Blessings on Blessings: Actor Jay Ellis Talks About His Success After ‘Insecure’

It’s been a minute since Jay Ellis hung up his Best Buy shirt on HBO’s Insecure.

Now he is basking in his “blessings” at being a part of six-time Oscar-nominated film, Top Gun: Maverick. Ellis took the time to chat with TheGrio about what he’s been up to while, walking the red carpet of the 95th Academy Awards. “I feel super fortunate,” Ellis said. “I’ve had peak TV experiences and peak film experiences back to back, and I’ve been fortunate to work with people that I love from creative teams to casts to studios.”

As a fan, Ellis spoke about his experience working alongside veteran actor, Tom Cruise, in the follow-up to the 1986 classic, Top Gun. He reminisced about Cruise’s kindness and said he thinks of him as a mentor. “I’ve seen every single Tom Cruise movie. Most of them two or three times,” Ellis told Us Weekly. “To know that I got the opportunity to spend 10 months working with him on a movie and another however many months putting it out in the world and going on this press tour. It’s crazy. It’s absolutely bonkers.”

Before capturing hearts as the humble Lawrence on Insecure, co-starring with Issa Rae, the NAACP Image Award winner got his breakout role on BET’s The Game as Blue. Since then, his resume has gotten longer, starring in the thriller Escape Room and nabbing producer credits from Netflix’s Black Box. He currently has work in the Amazon Prime rom-com, Somebody I Used To Know. The proud father also married his love, Nina Senicar, last year in Italy.

He now hopes to give upcoming actors the same opportunities he was presented. “Mara Brock Akil gave me an opportunity. Issa Rae gave me an opportunity. Tom Cruise gave me an opportunity,” Ellis said. “There’s plenty of people in my life who have given me an opportunity to, like, step up and show what I can do. And I feel like I just want to be able to do the same.”