Camrus Johnson on Becoming the Change
The actor and director saw an incredible year for his work, which has caught the attention of the Academy.
You may know Camrus Johnson from his role as Luke Fox on the hit series, Batwoman. However, there’s a plethora of creative facets to the young actor that exist behind the camera. Recently, Camrus wrote, directed, and voiced his award-winning short film, Grab My Hand: A Letter to My Dad. The emotional short film has been captivating audiences due to its message. The film was inspired by Camrus' dad, who was grappling with the loss of his little brother. When he didn’t find the right words to comfort his dad, Camrus decided to communicate what he was feeling by doing what he does best: creating art.
“Well it accidentally showed the world, myself included, my deep desire to tell stories from a different perspective. Grab My Hand was always intended to be a surprise present for my dad only, but then I found myself winning awards (currently it is 2-time Oscar-qualified) for what people started calling my “directorial debut” and realized ‘Oh snap, I guess I did direct this? I guess I...am a director?’ It took me a while to be okay with accepting that title because I felt like I didn’t yet deserve it,” Camrus explained.
After seeing his work, it’s nearly impossible to imagine Camrus doubting himself. However, this is one of his many virtues. He is not afraid to be vulnerable in his work, regardless of whether he’s the one in front of the camera or in the writers’ room. Grab My Hand is the kind of film that transcends experiences and languages to deliver a powerful message that anyone and everyone will connect to.
“The film has opened the doors into this beautiful world of other artforms and storytelling. I’ve been approached to direct, pitch, act in animated TV shows, produce other animated shorts, and even write a YA graphic novel because my animated short proved my deep love for this art, even if by accident.”
When Camrus is not immersed in the writers’ room, you can find him solving crime in Gotham City alongside Ruby Rose on the TV Show, Batwoman. In the series, he plays Luke Fox, the extremely intellectual sidekick to Kate Kane, played by Ruby Rose. Luke assists both Batman and Batwoman with their missions using his incredible tech skills.
The second season of Batwoman is projected to hit streaming services early next year, and while Camrus didn’t want to spoil any details, he had some exciting things for fans to expect.
“I can’t stop talking about how pretty freakin’ awesome the stunts are this year. I mean, dang. I haven’t even seen most of them. I’ve actually seen none of the fights so far since I’m not in those scenes, but the little that I have seen and the more that I’ve read has me literally go to our team and ask ‘We’re really doing this? How?!’ Also, to my comic fans and fam, expect even more exciting and familiar characters to be making appearances this season. We’ve got some cool ones.”
As the world gets a hopeful glimpse of a COVID-free era with vaccines being distributed, Camrus has no plans of slowing down. There are many things he wants to achieve in 2021, including pushing his animated short film as far as it can go with the Academy. His hope is to send an important message of love and the importance of family to the world. He’s got his sights set on continuing his involvement in the film industry behind the camera and also in the publishing industry. While this may sound like a lot, if someone can achieve it, I’m confident it’s Camrus.
Like most people who get to witness his creative genius, I’m mesmerized by the incredible and impactful work Camrus Johnson continues to create. His ultimate goal? To deliver a powerful message about becoming the change the world so desperately needs.
“To be young means to be change, not just to bring change. People tend to think that we, as the youth, will only rebuild what has been destroyed, when instead, our duty is to tear down and restructure. Rethink. Reimagine. To be young today is to choose to create the world that we need whilst taking on the responsibility of teaching those older than us that we have to.”
This story appears on the December 20 issue of Mud, "Lisztomania." You can purchase a digital and print copy here.