Talk about a star on the horizon! Bahamian actor, Jamaal Hepburn's career has been heating up, and The Bahamas Weekly has been following his progress.
After landing the iPhone 5S ad campaign in 2013 this young talent has landed a Boost Mobile campaign, which is a web series called, The Mo & Les show. Jamaal plays Les, the more calmer character of the two. Les is constantly trying to keep Mo in control as he deals with Mo's crazy antics. The two make a great comical pair!
The versatile fresh-faced young actor can play roles from 15 to 25 and was born in Nassau, Bahamas. He graduated from a Boise State University on a Tennis Scholarship, and has been honing his acting skills in Los Angeles ever since. He has worked on Nickelodeon and other teen-based projects.
The video here is their first spot (An Introduction to Mo and Les) ... check out all their segments on their Youtube Channel. They are a funny and very cute duo!
TheBahamasWeekly.com with Jamaal for the following interview:
1. How long have you been acting or modeling?
After I graduated college in 2008, I really wanted to pursue a career in tv/film. I asked my dad if he would help support my film studies but he was not too fond of the idea. He wanted me to stick with a more solid career plan and acting just seemed like a fantasy! I tried to put it out of my mind and seek other ventures, but something in my spirit kept calling me back to the idea of acting! So in August of 2008 I started looking for an agent in Miami (where I was living at the time). After a few attempts, one agency picked me up and then a few weeks later I booked a Nike commercial! If that's not a sign then I don't know what is! I moved to LA on April 1st 2009! ( yes, on April fool's day I decided to make the biggest leap of my life...I think I was testing to see if this was truly meant to be!)
What island are you from?
I'm from Nassau...I attended Kingsway Academy before going off to a tennis school when I was 12... But my whole family resides in The Bahamas! I'm the only idiot running from pink sand beaches and turquoise waters lol.
How old are you now?
I'm 25 years old, but I generally get cast for anything from 16-21 years old!
What are you most proud of in your career?
I think I'm most proud of my persistence! Hollywood is not what it's cracked out to be.its a very cold and lonely place surrounded by people who are really not what they seem! So the fact that I've been able to hold my head and stay charging forward is something that I sit back and wonder at daily! Oh, and my first billboard that I landed last week for Caribou Coffee,that brought tears to my eyes!grown men can cry every once and a while haha.
What are you most proud of in being Bahamian or what are you most proud of about The Bahamas?
You know, I'm so proud of how we are so family oriented! I'm very big on family and having that support system and I pride myself on being around people who are not afraid to tell you how it is! I've been all over the globe and I can tell you that nothing is more healing than the love of family! I look forward to when I can come home and here my grandmother say "sit ya behind down and relax,rest! You home now"
I'm also proud to be able to say that I'm from the Bahamas in general...for most foreigners it seems like a dream to be able to visit our islands and the fact that I can call the Bahamas "home", that's a blessing in itself!
Well my tennis career is a thing of the past now! Like I said, I left home when I was 12 to attend the Nick Bollettieri tennis academy in Bradenton, Florida! It was here that I really learned what it meant to work "hard"! I always joke that I didn't learn how to sleep in until I graduated from college! I attended Boise State where I also played tennis for 4 years. Tennis awarded me many opportunities abroad and I'm so grateful for them, but I always felt like I was pushing against the grain. Even though I excelled, I always had to work 10 times harder. The transition from tennis was a very painful process. Tennis was all i knew, so to give that up was probably one of the toughest and scariest times in my life!i really battled with my emotions during the transition and I still feel the pain every now and again..I haven't played tennis in 5 years, so that in itself should paint a vivid picture of what I felt during the transition! I guess it still hurts huh?!
What are your interests?
I'm really big on inspiring people...I always felt like the little runt of the group. I was never the biggest or fastest, never the most popular, always picked on, spit on, laughed at - you name it! So in everything I do, I desperately want to always be inspiring for others. That's my main driving force! Yes I want to win awards, walk the red carpet with my mom, buy a yacht, buy an island etc...but it would all be in vain if I didn't help and inspire people along the way. I don't mean to sound so pageantry or political but its really how I feel. I want the kid in the corner of the room to see me and "believe"!
I have so much more work ahead of me, but progression is the little fine thread that keeps me going! The hope of my sweet deliverance continues to echo in my ear!
Who is your agent?
I'm signed with Commercial Talent Agency here in Los Angeles...the handle my commercial and print work. They signed me when I had nothing on my résumé so I consider them family. They've always been in my corner when everyone else said "no" !
Is there anyone you want to thank?
Craig Woods (Bahamas Film Commissioner) has been such a big help in supporting my career! He, along with Owen Bethel, have been huge influences in my career over the past few years. It hasn't been easy, but walking in faith helps to guide me even when I cannot see clear in front of me!