In our Q&A series POPSUGAR Crush, we get to know some of our favorite celebs’ more intimate details — from their first celebrity crush to the best love advice they’ve ever received. This month, we’re crushing on On My Block star Brett Gray.
On My Block has officially come to an end after four glorious seasons, and it’s bittersweet. While we’re sad that the Netflix show is over, we’re really looking forward to the Freeridge spinoff series and seeing what the cast tackle next. POPSUGAR recently chatted with Brett Gray, aka Jamal Turner, who told us he’s having a difficult time saying goodbye to a show that played such a major role in his life. “This is the first giant thing that I’m saying goodbye to, so it’s hard, but it also still hasn’t really hit me yet,” he said. “I don’t know if it’ll hit me until maybe I start the next thing, but I’ve been sort of just trying to stay present and enjoy the moments and time with the cast.”
“I’ve been sort of just trying to stay present and enjoy the moments and time with the cast.”
As for what he enjoyed most about portraying Jamal, Brett said he was “just so much fun to play.” “I always got to do such crazy, wacky, incredible things, the stuff that I would never do in my normal life,” he explained. “It’s been awesome to go to work and play and remove the ego for a second and just kind of dive into this incredible character. But also working with the cast — they’ve really become like a second family to me, and it feels like home when I’m with them in Los Angeles.” In fact, Brett’s all-time favorite scene is from season one where he and Ruby Martinez, played by Jason Genao, are sitting on the porch. “It reminds me of Friday, and I’m definitely the Chris Tucker vibe. We’re drinking what looks like a 40, but it’s actually Gatorade, and I say the line, ‘B*tches be bonkers,’ which literally became the catchphrase for my life. Now people just ask me to say it all the time.”
So, what’s next for Brett? In addition to voicing Dal, one of the lead characters on the upcoming animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, he’s also hard at work on his music. “I’m looking for something that’s almost completely the opposite of what we just saw with On My Block. I want to keep challenging myself and making sure I stay versatile and making sure that people can continue to not expect the performances that I’m going to be a part of,” he explained. “I’m doing an animated series coming out this month, Star Trek: Prodigy. That’s been awesome! It’s my first voice-over animation series, and to be under something as big as Star Trek has been incredible. And then also music. I’ve been a musician for the last decade, and I’m finally starting to really be able to have the time, the energy, and resources to take it more seriously, so I’m really excited for how that journey is going to go, too.”
Read more of Brett’s POPSUGAR Crush interview ahead.
What was your high school experience like?
I went to a performing arts high school, so it wasn’t a normal high school experience. I was definitely super popular, not in a way of being the cool kid, but I just had lots of friends and it was always good vibes. I’d be singing and dancing through the hallways, acting crazy with my friends, and telling jokes in class. I got the class clown superlative in the yearbook, so it was a fun time in high school for me.
What advice do you have for high school students right now?
Oh man, I feel bad for high school students right now with the pandemic and everything. It’s crazy the stuff that they have to deal with, but my advice to them is just that none of this will matter after you leave high school, as big as things feel right now. Hold on to the friends that you really have a connection with, even as they go throughout their life, but also have the grace to let yourself know that as we get older, things change.
What’s your go-to coffee/tea order?
I don’t like coffee. Tea, I love. I get either mint or jasmine tea. Sometimes when I’m feeling frisky, I get the ginger tea that’s really spicy and clears your sinuses and all that stuff. Tea is more like a tool to me. I drink it when I’m either trying to relax or if I have a sore throat. You will definitely catch me with a peppermint tea with no sugar, just the teabag in the water.
What is your favorite thing to cook or order for takeout?
I’m very simple. I’ll just get a burger anywhere I go. I can find something on any menu that I will enjoy. But when I cook, I make the most incredible garlic rosemary lamb chops you will ever taste in your life. They will be tender, juicy, delicious, buttery, wet, and all the things that we love most about eating.
What is the best trip you’ve ever been on?
I went to Korea by myself for seven months last year, and that was incredible. I got to completely know what it’s like [to be] on your own accord in a place that you’ve never been. I learned a lot of the language and made some friends. This woman one time came up to me and she’s like, “I hope you know you are the hot foreigner in the bar right now by yourself sitting here.” I had a whiskey sour in my hand and she’s like, “You’re the hot guy at the bar that’s clearly not from around here. I just wanted to let you know that.” And I was like, “OK, my life has been made.”
Who was your first celebrity crush?
I’m going to say Rihanna. I feel like that’s everyone’s, but I feel like that’s the safest bet.
What is your ideal first date?
My ideal first date would be something that both parties involved would have never done before. I never want to [tell] a girl like, “OK, let’s do dinner,” because that to me is date three. I would love to do something where we both are kind of on our toes and we get to really share an experience together.
What is the most romantic thing you’ve ever done or that’s ever been done for you?
Oh my gosh. Well, my ex, if she got out of the shower, I would put her towels in the dryer before she was finished and then leave the warm towel in the bathroom. I think that’s pretty romantic; she always loved that. But no one does romantic things for me. I think there’s this horrible misconception with guys where romantic things don’t happen to us and we’re supposed to be OK. But honestly, when someone does something for me or to me or with me in mind, it’s the best way to get me to pay attention and be head over heels.
What is your favorite gift you’ve ever received?
The greatest gifts I’ve been given have been time and presence, and I’m really learning to accept the fact that I have no control over really anything and to sort of just surrender to this experience and to find the joys and be present in it. I guess the greatest gift I’ve been given is life. So thanks, Mom.
What is the biggest lesson you learned from your time on On My Block?
Stick up for yourself and learn your value and your worth, and emphasize it to other people so that they know as well. Also, just has fun, live life, and carpe diem.
Image Source: Lanscine Janneh