"Hollywood's" Archie Is Actually a Broadway Star

"Hollywood's" Archie Is Actually a Broadway Star
"Hollywood's" Archie Is Actually a Broadway Star
DeAnna Janes

From Oprah Magazine

  • Jeremy Pope stuns as Archie Coleman, an aspiring screenwriter, in Hollywood.

  • Here's what you need to know about the Grammy and Tony-nominated Jeremy Pope, best known for his roles on Broadway.

Television newcomer Jeremy Pope steals the show in Hollywood, Ryan Murphy's new Netflix series set in 1950s Los Angeles. The 27-year-old actor plays Archie Coleman, a Black, gay screenwriter trying to break into an entertainment landscape where homogeneity rules.

Luckily, thanks to Hollywood's ingenious twist (more on that later), Archie is able to make the groundbreaking and diverse picture that the industry had been missing.

Hollywood is Pope's first major screen role. However, he is already tremendously accomplished in the theater world. In 2019, Pope received two Tony nominations for his work in the play Choir Boy and musical Ain't Too Proud, a tribute to the music of the Temptations.

Pope fits in among Hollywood's platoon of top-notch acting talent, from industry greats like Patti LuPone and Queen Latifah, to rising stars like Laura Harrier and Samara Weaving. Murphy also reunited with actors from his past shows, like Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) and Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), for Hollywood.

The miniseries imagines what show biz would look like if stodgy, decades-old power dynamics were dismantled, and room were made for a broader population.

Pope's character, Archie, is the architect of this dismantling. He writes the movie that changes everything. Read on for a few facts about Pope.

Jeremy Pope is a Broadway star.

Pope, who was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, found success soon after moving to New York at the age of 18. His first Broadway role was in Choir Boy, a coming-of-age drama written by Moonlight co-author Tarrell Alvin McCraney, that premiered in January 2019.

Pharus, Pope's character in Choir Boy, is the leader of his prep school's chorus, and a gay Black man fighting for his place in the world. Pope was familiar with the part: He originated the role in Choir Boy's off-Broadway premiere in 2013, and returned for the show's Broadway run.

In February 2019, Pope left Choir Boy to begin rehearsals for the musical Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. Pope played Eddie Kendricks, one of the founding members of the famous Motown group. Kendricks sang lead on "The Way You Do The Things You Do."

And, he was nominated for two Tonys in 2019.

In 2019, Pope became the first Black man in Tonys history to earn two separate acting nominations in the same season. Pope was nominated for his performances in Choir Boy and Ain't Too Proud.

And to think: His entire career began in high school, when he was cast as Skimbleshanks in Cats. “My dad made my costume,” he told Gayle King on CBS: This Morning.

Pope lost in both categories. Still, he recognizes the 2019 Tonys as a game-changing moment for himself, and for the industry. "When I think about that season and that time of my life, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude, and I don't take it for granted. If I don't do anything else in my career, I know that I left an impact. I know that I was able to use my gift to heal and help people who maybe hadn't felt seen or heard before," Pope told Them.


Photo credit: Theo Wargo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Theo Wargo - Getty Images

Pope was cast in Hollywood in 30 minutes flat.

When auditions for Hollywood came around in 2019, Pope was in the midst of Tonys rehearsals. Since he was nominated for two awards, he had to perform twice that evening. “I was just trying to stay alive, really,” Pope told Vogue of that week.

But when Murphy calls, an actor must answer. So, Pope sent in an audition tape. Thirty minutes after submitting, in a twist right out of Hollywood, Pope nabbed the starring role in Murphy's highly anticipated TV show.

Photo credit: SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX
Photo credit: SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX

“I’m grateful to Ryan. Me being a Black artist, you wonder if there’s space and room for you. You’re looking at the things that are considered mainstream and you’re wondering where you fit in. Here, I am given an opportunity to work with one of the most powerful men in TV," Pope tells OprahMag.com.

He was nominated for a Grammy, too.

Unfortunately, Pope doesn't get to belt in Hollywood–but you hear his tremendous voice in the cast recording of the Ain't Too Proud, of course.

Ain't Too Proud's cast recording was nominated for a Grammy in 2019, but lost to Hadestown.

We're pretty sure he's single.

In a cover story for Them, written by Hollywood writer and director Janet Mock, Pope opened up about his dating history.

"Freshman or sophomore year of high school, I was dealing with my sexuality and what that looked like. I hadn't really explored with other guys, but I had been with girls and I remember that it was more like, I think I like both. What happens if you like both? What does that even mean?" Pope said.

"But I wasn't ready to identify with the label of gay or bisexual—I remember how they frame it as a choice in the church, and I remember thinking, why would I choose to make my life more difficult? Like, what I'm choosing is because I want to give my all and love this person or that person," he continued.

Photo credit: IMDb
Photo credit: IMDb

Pope has not delved into specifics, but from what we can glean, he's not in a public relationship. Though of course it's none of our business, but when you see his shirtless scenes in Hollywood, you'll understand why inquiring minds want to know.

You can follow him on Instagram.

Pope's Instagram, @jeremypope, is one of the most stylish corners of the internet. Trust us.

View this post on Instagram

Malibu

A post shared by POPE (@jeremypope) on Oct 6, 2019 at 4:58pm PDT

Pope doesn't post frequently, but when he does, it's worth watching.

He's been writing a “bunch of music.”

He sings. He dances. He acts. And apparently, he writes music. Pope told Vogue that he's working on his own songs. “I’ve been writing a bunch of music,” he said. “We’ll see where it fits and where it lands.”

Another fun fact: He released a video for “New Love,” the single he wrote and produced for the Netflix film Step Sisters.



Pope hopes Hollywood makes an impact.

In a conversation with OprahMag.com, Pope shares his personal goal for Hollywood's release.

Photo credit: SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX
Photo credit: SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX

"My hope with this is that we feel seen, we feel heard, that we know that there is room for us. And sometimes you only need to see or hear it once to know that there is room in space for you,” Pope says.

Stream all seven episodes of Hollywood now on Netflix.

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