Join us today at 10:30pm PT/ 1:30pm ET on Instagram live, Black Girl Nerds host Ryanne Bennett interviews Johnny Ray Gill.
Johnny Ray Gill is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, & poet best known for portraying ‘Kerwin’ on the critically acclaimed Sundance series RECTIFY, and ‘Sam’ on WGN America’s universally celebrated UNDERGROUND. He’s also known for the quirky ‘Gustav’ on CBS’ BRAINDEAD opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead and the community protector ‘Damien Winslow’ on NBC’s HARRY’S LAW opposite Kathy Bates. He’s also appeared in episodes of SNOWFALL, TRUE BLOOD, CHICAGO PD, NCIS, and is the voice of ‘Hogrider’ in Supercell’s worldwide hit CLASH OF CLANS. In the last year, Johnny Ray starred in two shorts that performed very well on the festival circuit, one he directed called DVD & CHILL and the other SOMETIMES I FEEL, shot in London and directed by Bernard Kordieh. Most notably the shorts screened at Blackstar, Martha’s Vineyard African American, Pan African, Halifax film festivals, and Indie Short Awards Cannes respectively. Johnny Ray’s directorial debut MY TURTLE’S NAME IS DUDLEY won best narrative short at the Haydenfilms Online film festival in conjunction with HollyShorts while screening at the Hollywood Black film festival amongst others.
His second short PAS DE RESTES won best short at Portland and Greenlens Environmental film festivals. You can look forward to Johnny Ray starring in Isaiah Smallman’s new feature comedy ROLLERS. He also executive produced Doris Tääker’s short narrative ANDROS. That film is an official selection of the Encounters and Korea Queer film festivals and competed in the VI Short Film Cup. Johnny Ray was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and received his BA in filmmaking from Temple University and his MFA in theatre from The University of California, San Diego with the La Jolla Playhouse. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he was riding out the pandemic doing therapy, tending to his a garden, boxing, working on two collections of poetry, doing virtual summits for black creatives, career days for youth, and working on pitches and treatments for films he’s going to bring through his production.
As always, you can catch the conversation live or the replay on BGN’s Instagram page @blackgirlnerds.