You've probs heard of Jeremy O. Harris.
From Olivia Jade to Succession, the new Gossip Girl’s cultural references couldn’t be more up-to-date. In fact, by Episode 3, a buzzy breakout star even appears on the show... as himself! But if you’re not in the know and are wondering who Jeremy O. Harris is and why he’s on Gossip Girl, you’re about to learn something, honey.
Warning: Spoilers for Gossip Girl Season 1, Episode 3 follow. Much of the drama in Gossip Girl Episode 3 comes to light when the characters attend the opening night of playwright Harris’ new off-Broadway play Aaron, a “very loose” adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus that centers on antagonist Aaron the Moor. Apparently, it features “full-frontal nudity, potentially disturbing, realistically depicted violence, simulated and non-simulated sex scenes, and audience participation.” Gossip Girl doesn’t show too much of this, but it’s safe to presume the show is a wild ride. Afterward, when Zoya defends the show and points out how historically white theater has often been, Harris himself pulls her aside for a chat. Could Broadway be in Z’s future?
You’ll have to watch and find out, but although Aaron isn’t a real play, Harris is a very real and very exciting writer. A recent Yale School of Drama graduate, he’s best known for his bold Broadway show Slave Play, in which interracial couples role-play as characters on a Southern slave plantation and confront their own internalized feelings about race and relationships. While the play stirred controversy after some critics worried it was disrespectful to Black history, Slave Play received widespread critical acclaim and a record-breaking 12 Tony nominations.
Harris also co-wrote Janicza Bravo’s recent film Zola, which is adapted from a real-life Twitter thread and tells the story of a stripping trip to Florida that goes disastrously wrong. Plus, he’ll play a British fashion designer who becomes Emily’s nemesis in Season 2 of the infamous Netflix comedy Emily In Paris. In short, he’s booked and busy!
Honestly though, Harris’ involvement with HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot isn’t a huge surprise. In early 2020, he signed a major deal with HBO, part of which includes his development of a TV pilot. Plus, he currently works as a co-producer for Euphoria Season 2, so hopefully he’ll show up there, too, and rock some glittery makeup. Until then, fingers crossed that he gets Zoya working on a fabulous new play.
New episodes of Gossip Girl hit HBO Max on Thursdays.
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