Jimmy Gary Jr.
Jimmy Gary, Jr. grew up in Okeechobee, FL where he played high school football until his graduation in 1991. He was a three sport athlete, playing football, basketball and running track. During his senior year, he earned several accolades, including "Parade All-American", "Blue-Chip All American, "Max Infinger All-American", and "Nationwide Insurance Player of the Year" among others. Currently on TV, Gary plays CO Rikerson on the Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black"; and Justin on Hulu's "The Path".
Leading with Lee Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Jimmy!
1.Have you always had the passion to become an actor?
I found out I wanted to be an actor after doing a community play. I had to be around six or seven years old.
2. Tell us how you landed the role as CO Rikerson on the Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black.”
I auditioned for the role and eventually landed the part!
3. You’ve appeared and starred in so many roles on shows such as NBC's Law and Order, ABC's Ugly Betty and USA's White Collar just to name a few. Which character did you like to play the most? And why?
I think the Nurse Jackie role because of the subject matter. In the story line my character suffered from CTE. It helped bring more attention to the subject.
4. Who would you like to work with in the industry?
I would like to work with Jordan Peele because I love his creative mind and his way of telling stories.
5. Let’s switch gears to behind the scenes. When you are not in front of the camera or on stage, you enjoy motivational speaking. Can you tell us more about that?
Sure. When I'm not acting I am looking for motivational speaking opportunities. I speak to all, businesses, schools, sports teams etc. I really enjoy speaking to the youth because once they get it they take off. Its not so much about motivation with them. It's about sharing positive ideas that will help them find there passion and act on it. Its never to early to start.
6. What projects are you working on now?
I finished a Science fiction film titled By Dawn you can check it out on my IMDb page but right now I'm looking for my next role.
7. You have accomplished so much. Do you have a special someone in your life that you share it with?
I have my lovely wife to share the red carpet with. We both attended WVU but we never connected until 21 years later. We knew each other because I'm a member of Omega Psi Phi and she is a member of Zeta Phi Beta on a predominately white campus. All the Greeks knew of each other.
8. What does success mean to you?
Doing what you love and making really good money. You can do what you love all day but if your not getting paid so you can see the value in what you are doing you're going to eventually lose passion for it.
9. What advice can you give to aspiring actors who would like to make it in the film and movie industry?
You create your own destiny. Let the roadblocks encourage you to dig deeper and always prepare yourself for what you and want and go get it.
Stay Connected with Jimmy!
Instagram at @jimmygaryjr
Twitter at @jimmygaryjr
FB page @JGaryJr.
Interview by: Lee Whetstone, Founder and Editor-in-Chief