My Casting Story: Actor Javon Terrell on ‘Tough Love: Los Angeles’

For this installment of My Casting Story, we’re featuring the star of the new TV One spin-off series Tough Love: Los Angeles. The show’s official synopsis details how it “follows a new group of young, unapologetically Black millennials living in Los Angeles as they participate in a social experiment about love and relationships within the Black community.” Javon Terrell plays Raymond in the series, and he’s also known for his work on projects like Criminal Minds and Madden NFL 21: Face of the Franchise: Rise to Fame. Terrell virtually sat down with Casting Networks® to share the casting story of how he landed a lead role on Tough Love: Los Angeles, including the dream opportunity of picking the character he plays on the series. 
What can you tell us about the character of Raymond and how you landed the part?
My character wasn’t popular growing up and he used to get picked on. Raymond did well in school and was a good kid, but he always felt like his mother gave all her love to his troublemaker brother. As an adult, Raymond is still dealing with some hurt and trauma from his childhood, which hinders all of his relationships. As far as booking the role, I’ll note that this project is a spin-off of the digital series Tough Love, which was set and filmed in New York. I auditioned for it, but scheduling conflicts and things of that nature didn’t align. However, that meant the creators already had me in mind when they started up Tough Love: Los Angeles. The plan for the spin-off was to base the storyline on characters from the original New York series, with the idea that they were moving to Los Angeles. Because we shot during the pandemic, a lot of the original cast members didn’t feel comfortable flying out here, so the creators changed up the whole storyline and that’s where the character of Raymond came from. He wasn’t in the original script, and I actually got to pick the role from a few of the new characters they came up with. I went with Raymond because I saw him as somebody that I hadn’t played before, which was an opportunity to show the different nuances of me as an artist.
I feel like it’s every actor’s dream to get to pick their role in a project. What an exceptional casting experience! Can you share some other reasons you were excited to be a part of the project? 
I was already a fan of the original Emmy-nominated series. It helped launch the careers of some of its cast members who are now working on big projects. I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of a great series that helped showcase what I can do. Besides being aired on TV One, it’s also available to stream online and already has more than 2.5 million views. It was just a win-win scenario to have that opportunity and to be a part of something I really like.
It sounds like it! Have you seen it already make an impact on your career?  
The show is still fresh, but it’s helped build an international fan base for me since it can be streamed online. Plus, it was such a blessing to be able to work during the pandemic at a time when things were still kind of weird and being figured out. Additional opportunities are starting to come my way because of it. I’ve had a movie pitched to me, as well as another series. I’m looking forward to bringing to future projects this experience of working on a production that safely filmed during COVID-19. 
More information about the star of Tough Love: Los Angeles can be found on his professional site, and Terrell also utilizes social media to connect with fans. Terrell’s casting story may serve as an encouragement to actors who have yet to receive a direct offer or the opportunity to choose the role they play. His experience reinforces the idea that putting in the extra effort helps move along one’s career. “They gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent, which I’d put in the work to develop,” concluded the actor.

This interview has been edited and condensed. 
Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for breaking industry news and exclusive offers!