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After their Emmy win last year for The Handmaid’s Tale, fans are itching to see what Hulu will put out next. They may have found their newest hit in Paul Reiser’s coming-of-age series, There’s … Johnny.
The show, set in 1972, follows 19-year-old Nebraska native Andy, who leaves home for California and lands himself a job working at The Tonight Show.
There’s … Johnny was initially set to air on Seeso, NBCUniversal’s comedy streaming service; but in August, about a week before the show was set to air, Deadline announced that the platform would be shutting down. The news meant There’s … Johnny had to find a new home. That’s when Hulu stepped up to the plate.
Read on to learn more about actor Camrus Johnson, who plays Rasheed on There’s … Johnny.
1. Oprah Winfrey Has Said the World Needs More People Like Him… Twice
Camrus is one of a presumably small group of people who can say that the first celebrity they met was Oprah Winfrey. He met Oprah as part of her reality TV series, Lovetown USA.
Speaking about the experience in an exclusive interview with Heavy, Camrus dished, “I was 17. As the show’s high school ambassador, I got the youngins involved in events that would bring the community together… I even got to give one of my classmates who lost his arm a new arm through the show. During the last episode, at the ‘LOVEBALL’, Oprah came back to the town and I was the first to meet her. She went on stage in front of my town (and my dad) and said, ‘The world needs more people like Camrus.’”
The actor describes meeting Oprah as a dream. He jokes, “I wore this really bad suit that I hoped she’d like. She was so kind and as you can imagine she sort of just floated across the room. Everyone felt it when she walked in. It’s interesting having her as the first celebrity that I ever met because I was completely starstruck meeting her and have never really been since, even working with actors that I adore. It’s hard to be starstruck by anybody after meeting Oprah Winfrey.”
2. He Plays Rasheed Miller in ‘There’s…Johnny!’
Camrus plays Rasheed in There’s…Johnny!, a comedian with big dreams of making it big.
Asked by Heavy what attracted him to the role, he said, “He’s not like any other character I’ve played before. Sure he’s funny, sure he’s outspoken, but Rasheed is an onion. Underneath the show he feels the constant need to put on; he has so many secrets because he’s two fleshed out and complete people in one body. He’s not strong because he’s unafraid. He’s strong because he knows how to hide his fears.”
What’s next for the rising star? Camrus hopes to focus on TV acting for now, but eventually wants to transition into content creation and film. “That’s the hope. I love movies so much, and I both want to be in them and to create them.”
3. He’s Appeared in Shows Like ‘The OA’, ‘Star’, ‘the Breaks’, ‘Billions’, & ‘Luke Cage’
2016 was a breakout year for Johnson, who nabbed roles in a number of critically-acclaimed shows, like Luke Cage, The Cobblestone Corridor, Billions, and Netflix’s The OA, among others. He also booked a lead in the Off-Broadway immersive show Pip’s Island, and wrapped 3 indie films.
Camrus will play Brett in Barry Levinson’s new TV movie Happy Valley, currently in post-production.
The kinds of projects he is attracted to extend far and wide. “Darker coming of age stories, thrillers, sci-fi pieces– those are the projects that really interest me… You probably weren’t expecting that answer because I play a lot of comedic roles. Black Mirror, Get Out, Breaking Bad— that’s what I gravitate to. I also like obvious specificity and stylization in filmmaking, like in Dear White People, Mr. Robot, or any Wes Anderson film.”
4. He Was in ROTC for Two Years and Was Planning on Joining the Military
Before stumbling into the world of acting, Camrus was planning on following in his brother and father’s footsteps by joining the military. He was in ROTC for two years.
The actor jokes, “I couldn’t stand getting yelled at when I wasn’t aloud to yell back. I turned into a class clown real quick. At the end of sophomore year, the Master-chief asked me not to come back. When Junior year rolled around, I was picking classes and asked my mom what class I should take. She said, ‘You like to be loud and obnoxious, try acting’. She was right.”
5. He Is the 2017 GSFF Rising Star Award Winner
Camrus was recently chosen as the 2017 GSFF Rising Star Award winner. Speaking about his talents, Margaret Fontana, the GSFF Executive Director, said, “Camrus’ commitment to the craft and his exuberance make him the perfect person to win this year’s award… He will bring so much to this year’s festival. He is looking forward to attending the weekend’s events and meeting all the other filmmakers, actors, and fans. Congratulations Camrus.”
Upon winning the award, Camrus exclaimed, “I’m so stoked to have my first award be the Rising Star Award! I’m even more excited to work with the Garden State Film Festival and grow with them. Looking forward to meeting everyone and to a great festival.”
His talents don’t end with acting. Camrus is also a singer– before 2016, he was a member of the new Harlem Boys Choir, where he shared the stage with Foreigner, TLC, the Rockettes, and the Jersey Boys. He auditioned for season 1 of STAR, but didn’t end up booking the part. Clearly his work impressed the director, though, because he was brought back to film a role in season 2 of the FOX series.