Kelvin Harrison Jr. feared he’d be fired from his role in The High Note: ‘I thought it was a disaster’

Kelvin Harrison Jr. feared he’d instantly lose his job shortly after he was cast in The High Note.

The 27-year-old actor scored his first romantic lead in the highly-anticipated film and was completely shocked upon receiving the good news.

“It was tough for me because at the last minute my agent told me you got the part and you’re leaving tomorrow,” Harrison Jr. tells press including 9Honey Celebrity. “We immediately went into the studio and I had strep from the plane. I thought it was a disaster and I [was] going to be fired or I’ll record these songs and they’d say I was awful.”

In The High Note, Harrison Jr. plays David Cliff who is coached through his nerves by Maggie Sherwoode (Dakota Johnson). The pair strike up a romance as they record his first demo.

Harrison Jr. admits he felt an element of “self-doubt”, but the support of co-star Tracee Ellis Ross and producer Rodney Jerkins got him through.

“They were telling me ‘You have nothing to be afraid of, and we don’t grow unless we take risks’,” he says. “I do share that moment with David in the movie.”

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Less than a decade into his acting career, Harrison Jr. has already made a name for himself in Hollywood. He began with small roles in 2013’s 12 Years a Slave and Ender’s Game, before his breakthrough performance in the 2017 horror film It Comes at Night. His following grew after 2019’s Luce and Waves and this year he was cast in the hit TV show, Euphoria.

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“I’ve been really grateful for the parts I’ve gotten. I wanted to change it up as much as possible,” Harrison Jr. says of his current role.

“Originally when I started this, I thought I wanted to be on the Disney channel or in an episode of Hannah Montana, and I’ll be content. But that’s not where my career went. I ended up on political historical films if that’s what I keep doing then great, but I’m just trying to ride the wave.”

The High Note is out in Australian cinemas now.

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