time I’d come to my trailer I’d be in awe of the pieces they would find for us. They were beyond unique and true to each character. They reminded me of the “grails” you find when thrifting, but ten times better! I always loved seeing the outfits everyone got to wear when they’d come out their trailers to set. It was like a lil fashion show. The wardrobe team also made a lot of pieces too!! More specifically some of the distressing, adding of chains, adding all sorts of other appliques to really spice it up a bit, especially for characters like Joelle, Sam, and Coco.
Al’s confidence and “say anything” personality makes him immediately charming but also intimidating! Do you or have you ever channeled Al’s personality or outlook in real life? I think in reality, I’m more so like Al in my head. I’m actually a pretty chill and reserved person. It takes me a while to get to know someone before I open up to them completely. I can see Al being my online persona brought to real life lol. But we are very similar in being passionate about things we really care about. I’m also pretty silly around my friends.
What are some of your favorite memories/experiences working with fellow actors on Dear White People? I got the chance to work on the film prior to the series so to be on this journey for the last four years has been an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. It’s actually everything I’ve dreamed about! I knew when I got the audition for the film that this project was going to be HUGE! At that point in time all they had was the mock trailer and the sides for the audition. When I got cast and finally read the film was when I realized that I was a part of something historic. We all have such a special bond with each other that it makes it easy to come to work. Everyone has the best energy, the most positive outlooks on life, and we just have fun! I am so thankful that I am able to continue my journey from the film to the show. It excites me to continue to build these relationships with these people whom I look up to and care about. Watching their journeys outside of the show is also very inspiring. When they win I feel like I win.
Who would you love to collaborate with in the future and what sort of project do you have in mind? That’s a solid question! Wow! Umm… I would love to work with Jennifer Lawrence at some point. She’s a badass chameleon. She transforms into every character she’s given and she kicks ass doing it. She is so versatile and it’s something that I hope for in my career. I’d like to do a thriller with her or something! I’m thinking maybe a murder mystery or something like, Gone Girl, but with more action. Hell, I’d even do something more artsy like Clockwork Orange or like her recent film Mother!
Tell me about your favorite jeans and where did you find them? I don’t have a favorite pair of jeans because I have yet to find one that actually works for my body type. I have a muscular build so I’m thicker in the legs and butt and every time I try on jeans I usually have to get a size bigger because they don’t let out the thigh area enough. When it comes to pants, I prefer joggers or track pants. I do have some Guess and Calvin Klein jeans though that fit pretty well.
What is your spirit animal? Haha I don’t have one but if I had to choose I’d say a Koala.
What did you wear the last time you went out to dinner? Bleached Black ASSC hoodie, black joggers, Off White X Nike: The Ten Blazers, Black Akira X Supreme Hat.
Where did you go and what did you order? Sidewalk Grill and I got white meat kabobs with greek salad and potatoes.
What is your favorite beverage of choice? Water, Coffee, or Fresh Lemonade. Or Jamaica.
What song will you never delete from you playlist? SZA’s CTRL Album.
If you were a food, what would you be? Flamin' Hot Munchies. You get a lil bit of everything. Plus I’m spicy.
If you could go in a time machine, where and when would you travel to? I’m working on my patience but I’d like to travel into the future and see where I’m at in 10 years. I see great things happening.
What would you wear on this time machine adventure? Probably my oversized Vetememes Hoodie, with my Adidas Track Pants, my Off White X Nike Air Max 90’s and my Supreme Hat.
What are your favorite websites/blogs? I’m a big Hypebeast fan.
If you were a car what would you be? A Bugatti
If you could invite anyone in the world to a dinner party who would you invite and why? Rihanna so we could smoke, dress in fabulous clothes, talk about all the ways to get this money, and do whatever the fuck we want.
Fill in the blanks regarding your closet!
The last thing I bought on vacation was nothing because I have not been on a vacation since I was little!
I spent too much money on food but saved a lot of money on clothing
I would love to wear Amari and Raf Simons and appear in Vogue.
I wear this fragrance, YSL L’Homme Gingembre, but I love smelling this fragrance on someone else, Giorgio Armani Aqua di Gio.
Thanks for letting me interview your closet Jemar. I’m glad I got to know you better too. Now would you mind if I borrowed your Yohji Yamamoto hoodie?