Can you name someone who has been half as busy as Chella Man has been this past year? Maybe you can, but probably you can’t. From activism to modeling to now acting, the 20-year-old gender queer artist is proving to be one the hardest working individuals of 2019. Just this summer, he collaborated with Opening Ceremony on a collection, and this September he is slated to make his acting debut as Jericho on Titans – making him the first trans masculine actor to play a character from the D.C. Universe. It’s been two years since the world was introduced to Man, who started out on Youtube in 2017, posting videos of his transition and educating his viewers with each upload, since then, he has amassed an online following of over 300 thousand people on Instagram. Man has kindly agreed to answer a few questions I had for him regarding his leap into the industry, making history, and artistry.
This past June, you collaborated with Opening Ceremony in creating a line focusing on your experience and featuring your artwork on the clothing. To what extent does fashion operate as a means of expression, and how does your everyday fashion help show yours?
For me, fashion is an entire new universe of expression beyond bodily means, and I enjoy using this to my advantage.
Your art, which can be found on Instagram @chellamanart, has received incredible praise from the over sixty-four thousand people who follow, and understandably so. When you post an artwork, what do you hope people try to understand when viewing it?
It’s almost impossible to answer this question in a general sense as each finished piece represents something different for me! Overall, I strive to portray individuals, concepts, or opinions that fall within the in-between, thriving despite toxic systems dictating our modern society.
Congratulations on landing the role as Jericho on Titans! The show’s second season is scheduled to air in September, which is right around the corner. What was preparing for this role like?
Thank you! I truly cannot believe it; it definitely still has not sunk in.
As for preparing, there really wasn’t any! The first time I ever had to act was walking into that audition at Warner Brothers. I have never had an acting coach or lessons.
On my own, I have dedicated time to studying Jericho in my script along with the relationships he experiences, analyzing how he feels, reacts, and empathizes. I didn’t have cable growing up, so I would read all the time. I learned to love each character behind the words of a story painting a picture in my mind.
The only difference now is that I am part of that picture and help the story come to life.
Interviewed by Andy Lopez.
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