When Coming 2 America star Jermaine Fowler landed the leading role of Lavelle (the son of Eddie Murphy’s original character Prince Akeem) in the upcoming sequel, a life-long dream came true in the process.

The 32-year-old Washington, D.C. native who first gained recognition for doing stand-up comedy, has since gone on to add actor, writer, and producer to his ever-growing resume, with an impressive filmography that includes appearances in Guy Code, Family Guy, Sorry to Bother You, Judas and the Black Messiah and more. Now he can add ESSENCE cover star to his list of accomplishments, appearing alongside Coming 2 America co-stars Murphy and Arsenio Hall on our March/April issue and landing a digital cover all on his own.

As a relatively new talent in the industry, you may not know just how much Fowler has accomplished since he left his hometown and headed for New York City twelve years ago. Here are six things you should know about the man whose face you’ll be seeing much more of on the big and small screen in the very near future.

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