EXCLUSIVE: ‘Babylon’ Star Jovan Adepo Shares How Viola Davis’ Older Sister Helped Start His Hollywood Career


In life, especially in Hollywood, you only need one big break or opportunity to get into the exclusive club. In Damien Chazelle’s upcoming movie Babylon, four outsiders get that opportunity differently.

Speaking exclusively with Cassius Life, Baylon’s stars Margot Robbie, Diego Calva and Jovan Adepo each shared how, like their characters in the film, they experienced a “right place, at the right time moment” that helped jumpstart their Hollywood careers.

Jovan Adepo Reveals How Viola Davis' Sister Got Him Into Acting

Source: Scott Garfield / Babylon

Jovan Adepo had an interesting story revealing that partaking in a church play when he was in his youth, would lead to an encounter with one of Hollywood’s biggest stars years later that would steer him on his current path that now has him as one of the leads in what could be one of the biggest film’s of the year.

Viola Davis’ Older Sister Saw Something Special In Jovan Adepo

“Becoming an actor wasn’t like my first career choice. I thought I wanted a career in politics. That’s what I got my degree in,” Adepo told Cassius Life. “I had done a play in the church when I was in like eighth or ninth grade, and there was a lady at the church who thought that I should be an actor. I was just like, ‘no, I did this play because my dad made me do it for the church. I want to focus on football or whatever.’ That woman was Viola Davis’ sister, her older sister. And that was in Maryland. They’re from Rhode Island. But I met her in Maryland.”

He continued, “When I moved to California years and years later, Viola’s sister actually was the one that connected me to her and her husband, Julius. They gave me a lot of advice. I was kind of really just going around auditioning for the first five years, being out here, and just trying to make a name for myself in different casting offices. I think the first role that really broke me was The Leftovers.”

“Damon Lindelof gave me that first job. It was because of the casting office, which was Vicky Thomas’s office, I was introduced to her from Viola. So it was a lot of happenings that needed to just go right. Of course, when you get the opportunities, you have to be prepared. I wanted to really make an impression, and I suppose I did,” he added.

Both Adepo and Davis would also later star alongside each other and Denzel Washington in the 2016 film adaption of August Wilson’s Fences.

BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors - Backstage

Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty

Margot Robbie and Diego Calvo Also Shared Their Stories

“Yeah. I feel like all the time that I’ve had a big win in my career. A part of that is, of course, there’s hard work, and there’s creating the opportunities and blah, blah, blah,” Robbie explained. “But then there is a little element of you just had to be…Like, I wrote Quentin Tarantino a letter just as he’d finished writing Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and he read it. That’s right place, right time. I was just finishing up on an audition for Wolf of Wall Street, and it happened. Thank God the casting agent sent it to Marty. Just so many things. If one little thing didn’t happen, that whole trajectory of your life just wouldn’t have happened.”


Source: Scott Garfield / Babylon

“Yeah. I had maybe the wrong friends for a long time, and I was involved in maybe not the best situations. But I learned how to skate doing that, and that put me into my first big role or big movie. So sometimes it’s not being in the right place. Maybe sometimes it’s being in the wrong one,” Calva explained.

Babylon also stars Brad Pitt and arrives on Dec. 23.

Photo: Getty Images/ Scott Garfield / Babylon