'American Soul': Christopher Jefferson learned "how to make drugs and take it" via YouTube for the most heartbreaking scene this season
Alongside the story of Don Cornelius, who is the "soul" of it all, we meet new characters who form the heart of the show
Soulful Don Cornelius' life is chronicled in BET's 'American Soul,' and with heavy involvement from his own son, Tony, you know the show gets the biographical series fairly accurate, starting right from his imploding family relationships, choosing 'Soul Train' over family and his eventual suicide in 2012.
Along the story of Don Cornelius, who is the "soul" of it all, we meet new characters who form the heart of the show. One particular character is JT, played by Christopher Jefferson. The last few episodes have fated his path towards a dark road, as he continues to move further away from the Clarke siblings, Kendall, his best friend, and Simone, his girlfriend.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) caught up with Jefferson for an exclusive interview to talk about JT's struggles, his future, and potential for season 2. "JT is definitely a guy who has a lot of things going on," the 23-year-old actor said, adding the only similarity he shares with the character is his "reserved" nature. However, both Jefferson and JT are heavily invested in music, and with a few episodes to go before the season wraps up, Jefferson has plans to drop his music soon.
Talking about JT, Jefferson warns that it is only going to get "complicated," as we head towards the finale. However, the most challenging part about playing JT has already sailed through in episode 5, where JT gave drugs to his mother.
Etched in our minds, the episode titled 'Fault Lines,' where JT was compelled to inject his mother with drugs since she seriously battles drug addiction, was the most difficult moment to film for Jefferson. The viewers could easily sense how humiliated JT was to drug his own mother in front of his girlfriend, because there was no way he could let his mother overdose on drugs and the only way to calm her was to give a controlled shot of it and JT had to do it for her sake.
The heart-piercing scene required a lot of effort from Jefferson, who not only had to emotionally prepare for such a heavy moment but also looked up "how to make drugs and take it" on YouTube. "I had to look up on YouTube, how to actually make the drug and take it. So, I had to walk through the process," he shared, adding "I had to put myself in a really depressed emotional state for that. It was pretty difficult."
So, how did Jefferson get out of that baffling emotional state of trauma? "I definitely go home and see my family," he said when asked about his Zen place. Another striking feature of 'American Soul,' that has fans raving, is the set up that teleports the fans back to the 70s. "When you walk inside, there's about four stages and big buildings. Each set is based on the 70s and the production is really good about making everything look like the 70s," Jefferson explained.
Jefferson, who is a Texas native, born in the year 1995, grew up hearing about 'Soul Train,' which ran from 1971 to 2006. "I kind of grew up knowing about it. I spent three days just watching 'Soul Train,' days before we started filming," the 'Fifth Ward' star shared. In the pilot episode, JT appeared alongside Kelly Rowland's character, Gladys Knight, and described the experience as "definitely amazing." Jefferson's biggest takeaway from the show and Cornelius' life has been that "you can make anything happen," and his perspective on life has changed after learning about Cornelius' personal story.
So, we asked, will season 2 happen? Jefferson hasn't heard any news about it yet, but there are chances that JT's and other characters' story may be explored. We hope so. We know how Don Cornelius's life ends, so we yearn for the silver lining in this biographical drama and JT is our hope.