In August, HBO debuted Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country and the world hasn’t been the same since. The series based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff combines sci-fi, horror, social injustice, racial identity and family drama to serve up epicness that TV has never seen before — and Jurnee Smollett is at the front of it all.
In Lovecraft Country, we are introduced to Smollett’s Letitia and from the jump, she is a woman not to be messed with as she enters a world of magic, monsters and interdimensional travel all set in the very problematic Jim Crow America. If its sounds wild and bonkers — it is. However, throughout all the craziness, Smollett along with her co-stars navigate the story with an overwhelming amount of groundedness that gives the audience an emotional connect which makes the series one of the best of the year — and possibly of all time.
From The Great Debaters to Friday Night Lights to the canceled-to-soon Underground, Smollett has been part of some iconic and critically acclaimed projects. She stopped by Deadline’s New Hollywood Podcast to talk about her journey (yes, she has heard that joke before) through the good and bad of Hollywood. We also discussed the brilliance of Lovecraft Country, the emotional and physical demands of her role, the season finale (which airs October 18) and the possiblity of a season 2. Listen to the episode below.