Jovan Adepo stars as rising musician and drug addict in a new Stephen King TV series adaptation

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At the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
At the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)


Jovan stars as rising musician and drug addict Larry Underwood, a man trying to find his place in the world in a post-apocalyptic America ravaged by a deadly flu virus, in the new dark fantasy series The Stand.

Adapted from the novel by Stephen King, the series – the second small-screen adaptation of the book – charts the lives of two groups of survivors who find themselves drawn to enclaves aligned with the forces of good and evil.

Larry joins a community led by a centenarian with spiritual powers, Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) in Boulder, Colorado.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas has become a literal sin city, led by the demonic Randall Flagg (played by True Blood star Alexander Skarsgård), which is preparing to go to war with the good-guy survivors.

Jovan (32) admits that although he was unfamiliar with the novel, he took on the role and did his research.

“I absolutely wanted to stay true to how he was portrayed in the book, for sure, because I think that's why people have come to like Larry over the years,” he said.

“The journey that he has is ultimately as somebody that may not be the most perfect individual, but he finds his way in a very sincere manner, and that's something I didn't want to mess with at all."



Born in England and raised in the US, Jovan completed a degree in philosophy and political science before becoming interested in writing and acting classes.

His breakout role was in 2015 in the series The Leftovers, which led him to audition and land a role opposite Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in 2016’s Fences, which Denzel also directed.

“What I really appreciated and adored about this experience was that Denzel gave me the freedom to find myself and to find my own confidence as an actor,” he says of the experience.

He has also starred in the World War II horror movie Overlord (2018); Netflix’s acclaimed mini-series about the so-called Central Park Five, When They See Us (2019); and he earned an Emmy nom for his role as the young Hooded Justice in the series Watchmen.

“I want to pay my dues and earn my stripes,” he says. “Keep on doing what I’ve been doing.”


’90s THING

The first screen adaptation of The Stand came in 1994 and starred Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe and Molly Ringwald.

“This was when the internet was new and there were chat groups on AOL, and that was kind of the only way you’re online,” says that show’s director Mick Garris, who also collaborated with Stephen King on Sleepwalkers (1992).

“Everybody had been saying, ‘Oh no, The Stand, they’re going to ruin my favourite book’. But I signed on to those chat groups and people are going, ‘Wow, are you watching The Stand? This is fantastic! Amazing!’”



Author Stephen King has shot down the comparisons some people have made between his novel and the Covid-19 pandemic. “No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It’s not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions,” he tweeted last year.

Jovan and co-star James Marsden in The Stand, a ne
Jovan and co-star James Marsden in The Stand, a new dark fantasy series that's gotten book and TV fans alike excited (Photo: CBS)

The Stand is on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Mondays at 22.30




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