ATLANTA –- Jussie Smollett finally made his ultimate dream come to fruition after a global pandemic and personal tumult delayed the completion of his long-anticipated romantic drama, B-Boy Blues.
Smollett, who rocketed to international stardom via the blockbuster TV series series “Empire,” made his directorial debut in the film adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s bestselling book, B-Boy Blues, which made its splash with a private media screening at the Silverspot Cinema in Cobb County, Georgia.
B-Boy Blues, co-produced by Smollett and media maven Mona Scott-Young and whose film adaptation was co-written by Smollett and Hardy, explores the intersectionality of class and culture when an educated journalist from Brooklyn named Mitchell Crawford (Timothy Richardson), falls in love with Raheim Rivers (Thomas Mackie), a bike messenger from Harlem.
Smollett, 39, says it felt surreal and overwhelming to be the one to take charge of a film that Hardy had been trying to get translated into a movie or TV show or theater play for almost 30 years.
“This is something that I always wanted to be a part of,” Smollett exclaimed. “I always wanted to make James Earl Hardy proud. There are words in that book that shaped me and changed my life since I first started reading it when I was 12 years old. I speak for many Black and gay men that have read that book and feel so connected to it. So I’m grateful that I could play a small part in bringing it to the screen.”
Scott-Young, who helped bring popular TV shows to the small screen such as the “Love & Hip Hop” franchise, explained that she eagerly teamed up with Smollett to help breathe a three-dimensional experience into Hardy’s classic novel.
“B-Boy Blues is a beautifully bold, funny, heartwarming bro-mance and I was thrilled to partner with Jussie to help this wonderful film gain greater exposure,” says executive producer Mona Scott-Young, CEO of Monami Entertainment. “Falling head over heels and fighting for love are universal emotions and experiences, and we are so grateful to BET+ for shining a powerful spotlight on the still seriously underrepresented Black LGBTQ+ community and bringing this impactful love story to an even greater audience.”