Brett Gray Talks Season Two Of ‘On My Block’ And The Iconic Role He’s Dying To Play
Photographer: Raen Badua / Stylist: Jonas Peckson / Assistant: Dacia Blass / Groomer: Shiyena

Netflix dropped season two of On My Block last weekend, a beloved coming-of-age comedy about teens living in South Central Los Angeles.

The show’s second season sees Jamal (Brett Gray), Monse (Sierra Capri), Cesar (Diego Tinoco), Ruby (Jason Genao), and Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia) recovering from the death of their best friend. And while this synopsis may seem a bit dreary, On My Block balances tough moments with bursts of comedy from its resident goofball, Jamal.

“He’s just a dope guy,” Gray tells ESSENCE, explaining his character’s growth in the show’s second season. “I really love Jamal this season. He still puts his friends first, but he’s a little more confident in himself. Now he’s saying, ‘Look, guys, this is what I’m doing. This is all me and if you’re not down with it, then I can do it by myself.’ He’s much more assertive. He’s such a weirdo, but he’ll also tell you off this season.”

ON MY BLOCK

Fans of the show will remember Jamal’s discovery in season one: a lost bag of stolen money from RollerWorld, the show’s fictional skating ring. But you know the ’90s saying, “More money, more problems.” And that proves to be true for Jamal and his onscreen friends.

Still, at the top of everyone’s mind at the start of the second season is who dies? Season one ended with a cliffhanger, where we see Ruby and Olivia shot during the latter’s quinceañera. If the teasers from Netflix didn’t clue you in, then—SPOILER ALERT—Ruby lives, Olivia dies.

Gray says that the cast “all kind of knew it had to be one of them,” but really had no idea what would happen.

I would love to change the image of Black men in the industry

Brett Gray

But season two ends just like its predecessor—a cliffhanger. This time, however, it’s not clear what’s next, and Gray has no idea who Jamal and his friends may be up against next season.

“When I saw the ending this season, I was like ‘What?! What are they going to do’,” Gray says. “[C0-creator] Lauren [Iungerich], when she does those I know she has something up her sleeve. So I know whatever it is it’s going to be smart, funny, and satisfying.”

Gray has also tackled goals outside of the show, which has thankfully offered him new opportunities.

“I can, sort of, go for things that I want and jobs that align with who I want to be,” he says.

After releasing music — including an EP titled, Easy Daze, and several singles — Gray has hopes of expanding in the entertainment industry, touching fashion and even screenwriting.

Gray says he hopes to write projects that give Black artists and creatives opportunities in front of the camera.

But before he gets there, Gray has a role he’s been dying to play.

“My dream role would be The Joker, a Black Joker. I really want to play strong, weird complex roles. I would love to change the image of Black men in the industry,” he says.

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