Interview by Maria Rochelle
Jermaine Rivers is an actor and Georgia native who is working his dream with roles on television as well as in film. He’s going to be in the film “Den of Thieves” which will be out in theatres on January 19. Read more about him in our interview in which we discuss his love of acting, rejection, and so much more.
What do you love about your life right now?
The fact that I’m still alive, I have my health, my family and that I’m blessed to get to do something I love (acting) everyday alongside some very talented people.
You post some incredible pics on your IG page from the show “The Gifted” and also pics of you from your time serving in the Army. I want to thank you for your service to our country. Having served in the military, has it helped you with acting?
Absolutely it has, because like with all of life experiences both good and bad, it informs and grounds you and your inner work. I never have to dig too far inward to find truth when I’m preparing for a role. My time in the military gave me a deep well of experiences to draw from.
How long have you been acting?
Long enough to know that I’m where I belong; I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else.
Was there any particular actor or film that inspired you to act and was it a dream of yours as a child to become an actor?
No not really, I’m just a fan of film and I’ve always been, especially the classics. It’s hard for me as an actor to watch something and shutdown the analytical part of my brain, but if there’s ever a point when I’m watching someone’s work and they draw me in to the point where I forget it’s a movie or get an emotional response then I’m instantly a fan.
What do you love about acting and what challenges have you faced as one?
I love the entire process!! To effectively tell a great story and bring something or someone to life that was imagined on paper and deliver it within 60 or 120 minutes and have people walk away from that film emotionally affected by it afterwards is amazing. There are no real challenges, I believe that like it is with anything that presents an obstacle, you’ll either find a way to get it done or an excuse not to.
With acting as with other things in life, you face rejection. How do you handle rejection when you don’t get the part you auditioned for?
I don’t focus on rejection, that’s where my maturity comes into play. I’ve always been smart enough to know that not every role I audition for is going to be right for me. A few years back I stopped caring about getting parts when I go in for auditions. Instead, my primary objective was to give a great performance to the person in the room. To present my best work and interpretation of my character and the situation that he’s in, and to be as honest and alive as possible, then walk away with confidence knowing that I did my job.
Tell me what you like about your role as Shatter on “The Gifted” and what you enjoy about being part of the X-Men Universe?
I absolutely love playing Shatter!! He’s wounded and conflicted and is at times the most human person in the room. He’s a character that has multiple layers. I look forward to bringing more of his persona to the surface going into season 2 of The Gifted.
Was it a dream of yours to be cast as Shatter?
I wouldn’t say that it was my ultimate dream because for a long time marrying Haley Berry had that spot, but landing the role of Shatter was definitely the dream casting because it satisfied the inner twelve year old kid who used to collect X-Men comics and placed me smack dab in the middle of the X-Men and Marvel Universe.
You’re also acting in “MacGyver” as Frank Colton, what have you enjoyed about that particular role?
I love the fact that I get to reprise a role that was played by the late Cleavon Little (Blazing Saddles) in the 90’s during the original MacGyver TV series. FYI, Blazing Saddles was one of my childhood favorites comedies.
The film “Den Of Thieves” will be released January 19, you are in the film as Jackson, and what can you tell me about your character?
I can say that it’s an awesome film, I play an intense character and I look damn good in my uniform.
You’ve been in films and on TV series; do you prefer one over the other? Is it easier to do a TV show or film?
I have no preference at all; I love both! I wouldn’t say that one is easier than the other, it’s a similar process, but it’s the people you get to work with that truly define the experience.
What was it like to work with actors Gerard Butler and 50 Cent?
They were both cool… and very professional.
Any advice you would like to share with anybody who is pursuing acting?
Don’t wear your feelings on your shirt sleeve, know your job and always be prepared, be professional, always work harder than you play, don’t be an ass, keep your hands to yourself… and always be professional, and keep your hands to yourself, I said that twice for a reason!!
Who do you look up to in the industry?
I admire many, but look up to nobody. I don’t believe in putting people on pedestals, we are all human and err. The minute you start doing that you lose sight of what’s important in life. Instead, I concentrate on learning as much as I can and growing as completely as I can in my craft.
In addition to acting, some fans of yours may not know that you’re also an author of “The Nemesis Chronicles” which are on Amazon, how long did it take to write your first one and was there anybody that inspired you to write?
It took about a year and a half to write the first novel in the series. At the time when I started drafting the initial pages of the book my life and the horrible state of the world was all the motivation I needed. The events of 9/11 had just transpired so viola.
In a couple of sentences, can you tell me about your books?
Lucifer Falls From Grace. A descendent of the Davidic bloodline is caught in a struggle between Good and Evil. Ancient Prophesies being fulfilled. The End times and Armageddon are imminent.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
Forward… always forward!!!
I share motivational quotes. Is there one you can share for VEU readers that keeps you inspired and motivated?
“Ever try… ever Fail? No matter, try again… fail again, Fail Better.”