Actor Bernard David Jones, NJ-native, takes time to give up insight on the ins and outs of being an emerging actor in Hollywood.
He’s bold, transparent, and optimistic.
Bernard David Jones Interview
Being an NJ native by way of Atlanta, did you find it challenging to embrace LA culture?
Bernard David Jones: I really loved living in Atlanta. I consider that my second home. I was fortunate to have a few friends out here when I moved. I visited a few times, so I knew what I was getting myself into. I was able to acclimate pretty quickly.
LA culture (Hollywood) is a conversation within itself… LOL! How do you remain focused without getting caught up in the hype?
Bernard David Jones: I’ve always been dedicated to the work. That’s why I’m here. Celebrity is a byproduct of doing the work. I look at red carpets, premieres, and stuff like that as part of the job. It’s just an enjoyable part of the job, but it’s a job at the end of the day. Thankfully a job that I love.
Congratulations on your two-year relationship. You’re generally a public, private person. Why was it necessary to share your love with your beau to the world via social media?
Bernard David Jones: Thank you! I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. It’s so funny. I never really thought of sharing my relationship on social media as something important to do. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I just thought, “we look cute. I’m going to post this!” LOL! Heterosexual people post their partners all the time. Why not me? I have realized that allowing myself to live authentically IS the crucial part. If seeing us on my IG inspires someone to live their authentic life, then I’m happy about that.
I loved your “look at the process from audition to the screen” video of you playing JASON from Lena Waithe’s ‘Twenties’ on BET! You don’t get the see this often.
Bernard David Jones: I appreciate that! Honestly, it’s my favorite thing to do. I love watching audition tapes that have booked the actors the roles. I’ve spent a lot of time on Youtube watching famous actors audition for some of their most iconic gigs. I encourage every actor to be a reader for an audition. Auditioning requires an additional skill set. It’s the most unnatural thing!!
My audition will never be the same as my performance on set. I knew that I wasn’t the only one curious about “what people did in the room.” I wanted to show the process. Hopefully, take some of the pressure off of auditioning. I’ve posted a “process video” from my audition for Uncorked on Netflix.
The video was awful. I was on vacation and had nothing but my laptop! The angle was all wrong. The lighting was horrible, but I still booked it.
I believe in always being professional and presenting yourself as a professional, but at that moment, it was either do it or don’t. I’m glad I chose to do it. It just goes to show that what’s yours is already yours! Do the work, and trust the process. I hope that I’m blessed enough to continue doing these process videos.
What challenges do you face as an emerging actor that people don’t know about?
Bernard David Jones: For me, it’s the fact that real-life still happens. You may be chasing a dream, but you also want to start a family or give that new relationship your attention. It is about balancing your career with your desire for real people shit.
This career is so up and down. You have to be good with your money! Never live outside of your means. It’s not worth it. I only work if someone decides that what I bring to the table is what they want in their project. I have no control over that. It’s challenging to wake up every day and choose to allow space for rejection.
I’ve had to separate myself from Bernard the person (he’s worthy of all good things) and Bernard David Jones, the actor. The “no” is for the actor, not the person. It’s been a journey. LOL
Would you prefer to do a successful series for 3-5 years or 2-3 movies per year if you had a choice?
Bernard David Jones: Can I do both???? LOL! Ummmm, I think I would love to do 2-3 amazing blockbuster/indie movies a year! I love doing movies. There’s something extraordinary about coming together to make something and then letting it go. You get to move on to the next character that you’re excited to explore.
TV IS AMAZING!! You get to live in people’s homes every week. They grow to love the character and trust that they will see them again.
You have more time to explore the story’s complexities and its players. That’s what I love most about television. Again, can I do both???
Mental health check: Are you happy currently?
Bernard David Jones: YES!!! Therapy helps! Some days are better than others, but I’m happy! Thanks for asking!
I loved your character, Jermaine Leforge, on ABC’s ‘The Mayor.’ It only lasted for one season. How does it feel when a show you’ve worked on doesn’t get renewed?
Bernard David Jones: LIKE SHIT!!! LOL, It was such an amazing experience. It was my first show! I made friends that felt like family!! Yvette Nicole Brown really set us all up for success! We learned so much from her. I’m still learning things! It feels good to see everyone out there thriving!
Your pilot ‘Remember’ has headed into pre-production after receiving a WarnerMedia OneFifty grant supporting the early stages of its development. Can you share any insight on the process for the show?
Bernard David Jones: I’m really thrilled about the show! I finally get to tell queer stories that I want to share. Stories that reflect my life and my friends’ lives. I’m very grateful. WarnerMedia OneFifty has been amazing. They’ve given me a chance to show the world what I’m really made of.
Casting is currently underway. I’m really excited about the other actors that will join me on this journey. I have an amazing producer named Gem Little, and our director Tari Wariebi has such compassion for the story and the characters.
Everyone has approached this project with excitement. The beautiful part about this process is that I get to decide who helps me tell it. Hopefully, everyone loves it!
What do you want to achieve the most during your growing acting career?
Bernard David Jones: Longevity is what I want. I want to be able to make good shit and tell life-changing stories for as long as I have breath in my body. I hope to bring joy, laughter, and authenticity to everyone I touch.
Acting is a service job. We’re here to entertain and to help people think differently about humanity. We make you laugh, cry, think; that’s what I hope to continue doing.
I hope to have some amazing experiences and lots of fun along the way!