Catfish Jean is a name you can’t forget! From the hit Starz series Survivor’s Remorse with LeBron James as an Executive Producer, Catfish Jean plays Squeeze, the crazy yet lovable family guy. “I play a lot of comedic roles and Squeeze was one of those out of the ordinary guys that, you probably don’t want him to be around because he acts up to much. He says things that he isn’t supposed to say. Squeeze is like that annoying cousin. Playing him is fun,” Jean states. When asked about how this monumental opportunity changed him, his kosher persona showed through when he explains, “I don’t think I changed, I just think that it enhanced me to be a better person and enhance my career with getting other work. So, it’s been a great two seasons working on the show and it catapulted me to another level which everybody in this state would want to do for their career.”
Jean, during the interview jokingly told us the story behind his interesting name and it’s hilarious and heartwarming. “When I was 13, I was a rebel. I had a P.E. class and my teacher said we were going to run a mile next and I started hopping on the floor and rolling around and my friend said, ‘you look like a big ass catfish,’ and it stuck. After a while my friend told me the reason he gave me that name. He said, ‘even though you complain half the time, you never give up, you keep on pushing, and you’re resilient so I gave the name to you because you never give up and it’s hard to kill a catfish.’ The gratitude and appreciation Jean has for his friends is commendable. For him, staying grounded and not forgetting those who’ve helped him to get to where he is now is essential.
On the same note, Catfish proceeded discuss the three actors that pushed him forward and motivated him. “Chris Bauer is a friend, a peer mentor, and I definitely look up to him. Aldis and Edward Hodge are like family. These two guys sit down with me, they are my business partners, they taught me the ropes, and brought me in. We push forward together and they genuinely want to see me grow. "
And the most exciting thing about Catfish was his origin story. “Before my acting career, I was selling mangos and oranges in the street.” And then the comedian stated his real answer when he says, “Before my acting career took off I was in college. I was just a student that wanted to and act and get into the realm. After graduating from California Lutheran University, I moved to Los Angeles and started auditioning immediately. It was difficult; a lot people don’t know how hard it was for me to make it. My start was a struggle, but I had parents that held me down and helped me out. I am truly grateful for my parents being there for me. If it weren't for them, I don’t know if I would have made it this far.”
Now moving on to style, Catfish has his own style that adds a dash of flare to him and everything he wears. He represents for the big guys and does it exceptionally well. “Being from Miami, I’ve always loved fashion. As a big dude it’s hard to find fashionable clothing. I like to look good. I like to kill the game. The most important thing I pay attention to when getting dressed are shoes. Shoes are the foundation and I rely on my favorite Gordon Rush and Cole Haans. Once my shoes are locked, I can assemble any outfit from there. I have to make sure everything is well put together because they sleep on big dudes.” Bringing the interview to a close, Jean let us in on a few things to stay on the lookout for. “My fans can expect this new movie called Skin In the Game and for the next season [Survivor’s Remorse] there will be a lot of wows and you will definitely see more of Squeeze.”
Photography: Bobby Quillard
Follow Catfish Jean on Twitter & Instagram: @CatfishJean