Published on September 3rd, 2011 | by thevyne0
Woman to Watch: Joy Bryant
Born: South Bronx, NY
Current Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Education: Accepted to Yale University and enrolled as a full time student until choosing to leave to follow her modeling dream.
Back in the Day: Joy was raised by her grandmother. Growing up she was more than just a pretty face. Joy attended the Westminster School, a boarding school in Connecticut, and was accepted into the elite Fieldston Enrichment program. The program is a part of a larger inner-city outreach organization called A Better Chance, which focuses on reaching out to minority talent to enrich their academic opportunities. As a result of this program, Joy remained an excellent student throughout her high school years and was accepted into Yale University.
Following Her Dreams: While attending Yale University, Joy’s beauty was noticed by a modeling scout from Next Models Management. Joy chose to leave Yale and follow this once in a lifetime opportunity to model in Paris, London and New York with a reputable agency. She signed with Next Models Management and eventually landed exclusive contracts with Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria’s Secret.
Big Break: Joy’s first small screen debut was in 2001 as Nikki in Robert Townsend’s “Carmen: A Hip Hopera”. It wasn’t long before she hit the big screen in 2002 and made a name for herself in Denzel Washington’s directorial debut, “Antwone Fisher”. She followed this success up with other notable films including “Honey” (opposite Jessica Alba), “Get Rich or Die Tryin” (opposite 50 Cent), “Bobby” (which was nominated for a SAG award as Outstanding Cast) and “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” (opposite Martin Lawrence).
What She’s Up To Now: These days you can catch Joy in her starring role as Jasmine Trussell on NBC’s hit show, “Parenthood” (season premiere Sept 13). She plays a single mom on the show. In an interview with ESSENCE.com she had this to say about how the character she plays resonates with her:
I grew up not really having a connection to my father so I think on that level I can really relate to the character in terms of not wanting her child to go through what she went through. I relate on the level of wanting your child to be balanced and have a relationship with the other parent, especially a father.
Giving Back: Joy has been a supporter and recruiter for Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet (SOP) initiative, which aims to help women around the world fight hunger, poverty, and climate change.
Happily Ever After: Joy is married to stuntman Dave Pope and they have a dog named Bubba. Relive their quaint wedding day by checking out these fabulous pics of their special day here.