If you are a fan of HBO’s hit series “Lovecraft Country”, you might be wondering about the star of the show, Jurnee Smollett. The talented actress has been in the spotlight since she was a child, appearing in shows like “Full House” and “Friday Night Lights”. But did you know that she has a famous brother who also made headlines in recent years? Yes, Jurnee Smollett is related to Jussie Smollett, the actor who played Jamal Lyon on “Empire” and was involved in a controversial case of alleged hate crime hoax. Here is everything you need to know about their relationship and how they support each other through thick and thin.
Jurnee and Jussie are two of six siblings
Jurnee and Jussie are not the only Smolletts who have a passion for acting. They are two of six siblings who grew up in a creative household. Their parents, Janet and Joel Smollett, encouraged them to pursue their dreams and enrolled them in acting classes at a young age. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jurnee made her debut at 10 months old in a diaper commercial, while Jussie landed his first role at four years old in “The Mighty Ducks”. The siblings also starred together in a short-lived sitcom called “On Our Own” in 1994, where they played orphans who had to fend for themselves.
The Smollett siblings have remained close throughout the years, even as they pursued different careers and paths. Jurnee’s older sister Jazz is a producer, her older brother Jojo is an actor and producer, her younger brother Jake is a chef and cookbook author, and her younger sister Jocqui is a tech entrepreneur. According to Nicki Swift, they also have a strong bond with their parents, who divorced when they were young but remained supportive of their children. Sadly, their father passed away in 2015 after a long battle with cancer.
Jurnee stands by her brother amid his legal troubles
Jussie Smollett made headlines in 2019 when he claimed he was attacked by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him in Chicago. However, the police later accused him of staging the attack as a publicity stunt and charged him with filing a false report. The case has been ongoing since then, with twists and turns that have left many people confused and divided.
Jurnee has only spoken publicly about her brother’s case once, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2020. She said that it was “one of the most painful things my family’s ever experienced” and that she believed her brother’s innocence. She also said that she tried to not let the situation make her pessimistic and that she loved her brother unconditionally.
Jurnee has also shown her support for her brother by accompanying him to court hearings and joining him at protests for racial justice. According to Extra, she said that it was “incredibly beautiful” to witness the intersection of different identities saying “enough is enough”. She also posted a photo of her and Jussie on Instagram on his birthday in 2020, calling him her “best friend” and her “protector”.
Jurnee and Jussie inspire each other as artists
Despite their personal and professional challenges, Jurnee and Jussie have continued to excel as artists and entertainers. Jurnee has received critical acclaim for her roles in “Birds of Prey” and “Lovecraft Country”, while Jussie has released new music and directed a movie called “B-Boy Blues”.
The siblings have also collaborated on several projects over the years, such as co-producing a documentary series called “America Divided” and co-starring in an episode of WGN’s “Underground”. They have also expressed their admiration for each other’s work on social media and interviews.
According to FemaleFinest, Jurnee said that she was proud of her brother for his role on “Empire” and that he inspired her to be more authentic as an artist. She also said that they shared a similar vision and passion for storytelling. Jussie, on the other hand, said that he was blown away by his sister’s performance on “Lovecraft Country” and that he learned from her as an actor. He also said that they had a special connection as siblings and friends.
Jurnee and Jussie Smollett are more than just related, they are allies and partners in life and art. They have faced many obstacles and controversies, but they have also achieved many successes and joys. They have proven that their sibling bond is stronger than anything that comes their way..