In the new Amazon Prime series Harlem, the women are the stars. That doesn’t mean the men’s stories are any less valid. One of the men at the heart of this series is Camille’s ex-boyfriend Ian played by Tyler Lepley. We got the opportunity to have a chat with him about his character, why he thinks the show will resonate with people, and what he hopes will happen between Ian and Camille.
Tyler seems to have a clear idea of who Ian is and what he wanted to do with the character. After playing an intense character like Benjamin for eight seasons on The Haves and the Have Nots, it was nice to see him in a role that’s a bit lighter. As Tyler said, the previous shows he’s done are very dark so getting the opportunity to do Harlem, allowed him to just have fun. We agree that Ian is a fun and light-hearted character, who does bring a lot of levity to the story. We also loved his answer about Ian trying to become a successful chef in Harlem.
Ian has returned from Paris, and he’s developed a lot of cooking skills there. Now that he’s back in Harlem, he’s trying to bring some of what he has learned to the city he loves. The only problem is everyone is frustrated over the gentrification that has begun to take place and they now feel Ian is contributing to that problem. What Tyler said about Ian wanting to elevate the neighborhood was very insightful because that’s a great way to see what he’s actually doing. Ian does not want to gentrify the city he cares about; he wants to help put it and his people on the map.
When we asked Tyler why he thinks Harlem will resonate with viewers, he gave us an answer that we really loved. “Being black is not this monochromatic thing, it’s not one hue of the rainbow, its not one color its not one experience. Yeah, we all know that we’re very strong, we also have a vulnerable side too and I think that’s one thing people need to see.” We could not agree more. Harlem is that show, and we hope those that watch, will see it and come out of it having a different perspective because at the end of the day, we are not so different.