Jurnee Smollett plays Letitia “Leti” Lewis in HBO’s newest thriller, Lovecraft Country. This series mixes the horror of classic H.P Lovecraft literature with the steep racial tensions of Jim Crow America.
Ahead of Lovecraft Country’s premiere, Her Modern Life was invited to WarnerMedia’s digital press junket. The junket included a series of round table interviews with the cast and creator, Misha Green.
Her Modern Life had the honor of being on a roundtable panel with Ethan Sacks of NBC News, Aisha Jordan of Black Nerd Problems and Mia Johnson of Fansided Podcasts.
When I asked Jurnee about the importance of this role she didn’t shy away from the facts. Black women don’t last in horror flicks- and that’s played out. How many horror movies or sci-fi shows are centered around its Black characters? I’ll wait. As a fan of the genre, Smollett was excited to take this role. It’s also important to note that the actress took a special pride in flipping the work of Lovecraft the author- who was a notoriously terrible person.
She also spoke about working with Misha Green again after working together on “Underground”.
Systemic racism is a huge theme in Lovecraft Country and Jurnee used real-life experiences to channel Leti’s fear and anger in many scenes. The Rodney King trials and the Million Man March are just a few instances she mentions from her childhood. “It’s timely because it’s personal” she says about the show.
As far as her character on the show, Leti proves herself as a force to be reckoned with, right out of the gate. Episode one, we see how tough Letitia can be but then in episode three, we see that’s she is starting to transform.
Throughout the interview, Jurnee goes back to Misha Green’s phenomenal writing and how dynamic the characters in this show truly are. Every episode seems like it’s own movie, threaded into one huge movie. Jurnee Smollett delivers an amazing performance, every Sunday on HBO and HBOMax.