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John Clarence Stewart Discusses 'P-Valley', Vulnerability Among Black Men

John Clarence Stewart is no stranger to entertainment nor is he a stranger to The Quintessential Gentleman platform. You may recall a few years back, we discussed Embracing The Creative Spirit and Code Switching when he played the role of Simon on NBC's Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.

Over the past few months Stewart made his debut and would unexpectedly leave a lasting impact with his role on the hit Starz drama P-Valley. During his run as Big Teak, the special friend of Lil Murda, we got the chance to experience the deep connection between those men as well as experience the mental health challenges that would eventually lead Teak to take his own life.

Stewart's five episode arc brought out many emotions but also left many "what if" questions, as they related to the development of his character while taking a deeper look at issues in our own community.

During our interview, we had the chance to chat with the multi-hyphenated entertainer about why he decided to take the role of Big Teak in P-Valley.

"Big Teak is someone that resonates with me on a variety of levels but also reminds me of a lot of men that I grew up with. It's a way for me to honor them and shed a light on a specific Black man. His brokenness and his trauma, fighting for joy inside of pain, and even in his rage, they see the side of themselves that we don't normally see. I think it's really important storytelling. As we all know, storytelling is essential to the human experience."

Most people know but for those who are unfamiliar, John is an artist in more ways than one. He recently headlined a one-night-only musical evening in New York. He chatted with us about his creative journey and juggling between his many forms of artistry.

"To be honest with you, music has been a part of my life for a long time. I used to sing in the shower as a kid. I took piano lessons when I was a kid. I played the trumpet for a while as a kid. I was doing football and playing the trumpet. I figured that playing trumpet wasn't masculine enough so I gave it up. It was one of those sacrifices you think you need to make or it will alter your manhood. Music has always been a thing in me even with the work that I do as an actor, so much of it is influenced by music. Recently, I did a show in New York City and that was really profoundly beautiful to me as an artist. It was the first time that I got to completely dictate and curate what the artistic experience is going to be. What it wound up being, for me was a series of letters and I chose songs that resonated with me personally."

Check out the full interview below.

Photo Credit: Guyer Joffrey


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