THE CELEBRATED JOURNEY + JUXTAPOSITION OF JACOB LATIMORE!
He’s been a Maze runner, Magician, Jennifer Hudson’s son & Will Smith’s concept of time. He’s been a Billboard charting R&B star with MILLIONS of streams & adoring fans alike since debuting at just 13 years old. Now age 26, with a lifetime of accolades under his belt, Jacob Latimore isn’t at all who you’d stereotypically expect a [once] child-star turned adult leading actor & artist to be. Instead, he’s calm, centered even, with a seeming sense of balance that we imagine very few of his similarly pathed peers could boast. Could it be because his career was responsibly guided by the caring hands of his mother/manager? Or has the culmination of his life’s experiences in the light taught him that there’s more to living than fame and notoriety. While his IMDB page is likely any actor’s dream, overflowing with a plethora of credits. Interestingly, his current character Emmett on the ever popular Showtime series ‘The Chi’ has taken his face equity to unexpected new heights. It’s likely because it’s the first time we’re seeing him this way, in a week by week episodic format v.s the usual film or [all at once] binge-able TV template. For numerous reasons, Emmett has been the character that a slew of new fans have clung to, identifying with him in unexpected ways. Now with a 6th season renewal of The Chi in the bag, we wondered what else this multi-faceted talent-titan has in store for us. Because sometimes recognizing your past is they key to curating your future, we were thrilled to sit down to chat & celebrate, the journey of Jacob Latimore!
As told to: Corey Guevarra, Editor In Chief
Photography + Creative Direction Timothy Smith
Photography Assistant Oren Siddo
Fashion Stylist Mickey Freeman at The Only Agency
Stylist Assistant Lisa Stapleton
Grooming Kenny Duncan
Addt'l Post Production 1026 Media
SO JACOB WE MET YOU WAY BACK WHEN & KNEW YOU HEAVILY AS A SINGER, TODAY THERE’S HUGE CAREER BALANCE WITH YOU AS AN ACTOR. IS THERE EVER EVER AN INTERNAL BATTLE WITHIN BETWEEN JACOB THE SINGER AND JACOB THE ACTOR? AND IF YOU HAD TO ONLY CHOOSE ONE PATH WHICH WOULD IT BE?
Ah man, that’s tough! I definitely do battle between the two. Like this week I have an audition & my dad just asked me when will I be getting back to the studio & honestly I’d love to go like right now! But I do have to prioritize, so my focus has to zone in completely on the audition this week [and hopefully I can get to my music the next]. For me as an actor, depending on the complexity of the role, I usually like to isolate myself from everything! With music however, I just get to be myself. I can sing whatever I want to sing, I get to be me the most! I think ultimately, if I HAD to choose, I would choose music for those very reasons. At the same time though, film also has my heart, it’s a whole different craft that honestly I never thought I’d fall THIS much in love with!
WHAT HAS THIS ENTIRE JOURNEY BEEN LIKE FOR YOU JACOB? WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER THAT BEING AN ENTERTAINER IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO? WHAT’S IT BEEN LIKE LITERALLY GROWING UP IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA?
Honestly growing up, what I remember in my household were limousines picking up my dad and my uncles when they had their deal with RCA. I would see them performing on morning news shows and rehearsing around the house and I was always just curious about what they were doing. Eventually I just started singing around the house as well, trying to get on stage with them whenever I could, messing up their rehearsals attempting to sing along lol! Music was just in my family! My mom also worked at Sony for some years, so I was equally exposed to both the business and artist aspects. When we moved to Atlanta was when I really got to see a bigger picture of where the industry was going, it wasn’t just about doing 1 thing, the wave was getting your hands into everything entertainment! Back then that was still new frontier though, people still had a hard time accepting multi-genred entertainers. I think people like Jamie Foxx, Whitney Houston, Tupac, Brandy, they really started to break those barriers down, they showed the world that they were more than just 1 thing, they can sing, act, write, all of the above.
As far as what it’s felt like growing up in the public eye; honestly at this point it feels normal. I can say that it’s changed a bit recently playing Emmett. People are so invested in his character, the love I get for him is so big. I do try to shake myself up often though, I never want to get too comfortable, it’ll always be important to me to realize how grateful I am for everything.
JACOB, YOU’VE BEEN MAKING EVERYONE PROUD FOR OVER A DECADE EVERY TIME YOU POP UP ON OUR SCREENS OR IN OUR PLAYLISTS. IS THERE EVER A PART OF YOU DOING IT FOR LEGACY, TO INSPIRE OTHERS? DO YOU FEEL ANY PRESSURE TO KEEP EVERYONE PROUD?
I think naturally what happens especially when you’re constantly going, growing, building, It’s like “I can’t stop here, I should take that extra step, I should take this to the max”. As I get older I do start to think about generational wealth though, I’ve had thoughts about building for my future children and their future children! As far as being an inspiration, If I happen to be inspiring at all or seen as a role model, I gotta say it’s not necessarily intentional lol, I’m just here going after my dreams like everyone else truthfully. I will say I am a people’s person in general though, I genuinely love talking to people, meeting the people who show the love and support, they’re so important! I was never pressured to make anyone in particular proud, I think as long as I keep the personal goal of making myself proud, everything else will fall into place!
HAS THERE EVER BEEN A TIME IN THE JOURNEY WHEN YOU WANTED TO WALK AWAY FROM IT ALL?
Yes!! -I think everybody has those moments in life though! I heard Nipsey Hussle say something about that once, something along the lines of the fact that as an artist he went through every emotion about his career. And it’s true, you’re gonna go through every emotion. You may break down one day with frustration, want to quit it all the next, but I think the key literally is to just KEEP going. Life is going to have those moments, but they don’t last, so when they show up it’s like why stop here? Let’s keeeeep going!
ZENDAYA WHO WAS ONCE BUILDING HER OWN MUSIC CAREER, WAS RECENTLY QUOTED SAYING THAT SHE SORT OF PREFERS BEING AN ACTOR BECAUSE ‘THERE’S A LEVEL OF ANONYMITY SHE GETS TO HAVE THAT IN OTHER FORMS OF ART (SINGING FOR EXAMPLE) “ITS ALL YOU ALL THE TIME”. AS YOU SO EFFORTLESS NAVIGATE BOTH, DO WE EVER GET TO SEE THE “REAL” JACOB? & WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT HIM? IS HE FUNNY, IS HE QUIET, DOES HE HAVE ANY DAILY ROUTINES? CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE REAL JACOB LATIMORE FOR US?
Ha! Well….TODAY, Jacob is like…[pauses] He’s like an old man [a little bit] LOL. First thing I do is make up my bed, brush my teeth, vacuum my carpets, go to the gym. Generally I’ll have jazz music playing on the way to the gym! -I’m not Emmett, there’s no trap music lol. Over all, I’m goofy, I’m funny, I’m a homebody. Lately I’ve definitely been on some ‘old man’ energy & that’s really Jacob at this point. I have my routines, I’ll rehearse my lines, watch movies, [work on some music] but if I can help it, there’s no place like home!
NO SECRET THAT SELF CARE IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF EVERYTHING TODAY. WE HAVE GOLD MEDALISTS LIKE SIMONE BILES CANCELLING WHAT OTHERS VIEW AS ONCE IN A LIFETIME APPEARANCES IN THE NAME OF SELF-CARE AND SELF-PRESERVATION. HOW DO YOU UNPLUG FROM IT ALL JACOB, HOW DO YOU NURTURE YOUR MENTAL WELL-BEING IN THIS INDUSTRY, WHAT IS SELF-CARE LIKE FOR JACOB?
So I definitely have a massage chair in my room lol! That & me running up my amazon bill ordering candles constantly, those are for sure a part of my self care vibe. Some days I’ll do a grooming day you know, get a haircut, then go get the full spa grooming package, keep my nails, hands, feet clean, throw in the hot towel treatment and extra massage. Honestly I grew up that way, I got that from both of my parents, they’re just very clean, neat people so keeping myself well groomed has always been a part of my identity. Once I bought my house, I was really able to carve out my own personal self-care at home vibe & really make it into the most comfortable space. I play instrumental spa music around the house & it sets this super peaceful tone. So when I’m not on the road, I am definitely in the house! I’ve also been doing my best to read a little every day, people have been gifting me books lately so that’s been a welcomed additional to my routines!
SO YOU JUST CELEBRATED YOUR 26TH BIRTHDAY (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! WE OFC LOVE THAT NUMBER BTW ;) YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH IN YOUR LIFETIME ALREADY, WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO BE SAY 26 YEARS FROM NOW?
Impressive real estate portfolio! -& I mean IMPRESSIVE!! Ha! …Definitely a lot more films & tv shows under my belt. I also want to eventually start my own label & sign my own artists! Presently it would be too much for me to groom artists now, but one day I definitely wanna find an artist, producer & writer that I believe in & help elevate their careers. I see myself intertwining my talent & elevating into mogul status by then, similar to like Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Diddy, Mark Wahlberg & The Rock. I used to only look at the musical paths of Chris Brown & like Usher, where my focus was solely about the artistry. Now I’m paying attention to like Nick Cannon, where you see him as a businessman and him as the talent working hand in hand. That’s really the goal, just conquering all the aspects of entertainment (as a creator, a producer, owning the production company, the products etc.,) and just capitalizing on everything! After you’ve done the films and become the actor you want to be & you’ve done the music & became the singer you want to be, there’s a Damon Dash quote I like follow up with, “you gotta create a new dream”!
OK SO… THE CHI HAS BEEN HUGE FOR YOU, PEOPLE GETTING TO SEE YOU IN THIS EXTREMELY RELATABLE STORYLINE WEEK AFTER WEEK. ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS ABOUT TV TODAY IS THAT WITH STREAMING THERE’S ALWAYS NEW PEOPLE DISCOVERING SHOWS THAT ARE SEASONS IN AS IF THEY’RE BRAND NEW. FOR ANY WOULD-BE NEW COMERS TO THE CHI, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE DESCRIBE EMMETT BOTH OUTWARDLY AS A NEW VIEWER AND INTERNALLY AS JACOB PORTRAYING HIM?
Yeah I think that Emmett is a character that like…everybody knows an “Emmett”…the young guy, in love with women, super into his sneakers & things & then you add on the baby mama drama & it’s the icing on the cake! I’m always hearing ‘man I just went through the same thing with my baby mama’ from our viewers!! So people just identify with Emmett. I think that’s why his story has been able to last so long & take so many different avenues. Like now he’s learning to co-parent with his child’s mom, something he was struggling with for so long, so we’re getting to see him evolve. It’s also a learning experience for me because I don’t have any kids in real life, so I get to put half myself into it, but also half of myself experiencing it with him for the first time. It’s been a lot of fun, I think I realized how crazy the impact actually was when people started calling me Emmett when they saw me in public! I’m sort of fascinated by it really, because I’ve done so many projects you know like Detroit, Collateral Beauty, Maze Runner [& Maze Runner was HUGE] but there wasn’t a connection quite like this just yet. I’m realizing it wasn’t until I did something that really represented our CULTURE that this sort of connection showed up!! Now I realize the importance of me as a black actor, that even though I’m always going to go for and play a ton of diverse characters, as a black actor, now I fully grasp the magnitude of making sure I continue to also keep roles that really, authentically represent US! Black film & TV staples like Love Jones, Martin, Everybody Hates Chris, My Wife & Kids, you know those projects that are now black classics that portrayed our situations. I have other black actor friends also grasping the importance of this, especially with what we’re all seeing going on in the world today. We have to continue to proudly stand up in those black stories because sometimes, people just want to see a regular kid named Emmett, with baby mama drama, doing his sneaker hustle because they know him too!
BY THE TIME THIS IS PUBLISHED WE’LL BE MOMENTS AWAY FROM THE CHI’S SEASON FINALE, WHAT IF ANYTHING CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT?
The season finale/episode 10 is actually my favorite! The Valentine’s Day episode was my favorite so far, but I think this one could let’s say redirect the show back a little more grit maybe? The situation that Emmett is gonna be placed in, I think it’s gonna cause him to be very torn between 2 very different lives, all while trying to protect his sanity & who is he as a character. So…. we’ll see what that is…. SOON ;)
SHOULD WE BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR ANY OTHER NEW MUSIC OR FILM/TV PROJECTS FROM YOU JACOB?
Yes! Next year ‘House Party’ is coming out, I’m super exited about that! I hope we get a theater release because honestly, it’s a legacy title! The nostalgia of the name & the brand alone, it’s a culture classic, it deserves to be in theaters!
Also yes to new music!! I’m very likely going to release some new music probably within the next few WEEKS! ;)
FINALLY OUR STAPLE QUESTION
FOR US, LUXURY IS A STATE OF MIND, IT’S THINKING WITH ABUNDANCE CONSCIOUSNESS TO MANIFEST THE BEST VERSIONS OF OUR LIVES! SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF LUXURY JACOB?
I think I would define it as comfort. Luxury for me is the perfect aroma therapy, it’s the fabric, the feeling of the clothes I’m wearing [brand unimportant]. Luxury doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be that “it” feeling. When I lay down on my bed it just has to feel like “it”. I don’t necessarily need 10000 thread count sheets, it just has to have that “it” factor. Anything that I love, that I pour my heart into, that’s also luxury for me. Whatever is true to you, that’s luxury.