Get to Know Teen Star Armani Jackson – Actor, Producer, Musician

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Armani Jackson is the rising teen star who does it all – acting, music, and producing. He’s been in the business since he was 6, landing roles in leading television series and films. Now, Jackson stars beside SNL cast member Nasim Pedrad in the highly anticipated TBS/HBO MAX series CHAD. At just 17, Jackson has created his own production company – Blue Velvet Productions. He aims to create a diverse space for teens to be taken seriously in the writing room. Continue reading our interview with Armani Jackson to see how he constantly pushes the limits of himself.

Q. What can you tell us about the new show CHAD? What is your character like?

A. Chad is about a 14-year-old boy whose main goal in life is to be popular in high school and he will stop at nothing to achieve it. In the process, he makes a fool of himself in some of the most cringeworthy scenes you will ever see. I play Joey – he is part of the friend group that Chad wants so desperately to be in. I’d say Joey is a lot nicer to Chad than most of his peers. I think Joey feels for Chad a little and tries to give him second chances despite everything he does.

Q. What was unique about filming this series? 

A. This was a unique filming experience for me. Chad was more of a loose and creative filming process. Lots of improvising from Nasim Pedrad, which made it such a fun set. We were all able to give ideas and even change our lines on each take if we thought something was funnier a different way. I was able to come up with my own lines for my character quite a bit of the time.

Q. You’ve starred in a number of popular tv-series and films – what has been your favorite on-set memory?

A. My favorite on set memory is from Netflix’s Little Boxes where I played the lead role. It was a lot of fun to film in New York and it went to the Tribeca Film Festival, which was a blast because there were a lot of premieres, Q&A’s, and press events involved. I met so many cool people on that set and we’re still great friends today.

Q. When did you begin writing your own scripts? How did horror / psychological thriller become your favorite genre to write?

A. I started writing in 2020 during the beginning of the pandemic with my long-time friend who I met on a film set and is now my writing partner. We started writing a psychological thriller script that we finished late 2020 and are getting meetings for it through our literary agent. I have always loved the horror/thriller genre since I was really young. I begged my mom to see Chainsaw Massacre at 7 years old and was always interested in the special effects and makeup for horror films. At 8 years old, I went to my first Halloween Horror Nights, which is primarily for 13 and over. I have gone every year since! When I booked Cooties, it was a dream project to see how horror films were made behind the scenes. Of course, I got work with the King of horror films, Leigh Whannell. He created SAW, Insidious and directed the Invisible Man. I’m looking forward to getting some meetings to pitch my horror concepts to hopefully Blumhouse – 
the biggest wheelhouse for horror films.
 
Q. Tell us about your production company – Blue Velvet Productions? How did you make the decision to start your own production company? 

A. We started our own production company this year called Blue Velvet Productions which has always been a family goal. My mom just produced the documentary More Than Miyagi, The Pat Moria Story, which has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, my sister Talia Jackson and I have always been throwing concepts around since we were little. We want to focus our development and stories on young diverse writers, Black creators, and true stories. I think a lot of young adults feel that the narrative about us in TV and film are not often representing us accurately. Mostly due to not having young writers our age in the writing rooms… I recently saw a lot of Twitter comments about this. 

Q. What is your favorite lyric that you have written?

A. My favorite lyrics that I’ve written [right now] is probably “I got lots of demons and they’re visiting me daily, and you just might be one of them, Light Yugami’s got one I got a ton of them.” That’s a reference to an anime called “Death Note” that was adapted into a Netflix film. Light Yugami is a character that has his own personal demon throughout the film.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish in the future? 

A. Booking a series regular on a CW show would be super cool. I just tested for two of them. I would love to have one of my horror concepts picked up by Jordan Peele or Blumhouse where I play the lead character. Another major goal for my music career would be a #1 song.

Q. Where can we look for you next? 

A. You can expect a lot of new stuff next. More music for sure! I’ve got a lot of songs in the vault that I’ll be releasing monthly and I’m continuing to make new songs. As far as acting you can watch Chad April 6th on TBS. I’m also going to be filming a movie based on a New York Times best-selling book. It’s supposed to be shooting this summer.

Follow Armani on Instagram 
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Images Provided by Shane McCauley
Styled by Dev Alexander