William Jackson Harper

MoviesVanity Fair

How William Jackson Harper Brought Hope to The Underground Railroad

For a moment on the set of The Underground Railroad, Barry Jenkins doubted his decision to cast William Jackson Harper. They had reached the most intimate scene of the limited series, in which Thuso Mbedu’s Cora and Harper’s Royal, the free man who’s just rescued her from captivity, declare their love for one another. In the stunning sequence set to “Clair de lune,” the pair were to reveal their most naked selves. But first came time for Harper to take off his shirt. “I had no idea William was so jacked!” Jenkins says of his immediate reaction. (No, he hadn’t seen The Good Place.) “I was worried. I had to keep reminding him, ‘Please breathe. You’re almost too jacked. You’re a free man!’”
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William Jackson Harper Reacts To Petitions For Him To Play Superman

In a recent interview with, Jimmy Kimmel Live! William Jackson Harper reacted to fan petitions for the actor to star as DC’s first black Man of Steel on the big screen. Just Jared Report. William said that, “It definitely blindsided me.” When talking about the fan petition. Jimmy Kimmel joked...

William Jackson Harper interview: ‘The Underground Railroad’

“Royal is very much a guy who lives by his own code,” describes William Jackson Harper in regard to his character on Barry Jenkins‘ 10-episode limited series “The Underground Railroad,” which is based on Colson Whitehead‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. In our exclusive video interview (watch above), Harper delineates his character’s outlook, discusses Royal’s relationship with Cora (Thuso Mbedu) and teases his upcoming starring role on HBO’s romantic comedy anthology series “Love Life.”

William Jackson Harper Addresses Superman Fan Casting

William Jackson Harper is pleasantly surprised by fans who want to see him play Superman. Warner Bros. set outgoing Black Panther comics writer and award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates to write a new Superman movie featuring a Black actor as Clark Kent. Many fans first thought of Michael B. Jordan for the role, but the Black Panther actor seems uninterested. Now fans are casting a wider net, and one star whose name has come up is Harper's, known for playing the bespectacled Chidi Anagonye in The Good Place. Harper appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to discuss his latest project, Amazon Prime Video's The Underground Railroad and touched on this online fan casting.

William Jackson Harper Doesn’t Mind His ‘Dope’ Superman Fan-Casting, But Sees A Drawback To The Role

While stopping by Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night to promote his new show The Underground Railroad, William Jackson Harper opened up about what it was like to go viral when Twitter fan-casted him as Superman in the upcoming film from Ta-Nehisi Coates and J.J. Abrams. After reports confirmed that the film would feature a Black Superman, Harper’s name quickly hopped to the top of the list on social media (and he is no stranger to being jacked), and Kimmel couldn’t hide his jealously.

The Good Place Star William Jackson Harper Reacts to Superman Fan Casting

Socially awkward straightedge fraud. In case you've been living under a rock the last couple of months, WarnerMedia recently dropped a bombshell concerning the future of the Man of Steel and now, current plans call for a DC film reboot that would feature a black version of Clark Kent/Superman. The said project will be produced by Star Wars director J.J. Abrams and according to reports, the studio is still looking for a director to helm the film.
New York City, NYNew York Post

William Jackson Harper is having a moment (or three)

William Jackson Harper has scored an industry hat trick. The veteran stage and screen actor co-stars in Oscar winner Barry Jenkins’ Amazon series “The Underground Railroad” and headlines Season 2 of “Love Life” (HBO Max), which just wrapped shooting on its first episode in New York City. He also takes...

William Jackson Harper Finds a New Confidence as Royal on 'The Underground Railroad' (Exclusive)

In Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed TV adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Underground Railroad, William Jackson Harper plays Royal, a freeborn man who helps a runaway slave named Cora Randall (Thuso Mbedu) as she goes on a harrowing journey through the antebellum South to find freedom by way of an underground network of trains, tracks and tunnels.
TV SeriesTheWrap

‘Underground Railroad': William Jackson Harper on Royal and Cora’s ‘Uneasy Pairing’ and Valentine Farm’s Fate

(Warning: This post contains spoilers through Episode 9 of “The Underground Railroad.”) “The Good Place” alum William Jackson Harper takes on a very different role that may surprise his fans with Barry Jenkins’ “The Underground Railroad” limited series, which launched Friday on Amazon Prime Video. The series as a whole is obviously darker than the Mike Schur comedy based on its subject matter alone, but Harper’s character — that of free Black man and Underground Railroad conductor, Royal — is one that is somehow more at ease and calmer than the neurotic philosophy professor Chidi Anagonye he played on “The Good Place.”
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"I want people to be angry": William Jackson Harper on viewers' takeaway from "Underground Railroad"

William Jackson Harper in "Underground Railroad" (Atsushi Nishijima/Amazon) When I was a kid, they would play the TV adaptation of Alex Haley's "Roots" every year around February as some sort of Black History Month initiative, for us inner city kids in Baltimore. And many of us young fidgety viewers, including myself never really took a liking to the watered-down version of slavery –– we had nothing against the art, we just didn't like seeing ourselves or people who look like us captured in chains and constantly beaten. The film never ended with us having deep conversations about the impact of slavery, just us wild kids joking around about LeVar Burton's character Kunta Kinte, the way he had his foot chopped off, and how we would have fought our way out of that impossible situation.
TV & VideosIn Style

William Jackson Harper Is in a Brand New Good Place

If you believe in divine intervention, then divine intervention is, in part, what we have to thank for bringing William Jackson Harper to our TV screens. Harper's origin story, well-documented by now, goes like this: He was on the verge of quitting acting altogether just before he auditioned for — and booked — his role as Chidi Anagonye on The Good Place, and became the subject of critical adoration and fan thirst tweets, seemingly overnight. But as it often goes, what looks like instant success or an act of fate belies years of fortitude and dedicated work — in Harper's case, guest spots on TV series like Law & Order and 30 Rock (staples for any working actor in New York City), and a stage career both on and Off Broadway. While the work may have been enough to get him by, he remembers hitting a phase of feeling stuck and a little uninspired, on top of being "freaked out about rent every month."