Kelvin Harrison Jr. is aware of learn how to make an entrance. The day we meet on a video name to debate his whirlwind 12 months, he’s already had a number of interviews about his portrayal of legendary blues guitarist and singer-songwriter B.B. King within the extremely anticipated Elvis biopic, primarily based on the lifetime of famed musician Elvis Presley. As I put together to attach for our dialog, I anticipate the standard fast hey and alternate of pleasantries earlier than diving in. As an alternative, when Harrison Jr emerges on my laptop computer display he’s absolutely dancing it out to Cassie’s 2006 bop, “Me & U.”
“We’re right here to speak about self-care, proper? It begins with Cassie, bay-beeee!” he says. “It’s simply me and also you, we gon’ discuss this self-care.”
For the New Orleans-raised actor, whose connection to music runs deep because the son of a classically educated jazz saxophonist and a vocalist, stretching his artistic muscle groups in Baz Luhrmann’s imagining of Elvis’s life was an intriguing prospect. He was tasked with bringing the spirit of B.B. King, an icon liable for classics like “Rock Me Baby,” to life onscreen whereas additionally exploring the nuance of King’s relationship to Elvis throughout the Jim Crow period of legalized segregation.
Harrison Jr.’s introduction ties completely to a recurring theme whereas chatting with the actor: It’s satisfying to maintain individuals on their toes. “While you begin overthinking issues, that’s when it will get bizarre,” he says, meditating on the enjoyable of embracing his internal chameleon and remaining current within the second. “When it’s pure, that’s when your most genuine self shines by means of and other people get a greater sense of who you might be—or perhaps they don’t,” he laughs. “As a result of I really feel like individuals don’t have any clue who I’m, however that’s unbelievable to me.”
One thing that has remained delightfully static for the actor, although, is his means of adopting self-care practices that maintain him grounded and rejuvenate the thoughts and physique. All through the continued pandemic—whether or not filming in Australia together with his Elvis solid, making fringe quarantine art, or prepping for thrilling upcoming initiatives like voicing Scar within the Barry Jenkins-led Lion King prequel or taking part in Jean-Michel Basquiat in an anticipated biopic known as Samo Lives, having the ability to simply entry cozy and joyful methods to decompress has been a should for the actor.
Forward, Harrison Jr. talks about unwinding whereas filming Elvis, how the pandemic shook up his ordinary hair care routine, and the Southern dessert that made him drop down on one knee.
The final time I interviewed you, it was the start of the pandemic and also you have been nearly to show 26. Quite a bit has occurred since then. What would you identify this chapter of your life proper now?
Whew! This chapter…this chapter is known as protection.
Are you able to elaborate?
We’re overlaying all of the bases at this second in my life. We don’t actually know what’s happening on a regular basis. It’s the sampler. It’s tapas. We’re sharing with the desk, we’re ordering the whole lot, it’s household model. I don’t know what I’m saying, however you’re following although.
You already know what—let’s go together with it! These previous few years, it looks like you’ve been exploring and having extra enjoyable along with your hair—donning afros, quite a lot of braids and protecting types. Was there one thing specifically that sparked this?
After I was gonna do Euphoria, Sam [Levinson] requested me to develop out my hair. Then the pandemic occurred and I couldn’t get a barber as soon as I spotted I used to be now not going to do the present. I used to be like, you understand what Kel? It’s kinda giving intercourse enchantment. So I leaned into it and mentioned, since I’m giving intercourse enchantment, why not simply enable it to continue to grow and see how horny this will get.
After which there was the superior Met Gala cornrows that integrated crystals. How did that come collectively?
I used to be pondering I might do the straight backs, however that may be boring. I noticed these pictures of finger waves and I used to be like, how can I do the finger wave with braids? Nevertheless it didn’t actually work so we modified it—it was an entire factor that morning. We ended up discovering an fascinating steadiness with the jewels. It was like, Alright this seems to be cool, we’ll see.
It may be an enormous enterprise to step into a personality who’s each an actual particular person and extensively beloved determine. Do you’ve gotten any go-to self-care practices to unwind and shake off work?
Generally I watch TV. I’m kinda loopy about it—I actually ought to take away myself extra. On the weekends I do go, OK, nothing’s taking place, I’ll exit to eating places. Lately I’m normally abroad after I’m working, so I’ll strive new locations. Not too long ago, I used to be in Prague and I used to be like, what are one of the best Mexican spots round? Are there vegan spots round I can strive? Or, I hear there’s an ideal meat store or the veal is basically nice right here, let’s go determine that out. Or let’s go go to the cathedral. That’s my means of sort of shutting it off and going again to my life. Simply being like, I wanna journey and take some footage and hang around with my associates and stuff like that.
After I go to mattress I ought to most likely flip my cellphone off and depart it alone, however I’m nonetheless watching films which are in reference to what I’m doing or fascinated about my strains for the following day and stuff like that. It’s the weekends the place I get my moments of peace. And I like a shower!
How do you wish to spruce up your baths?
Generally I’ll put candles out for myself. I discovered these glow-in-the-dark tub balls. I flip off all of the lights and drop it in there and the water can be inexperienced and it seems to be cool. I like a facial. I like to get massages each couple of weeks, I feel that’s nice. I get foot rubs—I’ll go and get a foot therapeutic massage at these little retailers that perhaps look a little bit sketchy however you kinda go, Alright, let’s see. All that stuff is very nice. Meals is one other a part of my self-care. I like meals, I like to eat.
Sure to meals being part of self-care! Because you’re from New Orleans, I’ve a meals query for you. I all the time hear individuals from the South singing the praises of Blue Bell ice cream. Does it actually dwell as much as the hype?
The enjoyment I get after I hear these two phrases subsequent to one another. I like that ice cream. Let me inform you one thing, I lately went on a date and heard the phrases “Blue Bell.” I obtained on one knee and mentioned, Will you marry me? That’s how critical I’m about Blue Bell. It’s critical in my dwelling.
You’ve talked about earlier than that you simply’re into skincare. What’s your routine like today?
One rule: simply wash your face. I take advantage of a tea tree 3-in-1 scrub two occasions per week, cleanser from Apoteka—a Czech model, natural refreshing hydration water from Apoteka, the argan + vitamin E nourishing facial oil mix from Pearlessence—throughout evening time solely, and oil-free moisturizer for combo pores and skin with spf from Neutrogena. Additionally, proper after a bathe whereas my pores and skin continues to be moist, I apply Dr. Barbara Sturm’s anti-aging physique cream then wipe off any extra. It’s a sport changer.
Store Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s Skincare Routine
What about hair care?
Relating to my hair, I largely use the Sample shampoo, conditioner, and argan oil. I used the curl gel and leave-in conditioner after I had my hair in a fro.
Is there a skincare trick you picked up on set?
Hydration spray earlier than evening oil, so my pores and skin absorbs all the great moisture and has a glow for work the following day.
Let’s wrap with a random query. You had a tremendous time off from work. How did you spend the day?
Espresso, film on the Angelika on Houston, exercise, steam, bathe, fireplace dinner plans.