Jeremy O. Harris, the Mind Behind Off-Broadway Breakout Daddy, Actually Prefers Mommies

Photography Sofia Malamute
Stylist Ian Bradley

Published March 27, 2019

Jacket, Shirt, and Pants by Comme des Garçons. Shoes by Givenchy.

Cocaine vials, Dom Pérignon bottles, an unwanted Birkin bag, and a full-size “saltwater” pool are just a few of the set pieces that populate the stage in Jeremy O. Harris’s new playDaddy. Having just finished the run of his “antebellum fever dreamSlave Play, as well as a screenplay for A24 inspired by an Odyssey-esque Twitter thread written by a former stripper, the 29-year-old Ivy League grad has turned his gaze to satirizing the Los Angeles art world. Here, his gut reactions to 10 topics chosen at semi-random.



I have a strong nostalgia for penne. In high school, I would come home and make vodka penne for myself with chicken and some green things. It was my every-other-day lunch when carbs weren’t something I thought about.”



“It’s exciting to see what kind of conversation a wildly popular piece of pop culture invites into the world. Someone else will get to make a rap musical now. Hopefully, it’ll be something less like Immortal Technique and more like Future or Rico Nasty.”



“I just love coke-y literature! This is the pinnacle of it. There’s something about the book that was specifically written by a geeked-out rich kid, someone who knew what it was like to be moneyed. It’s indulgent, while also presenting data on a lifestyle that is so demented and fun. It’s also dead now. I don’t think anyone would be all that excited about some kid from Wesleyan coming out of the gate now with a new version of Less Than Zero.”



“My thoughts on Ivy League schools are like Aretha Franklin’s thoughts on Taylor Swift: ‘Beautiful gowns.’ Her shading Swift was also her shading an industry that she’s a part of. I was trained to go to an Ivy since high school. I didn’t go out of defiance, because I wanted to be an actor. And still, I followed the path that was written down for me on a piece of paper when I went to the Carlisle School in Virginia. Wait, you might have just given me a Greek tragedy to write.”



“I’m not interested in all of the Trump-y people. I just think it’s so boring. I’d rather think about their policies than their personalities. Trump’s a true Gemini, so he’s very good at producing events of self around his personality. And the events of the personalities around him are just so next-level that it makes it impossible to notice Trump has appointed more [federal appeals] judges than any other president in the modern age. It’s going to affect all of us forever. So that’s how I feel about Jared Kushner. He’s a fucking Jew in an anti-Semitic White House. What are you going to do?”



“I love him and Lana Del Rey in the Gucci commercials. It’s like Alessandro [Michele] cast himself as Jared Leto, but in this weird fiction of a marriage with Lana Del Rey. It makes them really exciting to me, but maybe I’m reading it all wrong.”



“I love a saltwater pool even though they’re horrible for our environment. I probably should just go out to the one that Mother Earth gave me, but I really like it. You don’t have to worry about weird shit touching your foot. You float better. And it’s great for your skin.”



“I have a complicated relationship with daddies because I don’t have one, or at least not one that I recognize. I’m very interested in people who seem to have found their way without a daddy. I love mommies.”



“A zaddy is an ever-evolving idea. One minute a daddy is someone like Trevante Rhodes. The next it’s Steve Carell. I think I need Twitter to give me better, more concrete examples of what a zaddy is before I can truly weigh in. It’s too fluid a term.”



“It’s the only reason I’ve even been invited to the table of fashion. So I’m here for it. I opened the Telfar show at New York Fashion Week. That kind of integration wasn’t possible five years ago. I also have a lot of friends who are models. My mom was a model, but I don’t know what most models do, except make sure they don’t gain weight. No shade on models, they do a lot of things—outside of the job. But the main job, that’s really depressing. If the Nodel trend allows more integration of body types and different kinds of people, that’d be really exciting. It also just looks better, I think.”


Photographed at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York