Jerrika Hinton made her stage debut in an adaptation of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry at age eleven. She went on to reprise the role of Cassie Logan twice more in subsequent productions of Taylor’s trilogy while also performing with the Dallas Children’s Theatre in her youth.
She attended Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, graduating Cum Laude with Honors in 2003 with a theatrical BFA with emphases in Directing and Playwriting. She was also honored with the Rosenfield Award for Playwriting.
After touring with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Jerrika made her screen debut in the movie Rain, based on the VC Andrews novel of the same name. She went on to guest star in Zoey 101, Lie To Me, Terriers, Bones, and Scandal.
In 2012 Jerrika wrote and directed the film The Strangely Normal, which received multiple premieres at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, Atlanta Underground Film Festival and Out in the Desert LGBT Film Festival.
Jerrika regularly volunteers in schools across the nation leading performing and writing workshops. She is an advocate for arts in the schools as well as a supporter of The Innocence Project.
Currently, Jerrika Hinton can be seen on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy playing the tenacious and ambitious Dr. Stephanie Edwards.
As a proud hermit with a tendency toward the quirk, many films purport to be aimed at me and my ilk. There’s a recognizable formula to those stories: Lovable Loser secretly hates her life. Lovable Loser’s gay friend and/or black friend pushes her to make a change. Lovable Loser subsequently falls in love. Lovable Loser is elevated from loserdom through love of Lover.
It’s enough to make you puke.
If these are the films aimed at my demographic, where’s the capable, interesting woman who’s comfortable with solitude and not obsessed with cheese (or any other quirk-of-the-week)? Where’s the woman who is introspective, intelligent and only just a little stagnant? Where’s the woman who is more concerned with why she’s doing than what she’s doing?
I hadn’t seen that woman. Then I realized I had to write her.
The one thing I keep coming back to since beginning this process is how relatable everyone finds The Girl. She seems to exist beyond demographics, beyond tropes. Her tale of ‘otherness’ is universal – and that’s something those other movies fail to understand. We’ve all felt like the ‘other.’ No one person belongs all the time. Yet, we’re so attached to our particular experience that we use it as a point of isolation rather than unification.
This isn’t just a tale about an outsider. It’s a story about belonging, longing, and the gulf of choices between the two.