‘This Is Us’ Star Ron Cephas Jones on Making Emmy History With First Father-Daughter Win
It’s the kind of emotional heartbeat that you’d find in a This Is Us episode. Not only did Ron Cephas Jones win his second Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role as William Hill on the NBC drama, but the actor’s daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, won the Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for Quibi’s #FreeRayshawn.
TV Insider was in the Creative Arts Emmy virtual pressroom on Saturday, September 19, where Jones chatted with reporters about how the 2020 Emmys are becoming a family affair. Plus, he shared his hopes for Season 5 of This Is Us. Read on for the scoop!
On daughter Jasmine winning her first Emmy for her role as Tyisha on #FreeRayshawn
“As a parent, that’s the most fulfilled I could ever feel. Wining another Emmy is icing on the cake, but to see my daughter move into this place where she’s earned an Emmy… it’s beyond words. I tear up every time I think about it. The highlight of this whole journey is to see my daughter become happy, successful, and healthy. That’s a parent’s dream. As a parent, nothing could be finer. Nothing. Out of all [my] Emmys, [my daughter] winning is everything. My heart explodes when I think about the success she is having.”
On if he and Jasmine had a pep talk before going into Emmys week
“No, not really. We always focus on the work. Ever since she was a little girl, coming from the theater, it’s always been about doing good work…when you’re able to do what you love to do, that’s the win. I’m always behind her and supporting her. This win keeps you humble, wanting to do more good work. We support each other that way.”
On really digging into the character of William on This Is Us
“This is the first role I’ve had on television where I’ve had a long arc. It’s been a blessing to have found all these beautiful layers over several seasons. It shows the level of work I’m capable of doing and doing it on a television series has been everything. This has changed the course of my career. It’s been everything.”
On learning that William’s death didn’t mean the end of being on the show
“It was heartbreaking… not only to find out that the character had passed away, but I had the initial feeling I wasn’t going to have a job anymore! [Creator/executive producer] Dan Fogelman assured me that the character would continue to appear and we’d fill in blanks with [William] and the Pearsons and Randall. I owe a debt to Dan Fogelman and the writers who continue to come up with scenes, beautiful stories. It means everything to be able to come back for all four seasons and to have been nominated [and win twice] … It has meant everything. It’s given me life.”
On if he’ll be celebrating with his daughter
“My daughter is on the East Coast at the moment. She’s hanging out with her fiancé (Anthony Ramos, Hamilton). He’s doing a project. I’m in L.A. so, we’ll have to do a Zoom thing with the family. Hopefully, when all this is behind us, we can get together as a family. We can get together for a meal. Right now, I have to give hugs and a kiss through the social media platform.”
On forming a production company and creating his own content
“I think that’s exactly the track that I’ve been on… All those things are being talked about with my team. As we moved forward, hopefully I’ll be able to join [those] people who create projects and tell our stories from our narrative as well as [work on] collaborations with my daughter.”
On making history as the first father-daughter duo with Emmy wins in the same year
“That’s pretty incredible. Despite all the other obstacles, this has been a great year. We have something to smile about as we continue to struggle and fight the good fight. I want to thank the TV Academy, all the people at This is Us, NBC, and 20th [Television], and, in particular Dan Fogelman, for believing in me and writing this character.
On reuniting with the cast of This Is Us
“Everyone in the cast has become like my family. I miss them all incredibly. I’m looking forward to and hoping that in Season 5 we’ll be able to go back and do some work with those cats again … I want to thank the TV Academy, all the critics, and the fans for supporting me, for supporting This Is Us. It’s been a hell of a ride. I couldn’t feel more blessed, grateful, honored and humbled so, thank you all so very much.”
This Is Us, Season 5 Premiere, Tuesday, November 10, 9/8c, NBC