Jessie T. Usher Would Rather be Baking

by Andy Chan

The Independence Day Star and class salutatorian talks passion
Aliens. Who’s to say whether or not they can be immune to nukes but incredibly vulnerable to a 1990’s laptop? Jessie T. Usher might be the man to solve this timeless question, since he just starred in the sci-fi extravaganza Independence Day: Resurgence, but we’d rather spoil a bucket of milk in our motorcar than blow the plot on whether the aliens are going to keep melting our monuments.

From an early age Usher, a Maryland native, was honing his acting skills through workshops, classes, commercials, theater, and opera—moreover, he was also putting in time practicing archery (take that Aliens!), American Kenpo, and Tang Soo Do, a Korean martial art. After graduating high school early as class salutatorian, Usher, now 24, went on to study culinary arts, having, as he puts it: “[fallen] in love with baking, more than anything.” And although he still aspires to one day open a restaurant, Usher decided to cut his culinary training short when he was picked up for Cartoon Network’s Level Up in 2012.

Despite having found himself on Variety’s list of the ‘top ten actors to watch,’ Usher describes his progress as “gradual growth.” Not to be confined to the big screen, he also stars in the in the LeBron James-produced TV series Survivor’s Remorse—playing Cam Calloway, a basketball wunderkind thrust into stardom only to find that fame is not without caveats. Usher landed the role only after undergoing a rigorous audition process lasting almost five months. He humbly credits his castmates for helping him fine tune his comic skills: “comedy is like a song and if everybody is not singing the same song, then it just won’t sound right.” It’s a far cry from the chef’s table or the mothership, but it seems like Usher is just getting started.

Photographer: James Perry.

Stylist: Lwany for Jed Root.

Groomer: Shiyena Chun for Exclusive Artists Management Using Fresh Beauty and Seven Hair Care.

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