With the new Quibi drama #FreeRayshawn, Laurence FishburneStephan James and Jasmine Cephas Jones all share a common experience: they received Emmy nods for their captivating portrayals.

When Jones learned that she received a Best Actress in a short form series nomination for playing Tyisha, the girlfriend of Rayshawn, it was so unexpected that she didn’t intially believe it.

“When I first found out, I almost spit out my coffee,” Jones tells ABC Audio. “It was in the morning and somebody texted me and I literally said, ‘That would be amazing, but I don’t think I’m nominated.’ Like, I literally just didn’t process in my mind.”

Jones describes the nomination experience as “overwhelming,” and somewhat bittersweet since she wasn’t “in the same room” as her co-stars where she could “just celebrate… being nominated together.”

Like Jones, James was also floored by his nomination for his portrayal of Rayshawn, a man framed for murder by police. James tells ABC Audio that Fishburne, who’s also nominated for Best Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama, actually called him after the nominations.

“He was just like, ‘Man, congrats,"” Stephan recalls Fishburne saying. “[And] we just shared our love for each other.”

Since Jones considers himself “the biggest” Laurence Fishburne fan, the actor says it was just an honor “to work with him” and “be nominated alongside him.”

“I could care less who wins,” Jones adds.

As for Fishburne, who’s already a Emmy-Award winner, the actor says he’s just happy to be “sharing a nomination” with his co-star.

“I’m very, very excited for him and for all the other nominees in my category,” Fishburne says, adding that his “attraction to [#FreeRayshawn] was really about the larger story, more than it was about my character.” 

#FreeRayshawn is now available on Quibi.

By Candice Williams
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