YEM Exclusive Interview: Jalon Christian shares what it was like working with Denzel Washington in A Journal For Jordan

Jalon Christian is an actor who can be seen in A Journal for Jordan. The film was released in theatres on December 25, 2021. The movie is based on the true story of First Sergeant Charles Monroe King, a soldier deployed to Iraq who begins to keep a journal of love and advice for his infant son. YEM was able to speak with him about his favorite scene to shoot, his favorite way to journal, and when he realized he wanted a career in acting.

Young Entertainment Mag: What are some techniques that helped get you into character?

Jalon Christian: When you are playing any character it’s vital to honor the emotional experience they are going through. Especially when you are playing a real person’s life story.

Being bi-racial I have dealt with cruelty of someone who felt threatened by it. It was very important to me to show what this feels like once someone is behind closed doors. Create a kinder narrative around anyone who looks different then ourself. So the best technique I used was really having an open heart.

YEM: What was your favorite scene to shoot and why?

Jalon: I loved shooting every scene. Some of my favorite time on the movie was actually in rehearsals. It was the only time Mr. Washington, Michael B. Jordan and Chante Adams were all together. To spend this time breaking down the material and characters with Denzel Washington was a master class in life.

YEM: What was it like working with the talented Michael B. Jordan, did he give you any acting tips? Did you pick up on any of his skills that you plan to use for future projects?

Jalon: I didn’t personally have any scenes with him, but we did have rehearsals prior to filming. I remember watching him go through what his character was going through during these rehearsals, fully submerging himself into Charles.  He was so incredibly kind and graceful, and I was really taken by how thoughtfully he studied his character. I could tell he had a great respect for the craft of acting, and specifically for the character he was playing.

YEM: What was the hardest thing for you to do while filming and how did you overcome it?

Jalon: I would say the hardest thing was the wrap. To work with the greatest of all time Mr. Washington was some of the most divine moments of my life. I shall forever cherish the time I spent with him. So on the last day of the shoot, we ended with my scene. It was so difficult to say goodbye to this incredible character, the cast, crew and especially Mr. Washington. I guess I over came it with gratitude I got to experience it in the first place.

YEM: What’s your favorite way to Journal?

Jalon: (I love writing and using my instagram)

One of the techniques I was introduced to by my Manager & Acting Coach, Constance, is the idea of writing morning pages every day when I wake up.  The goal is not to be perfect, but to just get whatever thoughts are coming to me down on the page with no judgment or correction.  And then I just crumple them up and throw them away.  I’m also on social media so my Instagram is a way for me to document bigger events in my life that I can look back on whenever I want!

photo credit: Bjoern Kommerell

YEM: What are you hoping people take away from this film and what are you hoping they see from your acting?

Jalon: How vital a father figure is in a child’s life. If person doesn’t have a father who is physically there or emotionally available then they can still find father figures who can teach & love them. Sometimes in life, we get to pick our own family.

I hope they feel in my acting is Jordan’s courage to continue all that was great in his dad. His respect for his father’s purpose in his own path. And his great love for his mom.

YEM: When was the first time you realized you wanted to have a career in acting? Was there a film or television show that inspired you?

Jalon: I started modeling when I was about six years old and always loved the whole process of being on set, and going to hair and wardrobe and seeing all the different crew members work together to make a shoot come to life.  And of course watching superhero movies, I always thought “That would be so cool to do that!”  But when we moved to LA when I was 11, everything started to fall into place. I was lucky enough to find my Acting Tribe, where I am really able to work on my craft with some of the most talented actors you can imagine!  It’s funny to think about Acting as a Career – I just know it’s my most favorite thing to do and I hope to do it for as long as possible!

YEM: Being an actor at a young age must be hard with school work, how do you manage to balance it all?

Jalon: When you really love something, really love it. Everything else falls into place. I love doing well in school. And I truly love acting. 

YEM: What’s next for you and where can people find you on social media?

Jalon: I am super excited to be in DC’s “Black Adam.” It comes out in the summer. It was an epic shoot with incredible Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

IG: @jalonchristian

Twitter: @_jalonchristian

Watch Jalon Christian in A Journal For Jordan!