Check out our interview with model, actress, musician, and popular NYC influencer Jarry Lee.

Jarry has a following of over 750,000+ across her verified social media channels, and appeared as herself on the Netflix show Dating Around (season 1), and in commercials for AT&T, Dr. Brandt skincare, and various L’Oréal brands. As a model and actor, she has worked with Maybelline, Lancôme, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Revlon, Apple, Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Nike, and other companies.

She has been featured in VOGUE Italia, POPSUGAR, Mic, Elite Daily, NY Daily News, AM New York, Authority Magazine, The New York Times, Cliché Magazine, Thrive Global, TMS, MESS Magazine, MOVER Magazine, and many other publications.

Previously, Jarry was the Deputy Books Editor at BuzzFeed for 3.5 years, covering books and culture. She is an alum of Choate (prep school) and NYU (university), where she graduated summa cum laude as a Phi Beta Kappa honoree.

Follow Jarry @jarrylee

Hi Jarry, please tell us a little about you?

I’m a full-time model, actress, musician, and influencer in Manhattan, New York City with a following of over 750,000 across my channels. I grew up in Wales and England, graduated from NYU and Choate, and used to work as a journalist (I was a deputy editor at BuzzFeed for 3.5 years). I now live with my boyfriend and our bengal cat Potato (he has his own Instagram @potatobengal) — and enjoy long-distance running, playing classical piano, painting, and cooking and baking for my food blog (@cookingwithjarry).

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Driven, confident, adventurous

Name one of your strengths?

My work ethic is one of my strongest traits — if I’m determined to achieve something, I’ll go above and beyond to put in the work required to succeed.

Best advice you were ever given?

Don’t be afraid of taking a risk or embarking on an unconventional career path — playing it safe is often riskier in the long run. You can’t predict your potential future success.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life?

My parents instilled in me their values of hard work, perseverance, and the importance of education. I’m always competing with the best version of myself.

How and when did you start modeling and acting?

I started modeling and acting as a hobby on the side — in spring 2018 and fall 2017, respectively. It was fun, and eventually when I started booking more and more paid shoots with bigger brands, I quit my job at BuzzFeed and my career in media in general to pursue it full-time.

What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?

I enjoy the creative aspect of collaborating with photographers to make images that look like art, especially when involving unique editorial makeup looks and high fashion styles. And each modeling job can be so different, it’s always interesting. Some gigs can be physically exhausting however, so that’s probably the less rewarding side.

What did you learn from your biggest failure?

Not to oversleep! I am not exactly a morning person, and one time I accidentally overslept and missed my call-time for a car commercial (I think for Cadillac). I’ve been setting multiple alarms ever since!

The most important thing when you are shooting is?

Remember to stay relaxed and move naturally — looking too “pose-y” can come off as rigid and unnatural unless that’s the intended aesthetic of the shoot.

What’s your advice for the newer models?

Focus on what makes you and your look unique, and emphasize that to stand out. You don’t want to look like everyone else. Embrace your individual flaws and quirks. And invest in your personal brand on social media — it’s a powerful, free tool for self-marketing.

Now on the acting side, tell us about it. What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?

I love villains because they’re so interesting and fun to play, and often complex in character.

Do you ever get nervous?

I used to deal with some anxiety, but now I’ve trained myself to become comfortable in most situations as I’ve gotten more experienced. Very few things faze me.

What is your next goal as an actress?

I would like to do more film work, especially indie films. I’ve mostly done TV and commercial acting so far.

What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?

It’s OK to turn things down — whether that’s a gig, role, audition, etc. I used to try to do everything I was offered, but quickly realized that my time is most valuable. Overextending yourself because you don’t want to say “no” to anything might actually make you miss out on other, better opportunities. At the same time, don’t make up excuses to say “no.” There will be days when I don’t feel like filming a self-tape audition, for example — but if I don’t put in the work just because “I don’t feel like it,” I would never get booked for anything! As the saying goes, you really do miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

What actor/actress do you admire the most, and why?

I admire Jamie Foxx because he has so many talents in addition to acting!

What’s next for Jarry Lee in the last months of 2020?

Currently I’m working on writing and recording new music that will be released on Spotify later this year, as well as a new acrylic painting and the designs for an apparel brand and jewelry brand I hope to launch in late 2021 or 2022 with my partner.

Which magazine or project is still on your bucket list?

I would love to one day be in VOGUE China!

In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?

Hopefully on 50 different billboards — just kidding! Being happy and healthy is what’s most important to me, and I see that continuing for me 5 years from now (hopefully). As for career, I hope that the brands I’m launching will be both successful and self-sustaining, and that I’ll have more film work and music albums under my belt that I’m proud of.

Now can you share some tips for fitness or beauty to do at home during this lockdown?

I’ve been working out at home with some new weights I got from BALA that I really like! They make this cool 10-pound exercise ring called the “Power Ring” and colorful weighted resistance bracelets that make my workouts more fun.

What is your favorite healthy food?

Are oysters healthy? They’re my favorite, anyway! I also love mushrooms (especially shiitake and enoki) and most fruits (particularly lychees, mangoes, and plums).

And your favorite cheat food?

Potatoes in almost all forms: potato pierogis, potato croquettes, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, etc. I also have a big sweet tooth and love sour candies, pastries, and pies (strawberry-rhubarb is my favorite to bake).

What is your own definition of happiness?

To me, happiness is feeling in harmony with the energy around you — whether that’s being in sync with your own needs and desires, or in positive relationships with loved ones and other people.

What is your workout routine these days?

I alternate between strength training with weights at home, and running outdoors. On an average day, I’ll typically aim to do between 4-6 miles.

Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?

I admire Bobbi Brown’s approach to makeup that enhances one’s natural beauty and skin, rather than covering it up. Imperfections are human and beautiful. In 2019 I worked with her on a shoot for her brand Evolution_18 — she’s a wonderful, kind person who I respect a lot.

What does fashion mean to you?

To me, fashion is creative expression. At its best, it can be an art form.

Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?

I love how model Halima Aden is outspoken about the need for more diverse representation in the fashion industry. I met her a few times at events with Vita Coco and she’s funny and lovely in-person too. One of my favorite designers is Yun Qu of Videmus Omnia — she is so creative and her designs are extremely unique and avant-garde.

How would you explain your fashion style and what items in your closet can you not be without?

I’m all about big statement pieces, especially statement jewelry. For clothing, I look for interesting structure and textures. I love dramatic shoulder silhouettes, bold patterns, fringe, tulle, flowy fabrics. I like when clothes surprise me.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Two of my favorite actors are Sandra Oh and Daniel Kaluuya. They are both so incredibly talented, and it would be a dream to be able to pick their brains (as much as I hate that phrase).

What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?

I was obsessed with The Lord of the Rings as a kid (the films AND the books), which means I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand. The landscapes are so stunning that they almost look surreal. And I’d go with my boyfriend and our cat Potato, of course!

What do you like to watch on Tv?

My guilty pleasure is dramatic shows about magic schools or supernatural creatures. I also like anything about spies.

What music do you like?

Indie rock, alternative, and some folk and jazz.

Do you support any charity?

I regularly support several wildlife and arts organizations.

3 things you can’t leave home without?

All I really need is my phone, an internet connection, and an open-minded attitude.

Idea of a perfect Sunday?

Waking up early and eating a hearty breakfast (ideally with eggs, fruit, a pastry, bacon, baked beans on toast, pancakes or French toast, and a fruit smoothie or a virgin Bloody Mary). Then, a run outdoors if the weather is crisp. Later on, cooking a new recipe and working on a fun creative project (like painting or music), and maybe some video games too!

Where we can follow you?

Instagram / Twitter / TikTok / YouTube / Facebook / Spotify

Official Website: www.jarrylee.com

Favorite Quote: “You can do anything you put your mind to.”

Holiday Destination: Tuscany region of Italy

Drink: Virgin Bloody Mary (I don’t drink alcohol) or any fruit smoothie

Celebrity Crush: Jodie Comer — she seems so cool and talented!

Favorite song? Why?

Can I say my own song? Because it took me so much work to produce, LOL!

Movie: not sure if I have an all-time favorite but two recent favorites were Parasite and Palm Springs

 


 

Photo Credit: Matt Oliver