Jason Dirden: The Man Behind the Characters

For the past few years, Jason Dirden has graced our TV screens with his great acting in shows such as OWN’s Greenleaf and most recently BET’s hit series American Soul. He has certainly gained fame by playing villainous characters, but learn more about the man who said “yes” to some iconic roles.

Who is Jason Dirden?

I am a lover of humanity. I am a lover of creativity. I am a believer that my purpose should affect the progression of my culture and society in a positive way. I am a Morehouse Man who has lived and/or worked on every coast of this country, but at my core, I’m a walking UGK lyric.“Now what y’all know about them Texas Boys!” Houston, Texas born and bred.

How important is it to play memorable characters in shows that have a strong storyline?

It’s more important for me to tell memorable stories. Stories that will induce a visceral experience for the audience and hopefully inspire them in some way. Of course, you want to be memorable, but you have very little control over whether the audience will receive your work in that way. I push myself to work from the center of truth. Whether you’re the hero or the villain, as an artist the more truth you bring to your work, the more memorable you’ll be.

How do you feel like our community has been impacted by shining light on taboo topics as shown in Greenleaf or American Soul? I think both American Soul and Greenleaf do an incredible job in crafting compelling stories while lacing them with culturally taboo topics. From mental illness to homosexuality to pulpit practices that we all know about, but few choose to speak on. We are stubborn people, so most of us either love it or hate, but I really do think we are inspiring conversation and self-reflection.

What type of character would you love to play?

The lead in a romantic comedy with a beautiful love interest, duh. Oh, and a character who has a mental illness. Total opposite ends of the spectrum, I know… but that’s the kind of artist I am. I like to surprise the audience as well as myself with what I’m capable of bringing to life.

What’s next for you?

Because of all the love we were shown by critics and viewers, I’ll be gearing up to film season two of American Soul soon! I have a few independent projects in the works as well.

Why are you a Quintessential Gentleman?

I was raised by a mother with class and a heart of gold and a father with charm and wit… I had no choice.