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Rome Flynn is Jessie in “A Madea Family Funeral”
By Shannen Hill - Contributing Writer
Published March 14, 2019

After years of working in television, Flynn is one of the good guys in Tyler Perry’s final Madea film. 

Emmy Award winner Rome Flynn is on the big screen in Tyler Perry’s latest film, “A Madea Family Funeral.”

Rome Flynn at the premier of A Madea Family Funeral. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Flynn grew up in Chicago and never really thought about acting as a kid or teenager. He was more involved with basketball and even received a basketball scholarship after high school. Even though Flynn was good at basketball, he was still searching for a career that he was passionate about. When Flynn was in his early 20s, he got involved with an arts program in Chicago. At the time, he didn’t even know what a monologue was, but he was a natural at acting.

For the next couple of years, Flynn booked some acting and modeling gigs in Chicago, but ultimately decided that he would move to Los Angeles with a friend who was also an aspiring actor. Living in Los Angeles was a nice change for Flynn. He was loving seeing the sunshine every day and was able to get a couple side jobs at P.F. Chang’s and Macy’s to pay his bills. During the months that he was working these jobs, however, he was not booking anything on the acting end. A blessing in disguise came as he was fired from both jobs around the same time.

“Getting fired from P.F. Chang’s and Macy’s forced me to stick to what I wanted to do,” said Flynn. “I told myself that I wasn’t going to work anywhere else and that I would either be successful at what I wanted to do or I was going to be homeless.”

About a month later, Flynn booked a role on VH1’s “Drumline: A New Beat,” which was filmed in Atlanta. Coming back to Los Angeles, it was almost a repeat of his first time. It was hard to book gigs and money was drying up so Flynn started working for a cafe, delivering pastries early in the morning so that he could focus on acting and auditions the rest of the day. After a few months he was fired again, but like the first time around, he soon after booked a role as Zende on the Bold and the Beautiful. This role led Flynn to win an Emmy for Outstanding Young Actor in a Drama Series in 2018.

“I never thought that I would win anything in acting. With this role, there was a huge progression from where I started to the last year I was there,” said Flynn. “The scene that I won the Emmy for was a scene and storyline that I actually wrote. CBS gave me the leeway to develop my character and from there, I knew that I wanted to further my creative process.”

His two-year contract was almost up with Bold and the Beautiful and Flynn started to think about exploring different types of acting roles. He changed management, agencies, and got a whole new team. That same year, he booked the role of R.k. on Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots” and the role of Gabriel, alongside Viola Davis, in “How to Get Away with Murder.” He is currently on the big screen as Jessie in “A Madea Family Funeral.”

Tyler Perry’s final Madea film, A Made Family Funeral, is in theaters now. (Photo Credit: Lionsgate)

“The movie is pretty funny and my character has a nice arc and journey,” said Flynn. “Jessie is a good guy and his father dies. He’s engaged to this woman, brings her to the family and finds out some scandalous stuff that’s going on between her and his brother, but it’s funny how everything pans out.”

Working with Tyler Perry has taught Flynn more about creative control. With CBS, Flynn took it upon himself to approach them about making changes to his character. With Perry, however, creativity and character development is encouraged. He will ask Flynn what he thinks and gives room for his actors to grow. This past year, Flynn has also learned a lot about acting from working with Viola Davis.

“A Madea Family Funeral” is now in theaters and you can also catch Flynn on “How to Get Away With Murder” and “The Haves and the Have Nots.” Find him on Instagram @romeflynn and on twitter @rometrumain.

 

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