'The Chi's' Jason Mitchell Bet On Himself After Hurricane Katrina 

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Sydney Scott Jan, 26, 2018

Jason Mitchell’s star is rapidly on the rise. 

The actor starred in 2017’s Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees, which recently picked up a number of Oscar nominations including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Mitchell’s co-star Mary J. Blige

Mitchell is also set to star in the remake of 1972’s SuperFly, which has been fast-tracked for a summer release. And, he currently stars in Lena Waithe’s Showtime hit, The Chi

However, the New Orleans actor’s rise to fame didn’t come easy. Mitchell, uncertain about his future, quickly had to make a decision after the devastation of Katrina, so he bet on himself and enrolled in an actor’s workshop. “I feel like this trajectory was chosen for me,” Mitchell told ESSENCE’s Regina Robertson. “If I’d written my own story, it would not have been this good. God has really been putting His hands on me.”

God really has. Mitchell has been praised for his role on Waithe’s The Chi, in which he plays Brandon, a line cook with dreams of opening his own restaurant.

“Brandon is the first of my characters to mirror my life,” Mitchell said, adding that like his character, he’s lost someone close to him due to violence. However, he jokingly adds that he did his own stunts as the aspiring chef. “I worked as a cook before starting acting. I didn’t need a stunt double!”

Check out Mitchell’s interview in the February issue of ESSENCE.