“I really feel like I’m in a season of alignment right now,” he reflects. “And kind of recharging, the calm before the storm.”
While much of the entertainment industry was suspended due to the pandemic, Jeremy Pope had a banner year. He was a breakout star of Hollywood, Ryan Murphy’s Netflix miniseries, which reimagined a more inclusive history of Tinseltown. In it, he portrayed Archie Coleman, a screenwriter dating Rock Hudson (played by Jake Picking).
Art has a funny way of imitating life. While his character received an Oscar in the series, which challenged Hollywood’s racism and homophobia, Pope garnered an Emmy nomination for the role. He enjoyed the virtual ceremony with his family, an experience that was “better” than in-person because they were able to watch together while enjoying his grandmother’s “Southern food ready for us to eat” during a milestone career moment.
“It’s awkward, you know, but it’s beautiful,” he says of having such success in a surreal, distanced year. “That nomination or any nomination is just a reminder that you’re in the right place, and to kind of keep moving forward.”
Today, the 28-year-old is receiving fans and acclaim for roles he once believed would never exist. When he first arrived in New York City as a green actor a decade ago, Pope feared that being an out gay actor, who is also Black, would inhibit his career.