A lot of new and young actors have been cast in major films and television series within the last couple of years. Fortunately, Atlanta native, actor Isaiah John, is among the chosen ones. He currently stars in the new FX series Snowfall, a show that depicts the Los Angeles crack cocaine epidemic in the early 1980s.
Snowfall was created by Oscar and Emmy nominated director, John Singleton. Known for directing popular films such as Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, and Baby Boy. The series follows several different characters and captures their lives as they intersect. All to the backdrop of the early 80s and the initial effects of crack cocaine in the community.
Singleton wanted to create a series that captured the Los Angeles that he grew up in. And showcases the way that cocaine changed the Los Angeles that he knew. The effects of what was going in the L.A. during that time, not only touched the people in the community but spread throughout the country. Some would say that the series captures a major part of American history.
In the series, Isaiah plays Leon Simmons, a typical South Central Los Angeles kid who’s the best friend to Franklin Saint. Played by newcomer British actor Damson Idris, Franklin is a young crack cocaine entrepreneur. And Leon is his hot-tempered “right-hand man”. The person who is often called upon to get his friends out of sticky situations.
Isaiah has been acting since 2009 and has already made appearances in Ice Cube’s Barbershop: The Next Cut and Bounce TV’s Saints & Sinners. In addition to being cast in multiple short films, television pilots, movies and PSA’s. Now he’s facing his biggest acting challenge yet as a starring member of a series.
Growing up in Atlanta, Isaiah comes from a very talented family. As children, he and his siblings would entertain their parents. However, his mother didn’t want to put them into show business too quickly. She didn’t think that her children had the personalities to carry out acting careers at such a young age. So she waited to make sure that they were ready and really wanted it. After a year of convincing, Isaiah’s mother finally allowed him to pursue acting. Within two weeks he booked his first short film with no training or experience.
Besides Snowfall, Isaiah will also be appearing in an upcoming TV One movie, Downsized. He’s starring alongside Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker, and his sister, Raquel John, who’s plays his sister. The real-life siblings are playing twins. In the made-for-tv film, two high school sweethearts are in danger of losing their family and success. Now they have to take an unconventional adventure to bring everything back together. Downsized recently made its debut at the American Black Film Festival in Miami.
Although Snowfall is about to the final episode of its first season, the one-hour series has been renewed for a second season. Watch Isaiah John during the Season One finale episode of Snowfall on Wednesday, September 6 at 10 PM ET/PT. Also, be on the lookout for TV One’s Downsized.
Written by: Martel Sharpe
Creative Director: by Drew Kendrick
Photographer: by Will Sterling
Stylist: Julian R. Lark
Assistant Stylist: Adorr Jessie
Grooming: Jakki Lynch