Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman

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Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman
Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman at Dragcon by dvsross (cropped).jpeg
Bowyer-Chapman in 2019
Born (1984-10-21) October 21, 1984 (age 36)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Actor
  • Voice artist
  • Model
  • Television personality
Years active2003–present
Partner(s)Andrew Fitzsimons[1]

Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (born October 21, 1984) is a Canadian actor and fashion model. He is known for appearances in films and television, most notably as Jay in the Lifetime dark comedy-drama series Unreal (2015–2018) and as one of the main judges on Canada's Drag Race.

Early life[edit]

Bowyer-Chapman, whose last name is a hyphenate of his adoptive parents' last names, was born in 1984 in Edmonton, Alberta, and adopted when he was 12 days old.[2] His biological younger brother is Cleyon Laing, defensive end for the Toronto Argonauts.[3] His biological father is Jamaican.[4]

Bowyer-Chapman was raised, with one sister, in Rimbey,[5] a small "predominantly Caucasian" town of less than 2000 people, which he says people in the area refer to as "the Texas of the north."[6] According to Bowyer-Chapman, the region was "very much, like, oil and gas and farming and ranching" and growing up there as a biracial gay man was akin to "a sick social experiment."[7] He was, in his own words, "exposed to a lot at a very young age and expected to be very adult in very bizarre situations."[8]

Bowyer-Chapman lived in Red Deer, Alberta, until his teenage years, at which point he moved to Vancouver, then began traveling as a model at age 15 throughout Europe, South Africa, and all across North America.[9] He ended up in Vancouver again at age 21,[10] which was when he began acting in television and film. He made his first movie, then moved to New York, living there for seven years before moving to Los Angeles in September 2016.[11]


Bowyer-Chapman began his modeling career at age 15 after friends and school teachers nudged him toward that career path.[12] His first test shoot was in Calgary. He began making decent money at the job around age 18 or 19,[13] shooting advertorials, catalogs, and campaigns for brand such as Levi's and American Apparel.[14][15] He is represented by Wilhelmina Models.[16]

Alongside modeling, Bowyer-Chapman also began acting career, making his screen debut in gay-themed film Shock to the System (2006). He was named one of "Five of the Best..." in Out magazine's 2007 feature article "Canada's Coolest" and was listed in Mwinda magazine's 2009 special issue "The 10 Most Beautiful Africans In Entertainment". He has modeled in many venues including USA, Canada, South Africa, and Europe and modeled in international campaigns for American Apparel and Levi's.[citation needed]

He went to appear in the television series Noah's Arc and The L Word, and well as the film The Break-Up Artist (2009). From 2009 to 2011, Bowyer-Chapman had a recurring role in the Syfy series, Stargate Universe.[14]

In 2012, he starred alongside Jussie Smollett in Patrik-Ian Polk's LGBT-themed romantic comedy-drama film The Skinny.[17] In 2015, he began starring alongside Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby in the critically acclaimed Lifetime dark comedy-drama series Unreal, playing the role of Jay, a gay reality television producer.[18][19][20] In 2016, Bowyer-Chapman appeared in the comedy film Dirty Grandpa.[21]

In 2018, Bowyer-Chapman joined the cast of the FX anthology series American Horror Story for its eighth season, subtitled Apocalypse.

In September 2019, he was announced as one of the three permanent judges on Canada's Drag Race, the Canadian version of RuPaul's Drag Race.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Bowyer-Chapman came out publicly as gay in a 2016 interview.[23]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Shock to the System Levon
2007 I Know What I Saw Marco Television film
2007 The Brown Bag Mystery Justin Short film
2008 On the Bus Jeremy Short film
2009 Encounter with Danger Mr. Gaitan Television film
2009 The Break-Up Artist Steven
2010 Another Brief Moment Trevor Short film
2010 Dear Mr. Gacy Male hustler
2012 The Skinny Joey
2012 Grave Encounters 2 Vlogger
2013 Lucille's Ball Walter
2015 Stray Alex Short film
2016 Dirty Grandpa Bradley
2016 Tao of Surfing Val Stone
2017 Love by the 10th Date Freddy Mitchell Television film
2019 Falling Inn Love Dean
2019 Spiral Malik


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Stargate SG-1 Server Episode: "Memento Mori"
2006 Noah's Arc Brandy's Assistant Episode: "Under Pressure"
2007 The Virgin of Akron, Ohio Brick Unsold pilot
2007 The L Word Cowboy Episode: "Livin' La Vida Loca"
2009–2011 Stargate Universe Pvt. Darren Becker Recurring role, 19 episodes
2011 Fairly Legal Server Episode: "Coming Home"
2011 Warehouse 13 Jalapeño Episode: "Trials"
2009–2012 Iron Man: Armored Adventures Black Panther Voice, 4 episodes
2013 Hatfields & McCoys Owen Rodney Unsold pilot
2015–2018 UnREAL Jay Series regular
2017 RuPaul's Drag Race Guest judge Episode: Season 9, Good Morning Bitches, week 4
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars Guest judge Episode: Season 3, The B*tchelor, week 3
2018 American Horror Story: Apocalypse Andre Stevens 3 episodes
2020– Canada's Drag Race Judge
2020 RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars Guest judge Episode: Season 5, Snatch Game of Love, week 5


  1. ^ Steven Blum (February 27, 2018). "UnReal's Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman on Why He Prefers to Play Queer Characters". Out. Retrieved September 6, 2020. When we speak at his home in West Hollywood, he’s preparing for a trip to Joshua Tree with his boyfriend, Andrew Fitzsimons (a hairstylist for the Kardashian clan)
  2. ^ "Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman". IMDb. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  3. ^ "Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman at the 2015 HRC Seattle Gala".
  4. ^ Shapiro, Eileen (June 16, 2016). "Interview: Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "'UnReal's Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman on Why He Prefers to Play Queer Characters". February 27, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Esposito 2017, 4:04
  7. ^ Esposito 2017, 4:07, 4:12
  8. ^ Esposito 2017, 9:51
  9. ^ Esposito 2017, 4:57
  10. ^ Esposito 2017, 5:07
  11. ^ Esposito 2017, 5:20
  12. ^ Esposito 2017, 7:39
  13. ^ Esposito 2017, 9:05
  14. ^ a b "Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman". Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  15. ^ Esposito 2017, 9:31
  16. ^ "Wilhelmina International – jeffrey bowyer chapman new york direct portfolio". Archived from the original on February 5, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  17. ^ "The Skinny Film Review – To Be Young, Black and Gay in New York". Splash Magazines – Los Angeles. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  18. ^ Marino, Kelly. "UnREAL's Jay: 'No Better Time' for Black Suitor – Vulture". Vulture. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  19. ^ "'UnReal' Star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman Talks Gay Characters and More Darkness Coming". Comcast Interactive Media. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  20. ^ Birnbaum, Debra (January 6, 2016). "'UnREAL' Team Talks Season Two, Casting A Black Bachelor And Men's Rights". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  21. ^ Schager, Nick (January 22, 2016). "'Dirty Grandpa' Review: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron Hit Rock-Bottom – Variety". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  22. ^ "Three fabulous judges, and one squirrel friend, are ready to preside over 'Canada's Drag Race'". eTalk, September 26, 2019.
  23. ^ Schwartz, Dana (June 15, 2016). "On Being Black, and Being Gay, With 'UnREAL' Star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman". Observer.
Works cited

External links[edit]