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Jacinte Blankenship: Actress On The Rise

Photo: Rachael Humphries

Jacinte Blakenship is charismatic, confident, and a true creative. The Houston native loves the learning process in terms of acting and she has put in the work. Jacinte Blakenship is known for Black Widow (2021), The Founder (2016) and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021).

However, she is making a strong mark with her performance in “Intersection,” which is a six episode web-series available on YouTube. The dark comedy revolves around a tight Atlanta community coping with the challenges posed by gentrification. Blankenship plays Jenaya, who has to care for a son while facing the prospect of losing her house. The performance has garnered Blakenship a Primetime Emmy nomination for Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. Jacinte also helped to write and produce the web series. Her character is fantastic and I recommend watching the entire series. A touching moment of the series is the depth of love and care she has for her son. While she cannot promise him that everything will be alright; she can reassure him though of the love they share and how life will only get better by the two of them spending time together.

When Jacinte Blakenship had a moment to stop, she spoke with Gemma Magazine about "Intersection," her career aspirations, and her Emmy nomination.

Did you always know that you wanted to become an actress, and was your family supportive?

I enjoyed performing as a child, but I haven't always known I wanted to be an actress. I believe now that being an actress would be a big part of my story, although I didn't always have the awareness. My family is supportive, and when I chose to start acting, no one was surprised. As I take this moment to reflect, I can say I have a great circle of family and friends. They've been so encouraging and celebrated every win through the low points.

"Jenaya shares the essence of so many women I love and admire. She reiterates my resilience and grit. She is making the best of her circumstances and pressing forward through her struggles for her family. " (Jacinte Blakenship)

Photo:Rachael Humphries

Did you train formally for acting?

I started my career after I graduated from college, so my training came from being in class consistently over the years with a handful of incredible teachers. The class has been essential to my growth. If I can't be in class, I work on material with friends, read as much as possible and watch tons of films and television.

How did you like playing Jenaya on "Intersection"?

I enjoyed playing Jenaya tremendously. Because I was part of the writers' room, I spent a lot of time with her and felt deeply connected. It was pretty fulfilling to be able to craft her story and also bring it to life.

What have you learned from Jenaya?

Jenaya shares the essence of so many women I love and admire. She reiterates my resilience and grit. She is making the best of her circumstances and pressing forward through her struggles for her family.

You write and produce the series as well, correct? Was this challenging?

Meg Messmer, Jennica Hill, and Muretta Moss created the show, and I, along with Karen Ceesay, joined them as writers and producers. We wrote and produced this show during a pandemic, we all have different experiences and perspectives, and we're telling a story about gentrification. I found it challenging, I hadn't written much before this project, so I had a lot to learn. Collectively, I also believe we expected particular challenges. Despite our challenges, we did what we set out to do and shared quite a few laughs along the way.

Photo: Rachael Humphries

I noticed that you expressed what you hope people take away from the show: "To be open-minded and want a sense of connection as our neighborhoods further integrate." Can you please expand upon this?

I believe there are several messages that one can take from watching the show, and I'm grateful that people have taken the time to watch it. If conversations start, someone can relate to a character, or if someone finds the show thought-provoking or entertaining, that's all I could hope for.

Congratulations on being nominated for a Primetime Emmy for an Actress in a short form comedy or series!!! How do you feel?

Thank you! Honestly, it's felt pretty surreal. The recognition humbles me. I've been a working actor for almost two decades, and things like this don't happen daily, so I'm just enjoying the moment.

Do you love the entire creative process of acting?

Absolutely. I love the work. The discoveries, collaborations, and finding a way through the tough, uncomfortable moments make the process so fulfilling. It's why I chose this path.

What is one of your favorite roles that you have played?

Goodness, how am I supposed to pick just one? I have something I cherish about every role I've been blessed to play. One of my favorites was from this indie film called The Domestics. It's a post-apocalyptic film directed by Mike P Nelson, starring Kate Bosworth, Tyler Hoechlin, and Lance Reddick. I play Lance's wife in the movie, and I'm only in a few scenes, but they range from tender moments to tragic ones. I even had a stunt I did in one take, which was a blast. I truly enjoyed working on that film; the cast and crew were terrific.

Photo: Rachael Humphries

What is upcoming for you?

I'm excited about some projects that will be released later this year. And hopefully, we'll create more episodes of Intersection! Of course, I'm auditioning and planning to write and produce more.

To follow Jacinte Blankenship and learn about her upcoming projects, follow her on Instagram!

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