Jovan Adepo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jovan Adepo
Adepo in 2016
  • American
  • British
EducationBowie State University (BA)
Years active2012–present

Jovan Adepo is a British-American actor. He made his feature film debut in the period drama Fences (2016), which was followed by roles in the psychological horror film Mother! (2017), the action horror film Overlord (2018), the period comedy-drama Babylon (2022), and the drama His Three Daughters (2023).

Adepo also starred in the HBO supernatural drama series The Leftovers (2015–2017), the Facebook Watch drama series Sorry for Your Loss (2018–2019), the Amazon Prime Video action thriller series Jack Ryan (2019), the Netflix true crime miniseries When They See Us (2019), the HBO superhero miniseries Watchmen (2019), and the CBS All Access fantasy miniseries The Stand (2020–2021).[1][2] For his performance as Hooded Justice in Watchmen, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Adepo was born in 1988 in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire. His mother is a British Nigerian from London,[4] while his father is an African American from Chattanooga, Tennessee.[5] His maternal grandfather Fatai Adepo was special adviser to former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.[6] He moved to the United States with his family at age 2.[7] Raised in Waldorf, Maryland, he acted in school and church plays.[5]

He attended college at Bowie State University in Maryland, receiving his B.A. in political science and philosophy.[5] While studying political science, he began taking creative writing classes.[citation needed]

Adepo holds British and United States citizenship.[citation needed]


Early workshops and roles[edit]

Adepo moved to Los Angeles in 2011 after receiving his bachelor's degree. He intended to become a writer, but he started conducting commercial workshops to supplement his income.[7] He took acting classes in order to book commercials for extra income. His interest in acting grew. Adepo studied acting under the tutelage of a variety of notable instructors, including Ben Guillory of The Robey Theatre Company and Dianne Hull of the Actors Studio.[5] Through church in Maryland, he had met Viola Davis's older sister, who helped him get in contact with Davis. Davis directed him to study techniques, attend plays, and read as many plays as he could.[8][9]

Film and television roles[edit]

He was part of Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons. He played the role of Lionel Jefferson.[10] The special was conceptualized and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, and the team took home the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special (Live).[11] In 2016 he starred in Fences alongside Viola Davis and Denzel Washington.[12] In Fences, he stars as Cory Maxson, the son of the main characters played by Davis and Washington.[13] Adepo was "the only member of the Fences cast who did not star in the play's 2010 Broadway revival before it made the jump to feature film."[14]

In 2017, he appeared as the central character[15] along with Wyatt Russell in Overlord, both playing American paratroopers confronted by Nazi super soldiers.[16] By 2017, he was also a series regular on The Leftovers on HBO,[16] appearing in the second and third seasons.[17] Adepo performed in the 2017 horror film Mother! by Darren Aronofsky.[18]

In May 2019, he appeared as the adult Anton McCray in When They See Us, nominated for an Emmy, about the Central Park Five.[10] In September 2019, he was cast as Larry Underwood in an upcoming version of Stephen King's The Stand.[1] As of November 2019, he was in Vancouver shooting The Stand.[11] In November 2019, he appeared as the central character in the sixth episode of Watchmen, playing the world's first superhero, Hooded Justice.[3] Also in November 2019, he was in an unreleased independent film called Violent Heart, to be released in 2020.[11] He was named one of Dazed Magazine's "Dazed 100".[19]

In March 2021, he was cast to star in Babylon.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
2016 Fences Cory Maxson
2017 Mother! Cupbearer
2018 Overlord Private Edward Boyce
2019 The Planters Jesus (voice)
2020 The Violent Heart Daniel
2021 5150 Celeb Short film[21]
2022 Babylon Sidney Palmer
2023 To Catch a Killer Jack McKenzie
His Three Daughters Benji


Year Title Role Notes
2014 Blood Relatives Dushaan Jackson Episode: "House of Lies"
2015–2017 The Leftovers Michael Murphy Main role (seasons 2–3)
2016 NCIS: Los Angeles Emmanuel Salim Episode: "Revenge Deferred"
2018–2019 Sorry for Your Loss Danny Greer Main role
2019 Jack Ryan Marcus Bishop Main role (season 2)
2019 Live in Front of a Studio Audience Lionel Jefferson Episode: "All in the Family and The Jeffersons"
2019 When They See Us Adult Antron McCray Main role
2019 Watchmen Will Reeves/Hooded Justice 3 episodes
2020–2021 The Stand Larry Underwood Main role
2024 3 Body Problem Saul Durand Main role
2025 Welcome to Derry TBA Upcoming series[22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2017 Black Reel Award Outstanding Breakthrough Performance Fences Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Watchmen Nominated
2023 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Babylon Nominated


  1. ^ a b Vargas, Chanel (September 22, 2019). "Jovan Adepo Will Play Larry Underwood in Stephen King's The Stand". Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  2. ^ Gunderson, Alexis (October 15, 2019). "Sorry for Your Loss: Jovan Adepo on Danny's Grief and Season Two Journey". Paste Magazine. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b McHenry, Jackson (November 24, 2019). "Watchmen's Jovan Adepo on (Literally) Sharing a Role With Regina King". Vulture; New York Magazine. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  4. ^ "Jovan Adepo on Overlord, fanboy racism and Denzel Washington". November 8, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel" (PDF). Robey Theatre Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2017. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Chima, Chidi (December 24, 2016). "Meet Jovan Adepo, grandson of Obasanjo's late SA and Denzel Washington's co-star". The Cable. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Ryanski, Nate (November 25, 2019). "Giving an Origin Justice". Flaunt Magazine.
  8. ^ Oller, Jacob (December 23, 2016). "'We're Making It Music.' An Interview with Fences Stars Jovan Adepo and Stephen Henderson". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  9. ^ Brown, Emma (December 20, 2016). "The Scene Stealer". Interview Magazine. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Thompson, Avery (September 21, 2019). "'When They See Us' Star Jovan Adepo: It Was 'Incredible' To Have Antron McCray's Blessing". Hollywood Life. Retrieved January 25, 2020 – via
  11. ^ a b c Mastrandrea, Paige (November 25, 2019). "One-On-One With Rising Star Jovan Adepo On Past, Current And Future Projects". Haute Living. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  12. ^ Frederick, Candice (October 25, 2018). "'Sorry for Your Loss' star Jovan Adepo talks mental illness and self-care". AM New York. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (March 20, 2017). "'Fences' Actor Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell to Star in World War II Drama 'Overlord'". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  14. ^ Kosin, Julie (January 9, 2017). "'Fences' Breakout Star Jovan Adepo on Learning from Denzel & Dinner Dates with Viola Davis". Harpers Bazaar. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  15. ^ "'Fences' Star Jovan Adepo Lands Another Exciting Role". Ebony. March 20, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Galuppo, Mia (March 20, 2017). "Wyatt Russell, Jovan Adepo to Star in Bad Robot's WWII Supernatural Thriller". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  17. ^ Butcher, John (March 15, 2017). "Sons and Fathers: A Talk with Jovan Adepo of FENCES and THE LEFTOVERS". Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  18. ^ Saffold-Geri, Joshua (January 15, 2020). "The Ever-Humble Jovan Adepo". Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  19. ^ Taylor, Trey (April 6, 2017). "Dazed 100 - Jovan Adepo". Dazed. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  20. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 3, 2021). "'Fences' Star Jovan Adepo Joins Ensemble Of Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon' At Paramount". Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 29, 2023.
  21. ^ "'5150' To Explore Mental Health Within The Black Community, Toxic Power Of Celebrity". Shadow and Act. May 17, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  22. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 5, 2023). "HBO Max 'It' Prequel Series 'Welcome To Derry' Sets Taylour Paige, Jovan Adepo, James Remar & Chris Chalk". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 5, 2023.

External links[edit]