Emmy nominee Mamoudou Athie on getting to be openhearted in ‘Oh Jerome, No’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“I just really wasn’t expecting anything at all,” reveals Mamoudou Athie in his exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above) about being nominated for Best Short Form Actor at the Emmys, speaking from London as he prepares to resume filming on “Jurassic World: Dominion.” “One of the first messages that I read was one of my best friends Yahya Abdul-Mateen, who also got nominated this year, which is really, really exciting, so, yeah, it was cool to share that moment with him,” continues Athie with reference to the breakout “Watchmen” star up for Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actor.

Athie is nominated for starring as Jerome Nolte in “Oh Jerome, No,” a romantic comedy on which he also served as an executive producer. Adapted from Ray-Ban’s 2016 short film of the same name that featured Athie in the same role, the eight-part series originally aired last year as segments within the first season of the “Cake” anthology on FXX, but is now available to stream on its own through Hulu in the United States. “The thing that attracted me to the show was really the character,” explains Athie. He elaborates, “A lot of representations of Black masculinity just felt very confined in these tired, tired boxes and I want to have this opportunity to show this other side of me, because that exists in the world. I want to feel like I can be openhearted and hypersensitive and not have anything to do with this macro-trauma. That’s been my focus since I graduated — really just telling human stories.”

The series’ fifth episode will be available for Emmy voters to consider on their screening platform beginning August 14. “There was a history there and there’s a lot of heart and it just meant a lot to us,” justifies Athie on the selection, adding that this episode titled “Oh Jero” is a departure in that it features Jerome “before he was back on his insane dating spree.”

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