Jack Harlow Says Acting Allows More 'Freedom' Than Hip-Hop and Is 'Way Harder Than Music'

"I don't want [acting] to be a side hustle, I want to full-on go after this," said the rapper, who makes his acting debut in White Men Can't Jump

Noam Galai/Getty
Noam Galai/Getty

Jack Harlow is ready to dive deeper into acting.

The 25-year-old rapper makes his acting debut alongside Sinqua Walls in White Men Can't Jump, a remake of the 1992 basketball film. It debuts on Hulu this Friday.

After a screening in New York City on Monday, Harlow explained during a Q&A that he intends to make his acting career more than just a "side hustle" to his music.

"Through this film I was able to gain my confidence as an actor, and to me, this s--- is not a side quest," he said. "This isn't a side mission that I'm tacking on just to keep the entertainer thing going and make some extra money."

"I really got the bug and fell in love with this, and I'm developing a deep passion for the craft of this the same way I had in music. I don't want it to be a side hustle, I want to full-on go after this, and I'm going after it and I'm going to continue to do more," Harlow added of acting.

Related:Jack Harlow Says Working with Late Lance Reddick on White Men Can't Jump Was 'Absolute Pleasure'

Noam Galai/Getty
Noam Galai/Getty

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Harlow — who joked that making the Los Angeles–set White Men Can't Jump felt like "summer camp or school" each day — also admitted that "acting is way harder than music, if you ask me; way more grueling, so I loved the challenge and so grateful that this was the start."

The artist, who debuted his latest album Jackman. last month, shared that he found a new kind of "freedom" in acting that he doesn't experience in his music-making process.

Peter Iovino/HULU Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow in <em>White Men Can't Jump</em> (2023)
Peter Iovino/HULU Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow in White Men Can't Jump (2023)

"It's funny, I definitely consider myself an authentic artist. I tell the truth on the mic, but maybe sometimes I feel some slight constraints in hip-hop because there's a tradition to it and I know I'm a guest in the genre," said Harlow.

"There's things that go through your head from time to time. But with acting I feel liberated to some degree — I feel like I could show up and I could be whoever I want to be today. I don't know, I feel freedom."

In White Men Can't Jump, directed by Calmatic, Harlow plays Jeremy, a former basketball player who struggles with his future when his athletic dreams become a long shot due to his injured knees. He strikes up a bond with Kamal, a local star player who was poised for the NBA trajectory before his anger issues derailed that plan.

Harlow said he was glad his character shared much of his own personality, making the performance more accessible as a newbie.

"I got lucky that so much of my real personality got to leak into this character. I think it eased me into acting a little bit that I didn't have to completely transform," he said. "Obviously Jack and Jeremy are different, but ... it felt very, I don't know— I felt at home."

White Men Can't Jump is on Hulu Friday.

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