interview JANA LETONJA

Actor Sylvester Powell will be seen reprising his starring role on the critically acclaimed CW drama series ‘All American: Homecoming’, which is premiering its third season today (8th July). His athleticism has also led him to starring in global advertising campaigns for ASICS and Nike, where he was seen in Nike’s first Paris/Michael Jordan collaboration store where he appeared in the advertising campaign for the 20th anniversary of ‘Space Jam’.

Sylvester, we’ll be seeing you reprising your role in the third season of CW’s ‘All American: Homecoming’. What can the fans expect from the upcoming season?

This season you can expect the characters to come together and have each other’s backs even more than in the previous season. It’s filled with love and the bonding of a family. 

What is the most exciting storyline for your character, the fan favorite J.R., this season?

There’s quite a few story lines that I enjoyed and am excited for everyone to see, one being the road to J.R.’s recovery. However, the one I’m most excited for I unfortunately can’t share because it will spoil the season, but let’s just say relationships. 

The series has received rave reviews since its debut back in 2022. What do you love the most about working on this drama?

Working on this project, I’ve been blessed to meet and work with a lot of  amazingly talented people and bringing the character J.R. to life has been an absolute pleasure. 

The series is set against the backdrop of HBCU experience at Bringston University, where Black excellence is a way of life. What is your personal view on this topic?

I love this topic. I love that we are able to showcase Black excellence and get our stories out there to be seen and heard, bringing positive awareness to it all. I love that anyone regardless of gender, color or ethnicity can find something to relate to on our show. The creators and writers did an amazing job executing that and capturing Black excellence. 

Growing up in a household filled with music and arts, how has your love for acting begin?

My love for acting began because my mom and step dad constantly put me in things centered around acting. From acting classes to plays, to photoshoots, they really nurtured that seed within me.

What kind of roles do you find the most challenging creatively?

I have an amazing acting coach, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, that makes sure I give my all to each role. Every character is different, but I would say it’s not necessarily the role that’s challenging but the moments the character experiences. 

Besides acting, you’ve also done some modeling, most notably for Nike’s first Paris/Michael Jordan collab store, appearing in the campaign for the 20th anniversary of ‘Space Jam’. What did this campaign mean to you, and how proud are you still today to have been a part of it?

Working on this project came at a time when I really needed hope in my career, so I will always cherish it. I also love the movie ‘Space Jam’. Being from Chicago, I’m a fan of Micheal Jordan and obviously Sylvester The Cat is the greatest. 

What role does fashion play in your everyday life today?

Fashion plays a huge part in my life. If it was up to me, I would wear track and jogging suites every day, but my stylist, Tiffany Hasbourne, doesn’t allow that. She creates all of my looks and encourages me to be more open minded. 

Tell us more about your hobbies and activities you love to indulge in when you’re not filming.

I’ve really fell in love with working out. I have a great trainer, Kalani ‘JustTrain’ Jones, and I’m in the gym 5 days a week with him, plus sometimes on Saturdays. He’s helped me gain about 20 pounds in between season 2 and 3, but for season 3 I was told I got too big. We had to drop 15 of those pounds, but we still managed to keep muscle and now that we are done filming, we got the weight back up.

What can you share with us about your other upcoming projects?

All of them will be major and I look forward to them. 

photographer KEVIN SCANLON