5 things to know about ‘The Morning Show’ star Desean Terry
EXCLUSIVE: Terry recently appeared on theGrio's Acting Up podcast, where he teased season 2 of "The Morning Show" and broke down many facets of his career
In the latest episode of theGrio‘s Acting Up podcast, Desean Terry of the hit Apple TV Plus series The Morning Show breaks down everything you need to know about the second season, his career, and more.
Launched in 2019, The Morning Show was one of the first Apple original shows when the streamer first launched in 2019. The popular series follows the often dramatic and juicy behind-the-scenes world of daytime television and is based on the book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV by Brian Stelter.
Back for season two, viewers are reunited with their favorite characters, including Terry’s character Daniel Henderson. In the new episode of Acting Up with theGrio‘s Cortney Wills, Terry opens up about the new season of The Morning Show, his approach to the role of Daniel, and his work outside of acting.
Keep reading to check out five interesting facts you may not know about Desean Terry.
He is Juilliard trained
Terry hails from one of the most prestigious schools in the country when it comes to the arts: Juilliard. Coming from that theatre training, Terry revealed diving into a television character overtime has always been a dream of his.
“Portraying Daniel has been my dream for so long,” he shared on Acting Up. “I come from theater and it’s been a dream for so long for me to play a character for several years on television, just because I wanted to have that experience of getting to know a character more intimately over time.”
He will cancel you
A major plot point in The Morning Show revolves around a sexual encounter between Mitch Kessler (Steve Carrell) and his producer, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, much has been made of cancel culture and where the line is. In his interview, Terry revealed he personally does not shy away from “canceling some folks,” while also recognizing there is a gray area, much of which this season.
He explained, “I guess I’ve realized that during the press junket because people have asked me and I’ve realized I’m like, ‘Yeah, I guess I’m a canceler. I will cancel some folks.’ But there is, you know, a side to cancel culture where it’s sort of like we’re calling people out and there is there’s others. There’s a second side to the story. There’s nuances and canceling is a little bit on-trend right now. So I do think the word predator, you know, may not feel right or suitable for some people. And the show delves further into that in the second season.”
He is the founder and artistic director of Collaborative Artist Bloc
Outside of his robust acting career, Terry is also the founder and artistic director of Collaborative Artist Bloc, which is a theater company dedicated to bringing art focused on social impact into underserved communities in Los Angeles.
Speaking to the impact he hopes to have through his work with CAB, he explained, “We’re basically trying to create stories like we’re talking about where Black folks are the center of the narrative. I know for myself specifically, if I didn’t have that experience where I could go into a world where I was working with Black art as a kid who created stories and told stories where I existed, where we existed in the center, I wouldn’t have been able to find my power. And so the point of CAB is to bring that back to folks.”
He was poured into by established actors at a very young age
Part of the reason why he is so passionate about inspiring youth is that he himself credits where he is today to the adults that “poured into him” at a young age.
“I had older artists Deidre Weston and Wendy Raquel Robinson…those are some of my first acting teachers,” he revealed. “Wendy was the first person that I saw or I met who was like on TV. I could see her in her episode of Martin, and on Saturday she would be there with me, touching me, holding me, letting me know that I am important, investing in me, saying, ‘You have talent, you can do this.’ And that was so immense in terms of shaping me.”
He loves playing flawed characters
Terry also reveals he got “really lucky” working with the showrunner of The Morning Show, Kerry Ehrin in that he got to collaborate and give feedback on his “flawed” character. While not typical for every acting job, Terry and his co-star Karen Pittman (Mia Jordan) got to share their own “experiences in the workplace” in their process.
He explained, “I really felt like I got to collaborate with Karen and Kerry with this because there was a lot of complex nuances and lines that we’re trying to thread. And so Kerry really allowed us to give our feedback in terms of what we felt were authentic, what was authentic about being in the workspace. And that’s one of the things that I’m glad that you picked up on, because Daniel and the Mia character have completely different approaches, even though they have a good relationship, but their relationship because we wanted to avoid having the Black characters on the show, having less complexity than the and the white characters. So we want them to have flaws.”
In addition to acting, he also directs
In addition to his work with CAB, Terry also directs and is gearing up to direct on opera for the Long Beach Opera House. While he revealed it is both scary and exciting for him, he said a motif he lives by is, “if it’s not scary, then you really shouldn’t be doing it.” Terry will be directing the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Opera about the Central Park Five by Anthony Davis.
“I’m really, knee-deep in it right now, and I’m so fascinated by it,” he explained. “I’m so fascinated about taking this iconic story and told from the perspective of the opera, and it’s already an opera that’s, you know, groundbreaking. You know, it’s what won the Pulitzer. And, you know, for us to get another production of it and to really communicate the Black experience through another medium that because I want to dismantle all of this, all the white spaces like let’s see what the Black folks can do.”
Check out the full episode of Acting Up with Desean Terry below.
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