Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Source: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

Emerging Star: Kelvin Harrison Jr.'s 2023 Journey

Discover Kelvin Harrison Jr.'s inspiring journey from aspiring studio engineer to rising Hollywood star. Explore his versatile roles and future prospects.


Nov. 30 2023, Published 7:47 p.m. ET

Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s star is certainly emerging. Originally coming to Los Angeles to work as a studio engineer, he shortly found himself in acting classes, then on sets with some of the industry’s biggest heavy hitters. His screen credits, including his starring roles, tell us that Kelvin’s potential is wide open. There’s no telling what’s next in this talented actor’s reservoir of skills.

Kelvin Harrison was born in July 1994. Both his mother and his father are trained musicians. His father trained as a musician with Ellis Marsalis, the patriarch of the world-famous jazz musician family. Kelvin himself trained with Jason Marsalis and recorded with Jason’s brother Delfeayo.

You wouldn’t be mistaken to think that a career in jazz or gospel was what awaited Kelvin Harrison, Jr.

Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s Journey Into Acting

When Kelvin went to college at Loyola University in New Orleans, he studied marketing and studio engineering. While he loved his classes, it was Kelvin’s father that urged him into the field of engineering. After he transferred to the University of New Orleans and graduated, Kelvin decided to follow his own path. He decided to move to Los Angeles.

Shortly after Kelvin moved to Los Angeles, he decided to enroll in acting classes. He didn’t expect to have much success in this area, but lucky for all of us, Kelvin stuck it out and found success after a while. He attained roles in Ender’s Game, 12 Years a Slave, the WGN series Underground, and the television remake of the history-making series Roots.

Kelvin’s Breakout Period

Kelvin Harrison had doubts about his star power as he had played slaves in several television shows and movies, but he then realized that as an actor, it is important to show all sides of the Black experience.

While there are Black billionaires, Oscar-winning musicians, and actors who can command millions of dollars to star in one film, the Black experience in America encompasses both the highs and lows of human life in this country. Kelvin states that Black people were both kings and kingpins. It’s all a part of being Black.”

Soon, Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s prayers were answered. He had qualms about playing yet another slave. Yet at the same time, he reaped his talents by giving his all in these controversial roles. As a result of this reaping, Kelvin got a chance to go to higher places in the industry. Those higher places were a starring role in Chevalier, a film about a Black classical musician, as well as roles in Assassination Nation, Monsters and Men, and Monster.

Kelvin Harrison Jr’s Future in Hollywood

Kelvin Harrison Jr. and his star power are not going anywhere. From his berth as a star in the world of independent film to roles in more mainstream cinema, Harrison is certain to be a name that you will hear more of as the years pass.

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