Exclusive: Kelvin Harrison Jr. Talks Crackle’s Startup Season 2

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Exclusive: Kelvin Harrison Jr. Talks Crackle’s Startup Season 2
Posted by Wilson Morales

September 29, 2017

Returning for Season 2 with 10 new episodes on Thursday, September 28th is Crackle’ss original drama series, “StartUp”

In addition, the free, AVOD service shared plans to release an interactive and immersive virtual reality experience based on the series to debut on PlayStationR VR and other platforms later fall.

The second season of “StartUp,” picks up on the streets of Miami following the takeover of GenCoin, an unregulated global cryptocurrency. With their startup now in the hands of the Russian Mob, our unlikely trio, Izzy Morales, Ronald Dacey, and Nick Talman, reinvest in their partnership and launch an exciting new endeavor, a darknet prototype called ArakNet.  But as their decentralized network begins to grow, so too does the peril, the corruption, and the moral turpitude. As our heroes attempt to stay alive long enough to triumph, the sophomore season of “StartUp” poses the all-important question, what is the cost of ambition, and reveals the frightening lengths one might go to achieve ultimate success.

Returning in season two are series’ stars Adam Brody, Martin Freeman, Edi Gathegi and Otmara Marrero. Also in the series are Tony Plana, Kristen Ariza, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Fredrick Bam Scott, Jenny Gago, and Aaron Yoo.

In addition, Ron Perlman (Hellboy, “Sons of Anarchy”) also a producer, joins the sophomore season as Wes Chandler, a multi-millionaire businessman with a level-headed grit, and Addison Timlin (“Californication”) will portray Perlman’s daughter Mara.

For Harrison Jr, who plays Ronald Dacey’s son Touie, the New Orleans native is having a breakout year on the big and small screen. Earlier this year, he appeared in the critically acclaimed thriller opposite Joel Edgerton and Carmen in It Comes At Night, and then followed that up with a recurring role on the Fox series Shots Fired, which starred Sanaa Lathan. Later this year, he will appear in Dee Rees’ WWII drama, Mudbound. His previous film and TV credits include roles in The Birth of a Nation and History’s Roots.

What should we expect from Touie this season?

Kelvin Harrison Jr.: A lot of recovery. Within the first three episodes, he’s dealing with the wrongs that he made last season and the weight that he decision had. Now, he’s trying to figure out how to move forward. He’s trying to regain his father’s trust, his own sanity, and regain his heart at the end of the day. He’s healing. He’s realizing as he’s growing up and maturing that decisions have consequences. This is all my fault and I need to make it right. He has to grow up and starts to see his dad in a different light. He starts to see his dad for the great man that he is. Even though he respects him, he’s starting to see why he’s giving him the wisdom that he’s getting.

Going back, what attracted you to the series?

Kelvin Harrison Jr.: It happened really fast. I never got any scripts. I just got sides. I guess I will be playing a Haitian. That sounds cool. That’s just not my world. Coming into this wasn’t my most creative decision. It was a cool job and a cool opportunity. Once I got the script, I thought it was a really cool concept that I never even heard of before and to work with Eddie, who’s such a top force and great and endearing, was so much fun.

In playing a Haitian, did you do any research to play your character right?

Kelvin Harrison Jr.: Yes. When I first got the job, I started researching Miami and the Haitian mafia. There are some documentaries on that and I started to look up certain guys that were influential in their neighborhood. I try to understand why they do what they do and how they instill fear into an entire community that they are living in. What am I surrounded by and making the choice to understand being a second generation, having faith from my mom and dad and trying to make change in the community. I try to see how he is isolated from the environment itself. I was looking at that as the foundation.

As the series deals with the tech world, how computer savvy are you in real life?

Kelvin Harrison Jr.: I’m not. I can barely turn on my laptop. I’m not a video game person. Never was. If I play a game, I play on the original Nintendo. To me, iPhones are the easiest to use. Technology is not me. Interesting enough, I did take computer science, so I know coding. I still don’t know computer if that makes any sense. Laptops and all of the other stuff are weird. I can just give you the programming code and stuff like that.

You’re having a breakout year on TV and film. From Shots Fired, It Comes At Night, and a slew of other projects that you’ve signed on for, how do you account for the work you’re getting lately?

Kelvin Harrison Jr.: I think this comes from my amazing team. I have really a great team and we’re making an effort to do things that mean something to us. The more things that you do that hold weight, people will start to notice. Who’s the kid from that show or film and that leads to the next project. They saw me in The Birth of a Nation and probably thought that I’m making good choices, when it was something that came to me at the time. I feel that my career is sort of an accident.

You’re also in Dee Rees’ Mudbound, which comes out soon. How much fun was it working on that film?

Kelvin Harrison Jr.: Dee Rees is amazing. I shot my scenes in Budapest, Hungary. I went overseas to do that and I met her for the first time there. I got to work with Jason Mitchell in the film and he’s so cool and a great guy. He’s from New Orleans as well so we’re connected on that level. Dee is so smart, so kind, so down to earth and really giving as an artist. On the set, we all felt equal to each other and had a voice. We could collaborate and put in our contribution to the film. That’s exciting especially when your part is small and so unexperienced; but when you have a director like Dee, who can put everything at ease, it’s a great feeling to do your job.

What goes into saying yes to the projects you’ve done so far?

Kelvin Harrison Jr.: I always ask myself if the role gives my the opportunity to offer something? Do I understand the director’s work and his vision? I want to make sure that we understand each other. It would be awkward to be on a set for two months and we never see eye to eye. Not that it has happened, but I see it with other people, and I don’t want that to ever happen with me. Character is the last thing for me. It’s usually the filmmaker and story and do I feel I can take on something like that.

As a number of TV series start their new seasons this week, what’s a good reason to watching Startup?

Kelvin Harrison Jr.: It’s exciting. We haven’t seen something on bitcoin or the Dark Net. The characters are so alive and so profound and developed and full. It’s exciting to watch. It’s exciting to watch something grittier. It’s like watching an indie thriller but in television.


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