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Jharrel Jerome Hopes There's A Deeper Conversation About Capitalism After Watching 'I’m A Virgo'

I’m a Virgo is set to be released on Prime Video on June 23.

The film created by Boots Riley is a coming-of-age story about Cootie, a 13-foot-tall teen who longs to escape and experience the beauty and contradictions of the real world. While living in Oakland, California, he cultivates friendships, finds love, and navigates various situations while finding his idol, The Hero.

The Quintessential Gentleman recently interviewed Jharrel Jerome, the actor who plays Cootie in the upcoming series. During the conversation, Jerome said there is a specific depth that he would like for the audience to know about his character.

“I think Cootie just has an incredible way of talking about capitalism. And I think often when you see a Black story or Black project, you’ll see the effects of capitalism but not talk about the capitalism: It might be about drugs, it might be about crime, it might be about prison time," Jerome said. "That falls under the umbrella of the system that we’re in, so Boots just attacks the source. After watching the show, hopefully, a conversation about the system could be brought up more in ways that are seen in different perspectives. I think when we talk about capitalism, it’s just too political. But I think Boots finds a way to make it fun and make it exciting…”

Jerome said he learned quite a great deal about capitalism from the series. He said by episode seven, he was made very aware that the wage system has made many folks feel like they are slaves.

“It's about the labor force, and it's about the wages and how the system has easily been able to make us all kind of feel like we're slaves and feel like we're just part of this profit system. And we give and we take and we give and we take, and there's really no way of escalating in the system."

Ironically, in the series, Cootie is sheltered from the outside world, which one would think is a bad experience. But Cootie's experience in the house is that he is constantly loved by his parents, ensuring that he is protected from the outside world. Still, Jerome said by doing this the downside was that he couldn’t figure things out when things got drastic.

“It's hard to be a Black man outside in general, let alone a 13-foot-tall Black man. And so the idea of protecting him came from a very good place. But the downside is not allowing him to figure things out on his own and grow on his own. And so you'll see their dynamic shift a bit and Cootie feels betrayed by them hurt."

Check out the full interview below.


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