A native of L.A., Jennings also happens to come from a family of actors (his parents are actors Brent Jennings and Juanita Jennings) and he attended high school with fellow actors Evan Ross and Dakota Johnson at New Roads in Santa Monica.
“L.A. is my home, I love it,” Jennings told BOSSIP. “I spent some time in Chicago too but growing up in LA was great because I was always around the theatre and on film sets and even if not on film sets, various actors and actresses would come through the house so I always got to soak that up. It was always part of our household. Our dinner talks usually centered around the craft, or work, or film or something of the sort. It was nice to grow up in that and grow an appreciation for the arts.”
“When I decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life it was nice to have the support of my parents, because they know what it’s like to want to pursue the arts and understand how challenging of a road that can be but they also understand that if that’s what you choose to do then you’re being pulled by something greater than yourself. They’re very supportive of that to this day.
“At the same time when I was younger I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there was a pressure that I felt, of how much respect and admiration that I have for my parents and the craft and how much I want to upholding that standard and living up to my name. So I had to navigate that at a younger age and I found some peace with it, I’d be lying if I said it was completely gone but I’m sort of at ease with who I am and what I can bring to the world of acting.”
In addition to his role on Grand Crew, Jennings was part of the incredible ensemble cast of Prime Video’s A League Of Their Own which aired last year. It turns out that because of his work in theatre, Jennings was right at home doing the period piece.
“I really enjoyed working on A League of Their Own,” Jennings said. “I was really proud of the way they were able to delve into some of the issues in a way the original couldn’t because of the time in which it came out. It was a lot of fun. I love doing period pieces. I come from the stage and so I’ve done a lot of period pieces so I felt at home in that way. It was a nice balance of lightheartedness and humor but it also had some gravitas and weight to it that I was able to explore with the character with the relationship between Guy and Clarence so that was a lot of fun to get into. Drama is what I feel most comfortable in, although I do love comedy so it was nice to come off League of Their Own and go into Grand Crew. To have that balance of drama and comedy. I was very proud of that role and that character and I really hope that we get to come back for a second season because there’s a lot more to be done and I think all the writers and the actors did a wonderful job with that.”
What To Expect From Season 2 Of ‘Grand Crew’
As huge fans of Grand Crew, we had to apply a little bit of pressure and ask Jennings all about what’s to come from our favorite drinking buddies.
“What we see from everyone in the crew is a lot of growth,” Jennings told BOSSIP. “Specifically with Anthony, obviously when we first met him in the first season his love was basically work, and I think this season challenges that in a lot of ways. We get to see him grow outside of his work, outside of his job, and come into himself more. I don’t want to give too much away but there are some relationships that come into his orbit that he has to navigate and I think that ultimately leads to his personal growth. And I’ll leave it at that. I really want to give you more but I don’t know what I can give and what I can’t.”
If you caught Season 1 you already know that the show left us with quite the cliffhanger, as Jennings’ character Anthony found himself caught between his budding relationship with Talia (Ashley Blaine Featherston Jenkins) and fellow crew member Fay (Grasie Mercedes). We’ve seen the social media hashtags in favor of #Fanthony, but we’re not counting Talia out just yet. For his part though, Jennings isn’t exactly complaining about being part of a love triangle.
“What’s funny is that I’m not Twitter, but I do hear from my castmates and friends that a lot of people were excited about the prospect of Fay and Anthony getting together,” Jennings told BOSSIP. “However, I went to a few festivals over the summer and people would come up to me and a lot of people liked Talia and were on board with Talia. I think Anthony is a lucky man to be able to have the options of either woman. I don’t know if we spoke about this previously, but I feel like Talia makes sense in a lot of ways because they work in the same field, they’re both work oriented, they have more history, they seem more aligned on paper, so that was how I always viewed their relationship. Whereas someone like Fay, because they are opposites, they say, whether true or not, that opposites attract. I think she shakes something up in him and forces him to look at himself in a deeper way and provides a new outlook and a new perspective and a lot of adventure that he might need. Those are just two varying relationships and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see where he goes. I will say they do address the cliffhanger — that will be addressed throughout.”
We also spoke with Aaron about working with Nicole Byer — who has to be one of the hardest working women in showbusiness right now, with multiple roles on multiple networks as well as hosting big events like the most recent Critics Choice Awards.
“Nicole and I first worked together on her show Loosely Exactly Nicole some years back when I played her brother,” Jennings recalled. “I did like an episode and then went on with my life and it wasn’t until I got Grand Crew that we picked up and started talking again, but she was one of the first people to reach out and be like, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to be doing this show together.’ I was surprised she remembered me because she had so many guest stars coming through, and it had been so long but I guess that speaks to who Nicole is.”
“As far as seeing her blossom, I’m very happy for her,” he added. “It’s also awesome because not only is she so deserving because of her talent but also because of who she is as a person. I got to know her a lot more this second season along with everybody else just because more time has been spent. She really has an amazing heart. Obviously, we know her from her comedy, she’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind or speak about sex but she really has so many layers to her so I’m just really happy that she’s getting the opportunities that she’s earned. And also it helps because I hope to one day to rise through the ranks as she has so it’s nice to have someone that you call a friend and costar that you can talk to about certain things and she’s been very gracious with her celebrity if you well as far as inviting myself and Grasie to the Critics Choice Awards. We’re really happy for her and really proud of her.”
Lastly, we talked to Aaron about what’s next on the horizon and he actually got us pretty excited about an upcoming film role.
“I did this movie The American Society, with Justice Smith and David Alan Grier and Drew Tarver and Nicole Byer is in it as well,” Jennings told BOSSIP. “It’s like this satirical look at the magical Negro trope — this secret society of Black people who use magic to make the lives of white people easier. Be on the lookout for that. Kobe White was the director and writer. I’m excited to see how that all comes together.”
So are we!
In the meantime, check out a sneak peek from Season 2 of Grand Crew below!
Tune in to NBC Friday March 3 at 8:30 pm for the return of Grand Crew