IT’S JUST ACTING! That’s what many of those in Hollywood have been screaming to their fanbases forever. So many roles portrayed by certain actors have been done in such a great way that fans often think that is their true character. But what happens when an actor is approached by an audacious fan who, in turn, smacks them because they “don’t like your role/character on television?” Actor Jay Ellis is one of the latest to hit by a fan.
Born Wendell Ramone Ellis Jr, the South Carolina-born actor started with many walk-on roles in shows like iCarly, Grey’s Anatomy, and How I Met Your Mother, for example, after moving to Los Angeles Angeles in 2004. Then, in 2013, Jay Ellis experienced a breakthrough when he was cast as a series regular on BET’s The Game as “Bryce ‘Blueprint’ Westbrook.” But in 2015, Jay Ellis landed another breakthrough role that would stick with him for years. In the Issa Rae-led HBO series Insecure, Ellis was cast as “Lawrence,” Issa’s on-again-off-again boyfriend. Soon, adoring fans created the #LawrenceHive.
However character “Lawrence” was such a controversial one for the show. Some fans were rooting for Lawrence and his endeavors, seeing him maneuver through life’s many vicissitudes. So you had those fans that could relate to Lawrence, while others relegated him to a “trash human being.”
Still, the questions arose. Would Issa and Lawrence end up together, or would she move on? Technically, Lawrence could have been dealing with many factors, from failed relationships and career choices at times, that led him to make the decisions he did. Of course, that does not justify many of those choices, but it could indeed give a reason.
Insecure fans can recall the absence of Lawrence for much of season 3 following a rough patch in his relationship with Issa. Soon, a petition created by fans began to circulate on social media asking “Where’s Lawrence?” and asking for his character to return. And return Ellis did to rile fans up as Lawrence on the show once again. Whether you were rooting for him and their relationship or not, it was cool to see his return.
But maybe not for everyone. The show has ended with five glorious seasons. But apparently, some folks are still holding grudges with some of the characters. According to the actor, Ellis felt the heat from a crazed fan who definitely assaulted him in an airport. Why? Because of “Lawrence.” On January 25th, the actor revealed a fan smacked him at the airport.
Good morning to everyone except for the lady that slapped me in the face at the airport because she got mad at Lawrence for something he did in season 3— Jay Ellis (@JayREllis) January 25, 2022
Fans immediately flocked to his replies to comment on their disappointment in this person. However, some jokingly claimed she had a right to for “what Lawrence did to Issa.” “And that’s what you get for dogging Issa, ok! And if you THINK you gonna knock Condalulu [Condola] up again, Ms Peaches got something else for you. She’s gonna comebackforyou, ok,” tweeted a fan.
This is not the first time that Ellis shared that he’d been attacked thanks to being Lawrence. While speaking with Jemele Hill on her “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered” podcast, Ellis revealed that a woman slapped him in JFK, which shocked Hill. Ellis explained, “She literally slapped me and went, ‘Oh my God, Oh my God. I’m so sorry. I’m just so pissed at you, Lawrence,” The actor then shared that the woman in question shared that she was a “writer” and stated that she should have known better. Surprisingly, she also requested to interview him, which ultimately never went down. However, Ellis shared his wishes to do the interview so he could “expose” her.
Other actors have shared that their fans need to separate them from their characters. For example, glee actor Amber Riley recently tweeted that she “despises” when people refer to her as her character on the show, “Mercedes.” “I despise when ppl call me Mercedes,” wrote Amber Riley. “Put some respect on my name. Call me AMBER or RILEY. It’s wild that I even have to say that. No shade to the show/character that gave me a career, but please stop this. I don’t answer to it, and if you do it facetiously, I’ll block you.”