PHOTOS: Allegra Messina
TALENT: Jacques Colimon
STYLING: Kim Johnson
GROOMING: Grace Phillips using Oribe and Make Up For Ever / TraceyMattingly.com
STYLIST ASSISTANT: Serra Geris
WORDS: Thilda Riou
PRODUCER: Jasmine Perrier
This feature is taken from Grumpy Magazine’s ISSUE NO.16, available now in digital and print worldwide
Actor, poet, and human rights activist Jacques Colimon has a background deeply rooted in theater. At 11 years old, he played the role of a physician in his forties who had to announce the passing of one of his patients. “A nice and light beginning to my passion for acting,” he recalls, amused. With an impressive set of roles under his belt, Jacques ultimately landed a role in Netflix’s series The Society, and proves he has a bright future ahead of him.
‘‘I didn’t really get into film until I graduated from high school,’’ Jacques tells us as he looks back on the beginning of his acting career. Passionate about theater since his childhood, he got the opportunity to act in his first independent film — Sweet Old World — shortly after his work in several musicals caught the attention. ‘‘It was love at first project,’’ he says. ‘‘I was playing a marching band leader and I had to learn saxophone. This was also while I was just beginning college, but it was a lot of fun.’’ Alike a lot of actors in this day and age, Jacques made his breakthrough when he was cast in a Netflix original series, mystery teen drama The Society. ‘‘The initial appeal of it was this combination of a teen drama and a political series, which isn’t really something that I was seeing a lot of,’’ he explains. Premiering in May 2019, The Society quickly became a fan favorite all around the world. The story follows a group of high schoolers who are mysteriously transported to a nearly exact replica of their Connecticut town — named West Ham — and must learn to run their own community.
Be yourself. Let your light shine
‘‘You got a whole bunch of teenagers who are forced to survive, without parents and without authority. We all have to help each other out, or we are doomed.’’ Jacques portrays Will LeClair, a foster kid driven towards independence and freedom. ‘‘The most fascinating part of Will is his ability to adapt,’’ the actor says. ‘‘We see at the very beginning of the show that he had to learn to be able to navigate a lot of different household situations, which is a truth among foster kids. But over the course of the show, we see how Will develops this notion of really feeling at home in this new world, with people who are his closest friend and that he can trust.’’ The Society tackles a lot of heavy topics such as democracy, gun, and sexual violence, in an environment where food is in limited supply and it is unclear how long resources will last — a situation that alludes to the challenges Generation Z and millennials deal with in today’s world. ‘‘I said in another interview that a lot of young people are nihilists in the face of genocide,’’ Jacques shares. ‘‘A main thing that the show explores in this first season is trust. Who do you trust? Who needs protection? Who gotta be checked? There is a power balance and a power struggle. There are a lot of parallels that we explore in this kind of sci-fi fantasy world and what a lot of teenagers are facing right now. They don’t know who to believe.’’
Moreover, the core mystery of the show has inspired a lot of speculation. ‘‘There are some really cool theories, but I think that Chris [Keyser] has done a really great job at keeping us in the dark about a lot of the future of the show, and where our characters are going. That’s really stimulating because we all get to dream about what would happen.’’ Excited about season 2, Jacques reveals that he would like to see Will lead a revolution. ‘‘This first season definitely raised more questions than providing answers, but I like the fact that we don’t have the ability to predict what’s gonna happen next.’’ In addition to his leading role in The Society, Jacques is set to star in Blumhouse TV’s upcoming supernatural horror film, Nocturne. “That was actually a really cool project. The director did a fantastic job of exploring the classical music academy and the undue pressure that a lot of students have to endure. I think one of the best outlets for exploring social demons and human psychology is definitely horror,” he states. “I play a student at the school and I end up doing some things that I maybe regret. Music has definitely been a very big part of my life, so it was deeply satisfying to make that connection in this film.” As a matter of fact, Jacques lets us know that he has been recording “quite a bit of stuff” himself and is collaborating with a bunch of people. “But I’m still defining what exactly my sound is.”
‘‘In high school, I was definitely somebody that cared too much about people’s opinions,’’ Jacques shares when being asked about what advice he would give to his younger self. ‘‘There’s a really beautiful quote from Marianne Williamson — she’s a really beautiful poet: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.’ That’s what I would tell my younger self and every young person out there. Be yourself. Let your light shine.’’