John Clarence Stewart Talks New NBC Show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

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NBC’s Biggest Digital Hit Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist finally debuts with a 2 hour Premiere Sunday February 16th. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist follows Zoey who works at a Tech Company, she is dealing with the sudden news of her fathers illness. She wants to know if she has the may have the same thing so she goes in to see a doctor to be tested. Somehow during the testing process Zoey bumps her head leading her to powers to now see into people’s feelings and emotions through song.

Many people were introduced to the cast in the pilot episode, we caught up with one of the breakout star John Clarence Stewart most known for staring in Marvels Luke Cage, and Netflix’s What If to talk about his role as Simon in the new hit show and more.  

https://youtu.be/6IKGBlnu9YI

Art Imitating Life:

John dealth with the loss of his own father 13 years ago, and the personal pain and grief from that experience is what he channels for Simon who is also dealing with the loss of his father. “It’s a new normal and it’s a very specific journey of accepting that new normal, and Simon is in the beginning of it, and I feel a lot of responsibility. I feel a Responsibility to tell the truth when it comes to what he’s going through,”John

It’s Complicated: Zoey And Simon

Viewers will see this dynamic of Zoey being Simon’s safe space, although he is engaged. John talked about how his relationship with his fiancé and Zoey will begin to playout.

“We don’t always get to choose the people we feel safe with. And, the very interesting thing is someone could have the best of intentions, but still not quite understand what your experience is.” -John

John will likely have to balance the new feelings he developing for Zoey who understands and supports him letting his guard down and that of his finance who he loves but since revealing to her his feelings she has been distant.

On Zoey’s Being Compared To Glee:

There are obvious comparisons between Zoey’s and Glee, you would be remiss not to admit the obvious. John talks about those comparisons and here’s what he had to say.

“I don’t fault anyone for trying to find a comparison, that is what we as human beings do.” The two shows are very different because there’s the songs, and our songs are always used as a window into the soul. And I don’t think that was the case with glee. I think the songs are purposefully used as a window into the soul, and it’s a step behind the mask of how people present in the world. Zoey’s is a show thats fun and full of vulnerability and a show where we get to see the authentic versions of people and how they learned to show up for themselves in their lives in an authentic way.” John 

How Previous Roles Prepared Him For Simon:

John is no new face; you have probably seen him as I mentioned before in some of your other favorite shows. I always wonder how each role helps or plays a role in the work of an actor. John explains the inner workings “I think that everything everything propels us into the next thing. With Luke Cage, being able to work alongside and share some scenes with Alfree Woodard was incredibly informative and also Theo Rossi, these are people who have been in the business a long time and have a care for their craft and their work. I learned a lot of lessons from them. Every project I work on grows me and forces of It’s all part of that evolving humanity thing, and which is part of the reason why I love what I do. Always going to ask myself questions about human humanity in life. And then with Netflix’s What If if I was able to kind of diving into the life of the character, which were Parts of my own life, that the idea of wanting to be married and be engaged and I’ve experienced certain things like that in my own life. So it was the first time in the TV and film medium where parts of my own life were in the character I was playing. So it was a lot closer to home, which prepared me then for Simon, which is very close to my personal life”. John

Vulnerable Black Male On Screen:

Zoeys gives a sight into the vulnerable black male with Simons Character. We see him in the pilot episode began to the journey into exploring and dealing with his pain. John talks about this experience and what we can expect. “There is a new wave of writers and creators who are exploring the inner workings of the black experience right now. I think that part of that legacy is Sterling K Brown on

This Is Us, and him being someone that through his character explored the dynamism of that internal world. I think that Simon’s  legacy with music and song are very valuable because a lot of times, through stories and through shows like this character’s, like Simon  maybe we get a certain amount of permission to see someone that looks like you going through something that you may or may not have gone through with that maybe you will go through at some time. I think that, you know, seeing someone that looks like them go through the process of healing, which includes vulnerability, honesty and accepting feelings that, maybe difficult could be liberating. I think it can also be healing for some people that look like me, which is wonderful”. John

Be sure to catch up before Sunday’s Premiere by streaming the pilot episode on NBC.Com.

 

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