'When They See Us' Star Jharrel Jerome Shares Korey Wise's Reaction to His Portrayal in Netflix Series
Jerome also describes first meeting Wise at the table read, saying, "The first time I read Korey Wise's words out loud or in front of anybody, he was right there."
Ava DuVernay's four-part Netflix series When They See Us, chronicling the wrongful convictions of five teens in 1990, received plenty of love from the Television Academy, snagging 16 Emmy nominations, including lead actor in a limited series for star Jharrel Jerome.
Jerome, who portrays Korey Wise from his childhood into adulthood, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to open up about the multiple Emmy nominations, saying, "I've felt like I've been dreaming."
"It's been a blessing. It's been a beautiful ride. It feels like a really incredible accomplishment, more than anything," he explains. "But before the nominations came out, I already felt like the work that needed to be done was done for those men. Korey Wise himself came up to me and said, 'You did it.' Simple words, but 'You did it.' And that affirmation right there was the nomination, if anything."
Jerome goes on to describe first meeting Wise at the table read of the first two episodes of When They See Us, saying, "The first time I read Korey Wise's words out loud or in front of anybody, he was right there."
"We had spoken briefly before the read but we didn't get to know each other. So, I still didn't know the type of man he was. I didn't know the type of person he was. I was so scared. I was reading these lines and I was like, 'What if I'm not doing it right? What if I sound weird? What if I'm forcing it or what if he's offended by how I'm speaking?' So, all of that tied into that reading, but the second we finished, he was wiping tears off his face."
He continues: "And he took the chain off his neck and put it on mine and he says, 'You're the king now. You’re Korey Wise.'"
When They See Us is now streaming on Netflix.