If you haven’t taken notice of Brandon T. Jackson yet, now is the time. Co-starring in “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” as Grover Underwood, a satyr, this movie is an aberration from his usual comedic roles.
Always dubbed the class clown in school, appropriately he took full command of the stage as a stand-up comedian, opening for mainstream stars like Wayne Brady and Chris Tucker. Cultivating his personality beyond the stage, he served as a guest host on Detroit radio station 105.9 after interning at 93.1.
But after appearing on “Showtime at the Apollo” and “BET’s Comicview,” he was called to co-star in “Roll Bounce” as Junior, opposite Bow Wow and Wesley Jonathan. Later he starred in “Tropic Thunder,” “Fast & Furious” and “Tooth Fairy.”
In a brief interview, The Michigan Chronicle talked with the Metro Detroiter to discuss the film, the challenges of working with a computer-generated imagery (CGI) screen and how his parents feel about his overall career undertakings.
Michigan Chronicle: Tell us a little bit about the movie and your character in the movie.
Brandon T. Jackson: The movie is called “Percy Jackson” and it’s about a kid who is a normal kid but finds out he is the son of Poseidon. He finds out he is a demigod. Zeus’ lightening bolt is stolen and he is suspected of being the thief. So imagine Greek mythology today in modern day society, demigod teenagers in New York City. I’m the protector of Percy Jackson who is also his best friend. He’s a satyr. A satyr is half-goat, half-man.
MC: Were you familiar with the book “Percy Jackson”?
BTJ: Yeah, I was familiar, but I never really read them like that until the movie. But I read the script, so I fell in love with the movie and the book.
MC: You’re a natural-born comedian. Did you find this roll challenging?
BTJ: Somewhat, some parts were challenging. Making sure to stick to the story, not trying to be funny all of the time.
MC: What did you find most challenging?
BTJ: Well walking, the goat walk was kind of annoying because you have to do a certain walk because they CGI your legs in later. What would happen is that I had to walk on my toes the whole time. You try to keep that walk consistent with the character.
MC: What is your ideal role type, besides comedy?
BTJ: I want to do action. I want to do some stuff like in “Bad Boys,” maybe a romantic comedy, that would be really, really great.
MC: What was it like getting your career started here in Metro Detroit?
BTJ: It was great, it kept me grounded. Michigan gives you a sense of reality growing up. The thing about Michigan is that you can bring that reality to your art because some people in L.A. don’t have a real sense of reality.