Jaren Lewison FAULT Magazine Exclusive Photoshoot and Interview

Jaren Lewison x FAULT Magazine

Valentino – blazer
Gucci – pants
Bode – slippers
William Henry – necklace
David Yurman – ring
Khiry – ring

Photographer / Creative Director: Raen Badua

Stylist: Luca Kingston @ The Wallgroup

Grooming: Colleen Dominique @ Exclusive Artists using Circa 1970 and STMNT Grooming

Style Assistant: Rocky Tate

Words: Miles Holder

Acting since the age of five, Jaren Lewison has spent years honing his acting skills, and with his current portrayal of Ben Gross in hit show ‘Never Have I Ever’, it seems the hard work is paying off. 

With Season 3’s cliffhanger fresh in the mind of fans, and the recent announcement that season 4 will be the show’s final outing, we caught up with Jaren Lewison to discuss his process, his journey and his FAULTs. 

 What would you say was the most challenging aspect of this new season of Never Have I Ever?

Jaren Lewison: I’d say the most challenging aspect of season 3 was episode 306 (Ben’s 2nd solo episode). There was such an overwhelmingly positive response to episode 106 (Ben’s first solo episode), and I wanted to make sure people would relate to 306 too. It was challenging to make sure that the tone felt the same, whilst simultaneously showing Ben’s growth and maturation over the last few years. I give so much credit to the writer, Amina Munir, and director, Kabir Akhtar, of the episode for guiding me and helping me showcase more of Ben’s life. 

Bally – shirt
Bally – coat
Bally – trousers
Golden Goose – sneakers

With all the praise around the show’s cultural relevance and importance, did you feel added pressure to make sure you were doing your character justice and living up to the hype this season?

Jaren Lewison: I think I always put pressure on myself to do my best in everything I do. Since the show means so much to so many people, I think we are all committed to pouring love into the world that is Never Have I Ever, and I think fans can feel that dedication when they watch each season!

Looking forward to the fourth and final season, are there any aspects of your character that you would like to be further explored before the show comes to a close?

Jaren Lewison: Each season the writers give so much to Ben. He is constantly growing, screwing up, learning, and developing into a young man. I am so grateful to work on a show where I have the privilege and honour to portray a character that continues to evolve. Since we have already shot season 4, I will say this: I love season 4 with my whole heart and I don’t think there is anything left to be desired for any character when the final credits roll.

Rough – vest
Braydon Alexander – jacket
Fiorucci – pants
Naked Wolf – sneakers
Reality Eyewear – glasses

Do you find it easy to disconnect from your roles at the end of a project, or does it take some time for you to disengage and move on to the next one?

Jaren Lewison: It definitely takes me a little bit of time to disengage. I think that with Ben, especially, he will always have a very special place in my heart. This was my first big-time lead role and Ben has meant the world to me.

What’s one question no journalist has ever asked you but is something you’ve always wanted to discuss more in interviews?

Jaren Lewison: I really like talking about sports, food, and fitness, so anytime I have the opportunity to do so I really enjoy the conversation.

When you look back on your creative journey, what would you say has been your greatest failure and how did you rise above it?

Jaren Lewison: I think I “fail” every day. I “fail” every time I don’t book a job even though I had a great audition. I “fail” in the kitchen when my dinner tastes differently than expected and I was trying something new. Creativity is learning how to embrace failures, and by no means am I an expert – but I’m trying! I think throughout my life I’ve always wanted to do everything right, but one of my mentors, Alex Gay, said to me “perfection is the enemy of art”. I think, in order for me to be creative, I should be okay trying out a different flavour for a scene and be comfortable if it doesn’t work. I should get excited about an audition, regardless of the outcome, because I have the ability to learn and grow. Failing is starting to be fun.

What’s a role, even if it’s already been done, that you’d love to explore next?

Jaren Lewison: I think I’d like to do something dark. I really enjoy villainous roles. Barry Keoghan, Michael B. Jordan, Javier Bardem, Giancarlo Esposito, and Anthony Starr are all actors I really look up to and study to hopefully do the best I can when the opportunity to play a villain arises.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you received at the start of your creative journey?

Jaren Lewison: I wish people told me how hard it was going to be, to be honest. I think that as a kid, I had these huge aspirations – as I still do – but you don’t realize how much you have to grind to get there. They say it takes around 10,000 hours to master something, but for acting, it’s a lifetime. 

What is your FAULT?

Jaren Lewison: I have a very hard time “relaxing”. I honestly don’t even really know how to relax, which is very Ben Gross of me. I’m taking baby steps to try and realize that it is okay to slow down, and those moments can be very refreshing.