William Jackson Harper is having a moment (or three)

William Jackson Harper has scored an business hat trick.

The veteran stage and screen actor co-stars in Oscar winner Barry Jenkins’ Amazon collection “The Underground Railroad” and headlines Period 2 of “Love Life” (HBO Max), which just wrapped capturing on its 1st episode in New York Town.

He also normally takes a unforgettable street excursion in the not too long ago released movie “We Broke Up” — or, as he phone calls it, “an indie anti-rom-com” co-starring Aya Dollars (“The Boys”).

“It starts off with a couple who’ve been collectively for 10 decades. I enjoy Doug, who asks his girlfriend, Lori [Dollars], to marry him — and she throws up,” reported Harper, 41. “The movie normally takes off from there as they are heading to a wedding and hoping to get via that weekend.

“It’s a genuinely thorny thing when two people are in a partnership and enjoy every other, but want distinctive factors. By some means that feels very developed-up and exciting to me.”

On the Television entrance, Harper performs Royal in “The Underground Railroad,” the 10-portion Amazon collection based on Colson Whitehead’s 2016 alt-actuality novel. Set in the nineteenth century deep South, it envisions a environment in which slaves hoping to escape to their independence use an actual underground railroad — full with practice tracks, engineers, a conductor, and so on. The collection focuses on Cora (Thuso Mbedu) and Caesar (Aaron Pierre), who are attempting to flee from a Georgia plantation. Royal, who’s also highlighted in the e-book, is a freeborn black man and an operator on the railroad who assists get passengers as far North as achievable — and strikes up a friendship with Cora.

Photo showing William Jackson Harper as Royal shaking hands with Cora (Thuso Mbedu) in
William Jackson Harper and Thuso Mbedu in a scene from “The Underground Railroad.”
Atsushi Nishijima/Amazon

“It’s a genuine paradigm change for Cora when she sees Royal due to the fact she states, ‘He’s just wanting people in the eye and conversing to them — there is nothing subservient about him,’ ” Harper reported. “There’s nothing about him that feels obsequious in any way, and that is a little something I held on to when hoping to enjoy the character.

“I wanted to get a really feel for how Royal moves via the environment,” Harper reported. “There is these types of a thing as doing as well much investigate for particular components, but that wasn’t the case with this piece. I think Royal has arrived at particular conclusions…and I genuinely latched on to that.

“I realized about the e-book for a when it was one particular of these textbooks I retained meaning to examine but avoided due to the fact I realized it would upset me,” he reported. “I realized the undertaking was coming to the screen in some capability, but I didn’t think in a million decades that I would get to audition for it, much fewer be included. When I did examine the e-book I couldn’t put it down — it was heartbreaking and also very hopeful in times and I was genuinely cheering for Cora.

“It was so productive, evocative, harrowing and vital in so numerous strategies.”

William Jackson Harper and Kristen Bell as Chidi and Eleanor in a scene from “The Excellent Place,” for which Harper received an Emmy nomination.
©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collectio
William Jackson Harper posing as himself.
William Jackson Harper

Harper, who played Chidi Adagonye on “The Excellent Place” for all 4 seasons of the NBC afterlife sitcom — for which he received an Emmy nomination — pivots subsequent to “Love Life,” taking over in the anthology collection from Anna Kendrick’s Period one character, Darby Carter.

“I’m taking part in Marcus,” he reported. “The 1st time was about what it is to be in New York in your 20s and discovering enjoy being a huge portion of that, along with a host of other problems tied to being a younger man or woman new to the city.

“My tale normally takes off from the level of check out of a man or woman who’s lived in New York for a when, is a tiny more secure and a bit more mature [than Darby] and thinks his daily life is likely to be this way likely forward — and what occurs when all of that is thrown up in the air…what it is like to be more mature and hoping to day and determine out who you are when anything you considered you ended up has entirely shifted.

“It’s checking out other problems via the lens of hoping to uncovered who you’re intended to be with.”