James Freedson-Jackson was born in California, but has lived in the New York area for most of his life. Obsessed with Michael Jackson and from a very early age, James could Moonwalk practically before he could walk. This led him to the famed Alvin Ailey School pre-professional program in New York, where he worked for many years to become as accomplished a dancer, as he is an actor.
One of the biggest thrills of James’ life was being chosen by Bruno Mars to join him in opening the 2014 Super Bowl Halftime Show, as one of twelve kids who sang the beginning of ‘Billionaire’ in front of millions of viewers. And getting to meet Bruno Mars!
James made his film debut in 2015 in Jon Watts' acclaimed thriller Cop Car, co-starring with Kevin Bacon, for which he received a Saturn Award Nomination for "Best Performance by a Younger Actor". His next starring role, in The Strange Ones by Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff, opposite Alex Pettyfer, won him the 2017 SXSW Film Festival award for "Best Breakthrough Performance".
On TV he was seen in the Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones (Episodes 8 and 9) as Young Kilgrave: the adolescent precursor to David Tennant's arch villain, and was featured on NBC's The Blacklist (The Kenyon Family) as a young boy with a with a dark past. His most recent film 18 to Party, by Jeff Roda, recently premiered at the Chelsea Film Festival, and is slated for wider release later this year.
Onstage, James has played a hungry orphan in Oliver! at the Papermill Playhouse; Winthrop in The Music Man, and has lent his voice to a number of voice-overs.
James grew up backstage in the theatre; his dad is a producer, and from an early age James loved tagging along to rehearsals, watching the performers, and hanging around backstage. He learned to do magic tricks and some celebrity impersonations, and is pretty good at both!
He loves to ski, bike, hike, and shoot baskets. He’s great with babies and animals, and has probably spent more time with his twin sister, Anita than with anyone else. Thank you, Jon Watts!