GUAP Presents ‘The Top Boy Edition’ with Jasmine Jobson for March 2022.

Jasmine Jobson’s first magazine cover for GUAP’s March 2022 Issue. The leading lady of Netflix’s Top Boy discusses season two, loyalty and staying grounded.

Top Boy
Photography: Cameron Ugbodu

Jasmine Jobson was born to be on screen. As a child, friends and family described her as a bit of a drama queen. In the comfort of the GUAP office, I am hilariously corrected, as she admits that she was “a HUGE drama queen!” She says, “When I was little, I was so dramatic to the point where I’d get caught in my bedroom, staring into the mirror, pretending to cry. So when it came down to performing, it was always very easy for me.” It seems the private rehearsals paid off because, at only 26-years old,  Jobson is one of the leading ladies of the UK’s most anticipated tv series of the year; Top Boy: Season Two.

Jobson’s ability to connect with her emotional vulnerability at a young age made her stand out amongst her peers. After signing her up to a performing arts club at only five years old, her family were in awe as they witnessed a young Jobson be so courageous in her pursuit to perform and entertain others. “I was on it from young! Jobson gladly exclaims. “One of my earliest memories would probably be when I played Mary for the Nativity Play, and when it came down to performing, it was very easy for me.” As we go down memory lane, she recollects the innocent joy that she experienced as a child and admits, “When I would go on stage when I was young, they would have us singing, dancing and acting. I absolutely loved it, and it’s when I realised I had a genuine love for the art.”

“When I would go on stage when I was young, they would have us singing, dancing and acting. I absolutely loved it, and it’s when I realised I had a genuine love for the art.”

When Channel 4’s Top Boy was first released in 2011, it was one of the first British TV series of its kind. The crime drama told the story of drug dealers at war in a fictional housing estate called Summerhouse in Hackney. When the original series came to an abrupt end, it would be six years until Top Boy would return to our screens. When it did make its long-awaited comeback, it returned with the backing of global megastar; Drake and global tv and film streaming platform; Netflix. With some brand new friends to flex, the Top Boy universe returned to our screens, and the devoted fans at the edge of their seats could finally see what had become of their favourite characters.

Jasmine Jobson
Photography: Cameron Ugbodu

A part of this fan club was Jasmine Jobson, who recalled that when she was asked what kind of projects she’d like to be a part of by her agency. She responded with Top Boy. To Jobson and many others who can relate with the experience of growing up in a housing estate and being a part of a community dealing with knife crime, drug-dealing culture and violence. A story like Top Boy runs a lot deeper. So when she was called to audition for the role of Jaq, Jobson knew that this was a part that would push her emotional and physical limits.

Recalling her final audition for the role, Jobson says that “they told me to lose it and go completely crazy…and I was like, are you sure?” The casting director had no idea what they were in for,” she says, “I’m very fiery, so when they asked me to do this, I just had to let go and trust them. I really wanted that job, and I believe that if you want something hard enough, then you should really push for it. So at some point, I think the chair went across the room, and I don’t really remember what happened next.” A week later, Jobson got the role of her dreams, and it was time for the work to begin. 

 In the company of Top Boy veterans like Ashley Walters (who plays Dushane Hill) and Kano (who plays Sully). Jobson’s work with Jaq immediately made her character a formidable one. In season one of Netflix’s ‘Top Boy’, we meet Jaq when she is Dris’s second in command while Dushane is in Jamaica. After the ZTs attack of Summerhouse, it is Jaq’s responsibility to recruit more “youngers” whilst also taking up more responsibilities as Dris struggles to keep up with the workload as the stakes get higher.

Jaq is a fearsome presence on the show, and there is no question that she chooses loyalty over everything.

Loyalty is an aspect of Jaq’s character that Jobson deeply connects with. She tells me, “I love Jaq. I’ll always love her like that annoying but loving little sister that everybody has, but she is loyal to a fault. Sometimes she doesn’t always make the right choices, but it’s never coming from a place of malice”. Jobson takes a moment but says, “She is the only female in a male-dominated world, and it’s very difficult for her.”

Jasmine Jobson
Photography: Cameron Ugbodu

A scene that stands out to many, which Co-Founder of GUAP Magazine, Ibrahim Kamara, described as “one of the most memorable moments of season one”, is the heart-wrenching scene between Jaq and her sister; Lauryn (played by Saffron Hocking). When Jaq discovers that her sister was seeing a rival gang member, Leyton. The revelation of Lauryn having divulged some information causes Jaq to brutally beat her up and tell her to get as far away from Summerhouse as possible. The painful performance is conflicting for the viewer, as we watch Jaq’s heartbreak every time her hands violently strike her sister.

Even as we discuss the scene a few years later, after the cameras first rolled on set, Jobson empathetically puts her hands on her chest as she momentarily returns to how she felt the day of shooting.

“That was definitely one of the most difficult scenes for me to shoot; I couldn’t imagine putting my hands on my sisters. Mentally, I had to put myself somewhere else to be able to channel that level of anger.”  

For Jobson’s menacing performance in this scene alone, undercut with moments of true heart-breaking vulnerability, Jobson sets the standard of excellence in performance, drama and studious awareness of her character’s identity. “I feel that for me, it is an actor’s responsibility to bring a character to life.” She explains, “what I tend to do is completely strip the character apart, and with every element of that character, I just add a little bit of myself, piece it back together and then run with it.”

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With Jobson constantly pushing herself on set, self-care is a crucial component in ensuring that she can perform to the best of her ability and not lose herself in the process. Jobson explains that “there were many times on set when I needed to take five minutes for myself, before and after scenes to properly hone in on what I was feeling in that moment.” 

Top Boy
Photography: Cameron Ugbodu

Even in moments of chaos, Jobson has remained grounded, which can be significantly credited to her family. Smiling gleefully at their mention, Jobson tells me, “I’ve always made sure that I’ve been around my family; that’s very important to me. They definitely keep me grounded and humble me all the time.” It is clear that Jobson feels a sense of responsibility for her family and how her love and loyalty for them contribute to how she sees herself and why she takes being an older sister so seriously. She explains, “I had to be the role model my sisters needed, so to do that, I needed to make sure to focus on myself and put myself in situations that they can look up to.” Jobson’s tenacious pursuit of exploring her creativity and being courageous enough to push herself to points of discomfort tells us that season two will exceed the expectations of its global audience. 

Top Boy is one of the greatest British tv-series right now because it represents the story and culture of a community long-ignored by popular British media.

Even after facing harsh criticism back in 2011, like the community that it reps, Top Boy returned to our screens with no desire to conform to the masses. Top Boy is one of the first to tell the story of gang wars in the drug market of London in a way that is nuanced and diversely explored. Jasmine says, “It’s not a glamorisation at all; we are underlining so many important situations that happen in London. From gang crime to postcode violence, gentrification, immigration and racism.” There is more to Top Boy’s story than guns and violence, and it is why the culture will uphold it as an iconic classic. 

Jasmine Jobson
Photography: Cameron Ugbodu

Jasmine Jobson is the true definition of a GUAP cover star, and it is our honour for us to be her first. The new season of Top Boy is available to watch on Netflix on Friday 18th March 2022.

Team Credits:

Photography: Cameron Ugbodu
Creative Direction & Styling: Gloria Iyare
Production, Interview & Words: Chelsea Mtada
Hair & Make-Up Artist: Blessing Kambanga
Video Direction: Sam Adjaye  
Production Assistant: JK Abuah
Social Media/Tik Tok Creator: Krystal D’Anjou
A special thanks to Monique Reynolds-Blanche

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