July 22, 2024
Ava Grey

Meet Ava Grey, “the Actress Behind One of the Year’s Most Complex Trans Characters”

Ava Grey is precisely where she should be. The actor, who is 26 years old, is currently at home in Harlem. Ava is living her own fairytale, with butterflies and song lyrics stuck to the wall behind her and a fire escape bird feeder luring the city’s sweetest songbirds (and the occasional pigeon).

Coming off the high of her first Emmy nomination, Grey is honored to be named among her heroes for Atlanta Season 3’s singularly bizarre episode, “New Jazz,” which was nominated for “Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series” alongside Barry, Hacks, The Ms. Pat Show, Only Murders in the Building, and Ted Lasso. This was Grey’s only appearance on the season.

Even though Ted Lasso won;

 The recognition alone marks the end of a long struggle for Grey to be recognized as well as the start of one. She left Virginia’s housing instability and emotional scars of her youth in order to foster her creativity and embrace her identity and moved to New York City with dreams of a career in entertainment. However, she brought lessons taught by one of her closest creative collaborators, her mother, along with her, so she wasn’t alone.

You can find out if Donald Glover’s Atlanta’s eighth episode of season three, “New Jazz,” which debuted this past spring, was nominated for an Emmy by searching for it on Google. You’ll also see the answer to the episode’s most popular search query, “Who is the girl?”

That would be 26-year-old Ava Grey, who with her brief appearance in the episode stole the show. Brian Tyree Henry’s Paperboi, aka Al, is accompanied by Ava in the role of Lorraine, a “gregarious font of unsolicited advice,” as they navigate the back alleys and bars of Amsterdam. Atlanta’s portrayal of Black womanhood has drawn criticism, but Ava’s much-lauded performance as Lorraine, who alternates between the roles of flirtatious wingman and ghostly guide, was enthralling, dynamic, and endowed with a natural charisma. Whatever the overall impact of the episode, Lorraine “looks like the future,” according to Vulture’s recap.

 Ava Grey‘s character in the Emmy-nominated episode “New Jazz” turns out to be Lorraine, the mother of Alfred AKA Paperboi. Played by Brian Tyree HenrAlfred, who is portrayed by Brian Tyree Henry, meets Lorraine while high on drugs in Amsterdam. through symbolic art displays and the “Cancel Club,” which compelled him to confront himself. In a season shrouded in double-entendre and ambiguity, Lorraine is the first character to tell it to us straight.

Given that Grey personally struggles :

With the pursuit of love and truth in her own life, this is a defining aspect of her personal philosophy.  Ava Grey discusses her fashion inspirations, her creative tendencies, and hints at future projects in an interview with PAPER. To learn the truth, read our interview with the actor.

A standout episode from Atlanta’s recently concluded third season features the core cast members Al, a rapper who also goes by Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), Earn (Donald Glover), and Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) on a European tour. This is when Atlanta’s distinctive alchemy of genres is at its most potent. The episode, titled “New Jazz,” follows Darius and Al on a hallucinogen-fueled romp through Amsterdam. Lorraine, an ethereal, wise, yet insolent siren, is introduced in this episode, which is more than just a hilarious and terrifying portrait of Al’s subconscious.

Lorraine, who is portrayed by the captivating Ava Grey, appears like an apparition and teases Al with shady but sincere affection. She has a unique quality that goes beyond the fact that she’s probably just a figment of drug-addled Al’s imagination. This character, like his recently deceased mother with whom  Ava Grey‘s Lorraine shares a name, seems to genuinely care for the lonely rapper in a season full of opportunists and sycophants.

“The arts were unquestionably my compass; they saved my life.”

The 25-year-old actress’ current role is by far her biggest, but it almost never materialized. Grey didn’t have a passport or an updated birth certificate when she got the part last summer; she would need both in a week to get to the Dutch capital in time for the shoot. Ava Grey rented a car and traveled the Eastern seaboard for the following 72 hours. She managed to get government employees and security guards to cut red tape so she could get the required documents. She remembers pleading with a group of agents, “I’ve always wanted to be an actor.” “Just don’t give up on me, please. I’ll take any action.

 Ava Grey‘s perseverance paid off, and “New Jazz” became one of the most acclaimed episodes of the season and earned the show an Emmy nomination for Hiro Murai’s directing. More importantly, it gave Grey the opportunity to showcase her undeniable talent by giving Lorraine a level of nuance and gleeful slipperiness that is rarely given to characters who aren’t sure of their gender. Prior to the Emmys, we spoke with the actress about her inspiration, her ideal role, and the value of telling more nuanced trans stories.

How did you get into that form of acting, specifically?

Theater with music. I used to run on stage as a child and attempt to mimic what they were doing because I felt so compelled. Participating in plays and acting classes allowed me to disassociate from what was happening to me, which helped me become more grounded, self-assured, and able to work through some of my childhood trauma. I didn’t need to constantly feel guilty about why I was being touched, left behind, or mistreated. I was able to adopt a new, assured character and a new story thanks to acting.

The persona of Lorraine is striking and nuanced. When you first read the script, what did you think of her?

She has to call a man out, which is the first thing I noticed about her character. Fortunately, I was coming out of a difficult relationship, [in which I learned] to be more passionate in telling a man I loved the truth. It was wonderful to have that moment of alignment where I was saying what I wanted to say because Lorraine loved Al. I was able to understand Lorraine’s word choice because of [my relationship].

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