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Jasmine Jobson, star of Top Boy, expresses gratitude for the support she has received from others, recognizing that not everyone is as fortunate.


Every now and then, a television series truly resonates with audiences. It becomes a symbol of the current cultural climate and may even be featured in retrospectives or academic studies. Most importantly, it is adored by viewers and lingers in their minds long after its conclusion.

Top Boy is a popular series, along with Peaky Blinders and Sex Education. It ended in September after five seasons, so be aware that there may be spoilers ahead. Jasmine Jobson, who played Jaq from 2019, is still primarily known for her role on the show. Many fans, including myself, consider Jaq to be the standout character due to her tough and loyal nature while running the drug scene in the absence of the main players. Jobson often gets recognized by fans on the street, but she doesn’t mind. She also mentions that she has a fondness for Jaq and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to the character. Nowadays, she mostly uses Uber for transportation in London because it’s faster, although she does get stopped for photos by Uber drivers.

We are currently in the office of her agent, located in central London. However, our discussion does not revolve solely around Top Boy. Although, we do touch upon the topic. In fact, it takes me no more than five minutes to inquire about the most pressing question on my mind. The climactic scene that left viewers stunned, where Sully is shot in his car… Was it Jaq who pulled the trigger?

“I can’t tell you that,” she laughs. “I have no idea. Everybody’s asking. I’m hearing so many conspiracy theories. I like hearing everything, but I’ve no idea.”

I have a thought about this. Jobson appears relaxed in her red tracksuit and Crocs, with her hair piled on top of her head. She exudes a calmness with a hint of wariness, which is a stark contrast to Jaq’s confrontational demeanor. However, she is not easily swayed. Despite my and the nation’s admiration for her role in Top Boy, it is evident that she is making strides in her career. Next year, she will star in Bird, a new film directed by Andrea Arnold, alongside Barry Keoghan. She is also currently filming a TV show that she cannot disclose details about.

Prior to our introduction to them, there is Platform 7, a TV series with four parts that will premiere on ITVX on December 7th. In the series, Jobson takes on the role of Lisa, a teacher who we come to realize is no longer alive. Lisa is a ghost who is trapped in the train station where she passed away, and eventually befriends another person who also died there. Initially, the show has a charming and whimsical feel, but it quickly evolves into a thriller (did Lisa purposely step in front of a train or was there another cause of her death?), as well as an exploration of a romantic relationship. Additionally, there are some humorous scenes of the ghostly duo scaring the living.

Jasmine Jobson as Lisa in Platform 7.

The series explores dark themes, but also maintains an element of fun. Jobson’s character, Lisa, must navigate a wide range of emotions. Jobson found this aspect enjoyable, as it reflects the complexity of human nature. She wanted to showcase this through Lisa, who is portrayed as a tough individual but also has moments of vulnerability. As an actress, Jobson was particularly proud to portray a teacher, as she values caring and kindness towards others. She loved the experience of filming the show in Leeds in January, even though it was cold and she had to wear multiple layers of thermal clothing. She jokes that she may have appeared “thicc” on screen due to the extra layers.

Without giving anything away, Platform 7 contains some significant hidden messages that hold great significance for Jobson. She strongly believes in sharing genuine narratives.

Returning to the topic of Top Boy, there were individuals who believed that the show’s raw portrayal of urban black life was too intense. However, Jobson explains that the purpose was to shed light on the harsh realities and provide insight into why good kids may become involved in negative circumstances. She became a part of the show when it transitioned from Channel 4 to Netflix in 2019 and was already a devoted fan before even auditioning.

The story goes that during her last audition for the part of Jaq, the directors requested she demonstrate losing her cool. She inquired about the limits; they replied: do as you wish. Jobson took this opportunity to the extreme and hurled a chair.

Jobson as Jaq in Top Boy.

During previous interviews, she has mentioned that the incident of throwing the chair occurred spontaneously and she could hardly recall it afterwards, as if she experienced a blackout. However, in my opinion, she implies that she was fully in control.

The person states that their actions were intentional. They asked beforehand because they didn’t want to make any mistakes. They did their part, but the most important thing was making sure the chair didn’t come near anyone. They were careful to keep it away. They do not advise others to act recklessly and lose control during an audition. When they found out they got the job, they were washing their hair and ended up flinging shampoo all over their bathroom while loudly celebrating. They admit to throwing things around in excitement.

Jobson gets emotional when she talks about Top Boy. She describes doing her final scene. “It was such a beautiful moment,” she says, her eyes filling with tears. “I’m very in touch with my emotions, as you can tell.” She makes me well up, too. “Ha! Clearly I’m amazing at what I do.”

During her five years in the show, Jobson gained valuable lessons in discipline and patience. She and her fellow actors were constantly adapting to changes in locations, schedules, and scripts, often having to quickly learn new scenes. However, the most important lesson she took away was the importance of teamwork. Jobson recognizes that success is not solely based on individual efforts, but rather the ability to work together. As someone who prided herself on independence and self-sufficiency, it was a challenge for her to learn how to be vulnerable and rely on others. She was raised to be a strong and serious person, so embracing vulnerability was a significant personal growth for her.


Obson’s independence and apparent invincibility come from her formative years. She spent most of her childhood in London, specifically in the Harrow Road area, where she was a lively and expressive child who loved to sing. At the age of four, her mother caught her fake-crying in front of her bedroom mirror. From that moment on, her mother labeled her as a drama queen who could cry on command. As a result, Obson was enrolled in Paddington Arts, a performing group for young children. She also had significant roles in her primary school productions, such as playing Mary in the year 1 nativity play and Romeo in a year 6 performance of Romeo and Juliet. She thoroughly enjoyed her childhood, participating in singing, dancing, and acting. She even took part in Carnival, joining in on the floats and festivities.

However, things took a turn for the worse when she entered secondary school. In year 8, social services relocated her and her younger sister from their mother’s home to live with their grandmother. Jobson was unhappy about the move. Despite this, she continued to excel in her drama class and participate in street dancing at a local youth club. “But I was filled with anger and struggled to communicate effectively. I couldn’t get my point across,” she recalls. She fell in with the wrong crowd, got into fights, and started using drugs. She has referred to herself as a “hood rat” in the past, but now looks back on her younger self with more compassion. Social services even labeled her as “the most difficult child in Westminster” at one point.

She admits, “I was behaving poorly. I didn’t treat my grandmother with respect. I would come home late, still wearing my school uniform, and I would run away when she told me no. I just wasn’t being a kind person. Despite knowing right from wrong, I continued to make bad choices.”

The pivotal moment occurred when her younger sibling also responded to her. “I told her, ‘Don’t be rude. Nan has requested that you do something, so get up and do it.’ And she replied, ‘Well, you don’t follow her instructions either, Jasmine.'”

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Jobson realized that a shift needed to happen, but she was uncertain of the exact nature of it. She sought refuge at a friend’s house, but it proved unsuccessful. At the bold and resourceful age of 14, she made the decision to enter foster care. A caregiver named Valerie was assigned to her. Valerie resided in West Drayton, which was in close proximity to Heathrow airport.

Jobson and Kadeem Ramsay

“I recall telling the principal, ‘What do you mean, West Drayton? You never informed me it was such a distant location!’ she recalls. “I wanted to cancel, but it was already too late. However, when I arrived at the house, I distinctly remember Valerie inviting me to go out and see some of my friends, saying, ‘As a teenager, I don’t expect you to stay cooped up in the house all day.’ I was astonished.”

Valerie inquired about the desired time for her return. “I was taken aback and thought it was a trick question,” she recalled. In a playful manner, she responded with “Nine o’clock?” To her surprise, Valerie agreed and even added that she could text if she would be arriving later than planned. By 8:30pm, she was already back home.

Valerie is credited by Jobson for completely changing her life. She became skilled at time management, her behavior improved, and she achieved her GCSEs, despite being in a pupil referral unit. Valerie even provided financial incentives, offering £100 for every grade C or higher. Additionally, Valerie supported Jobson in her struggles. As a teenager, Jobson attempted to obtain a small educational grant from the council to pay for her profile on Spotlight, an actors’ database used by casting directors. When the council initially rejected her request, Valerie took the issue to the highest level and ultimately succeeded in securing funding for Jobson’s profile. This funding continued until she landed her role on Top Boy.

At 19 years old, Valerie passed away and Jobson was taken out of West Drayton by social services and placed back in the same area where she had previous issues. “Back in the same situation,” she recalls. “They want me to succeed in life, but instead they throw me right back into the chaos that caused it all in the first place.” Thankfully, she had a dedicated social worker who advocated for her. “She fought tirelessly and managed to get me on the list of four young people nominated for a flat every year in Westminster.” Jobson was able to obtain a council flat, which she still resides in. However, her social worker was eventually transferred. “She cared too much for my well-being, according to them. She didn’t follow the rules.”

Jasmine Jobson.

Jobson has been influenced by several significant figures in her life, people who were able to look beyond her rebellious actions and see the true person underneath. Valerie was one of these individuals, along with her social worker and Matthew Blood from the council, who agreed to finance her Spotlight profile. Another important figure was Maggie Norris, who established The Big House theater troupe for children who had been in foster care. Jobson participated in a production by The Big House called The Realness and was quickly signed by an agent within three weeks.

“It hasn’t been easy, let me be clear. It’s been extremely challenging,” she explains. “But I’ve been fortunate to have a support system who has had my best interests at heart. Not everyone is as fortunate. Without their help, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Jobson is extremely enthusiastic when discussing troubled youth and the system’s failure to provide them with proper support. When talking about this issue, she includes herself by using “we”. She still recalls the impact it had on her when someone in a position of authority showed care and how much of a difference it made.

The speaker expresses that social workers are driven by a genuine desire to help, but it is disheartening when their efforts are hindered by higher-ups who deem their actions as excessive. If given the opportunity, the speaker believes that social workers would provide the support and care that young people need, instead of feeling neglected and uncared for. By law, social workers act as legal guardians and should therefore be allowed to show empathy and treat young people as a parent would. All the speaker and others in their situation are asking for is a little bit of compassion.

Jobson is currently in a state of contentment. She has a close relationship with her five sisters, with whom she communicates frequently through messaging and sharing memes. She enjoys her work and her home, and her romantic life with Kadeem Ramsay (known for his role as Kit in Top Boy) is going well. Although she is dedicated to her work, she also makes time for social activities, such as attending the GQ Men of the Year awards and going out clubbing. In fact, she even joined Lisa Maffia and Romeo on stage at a recent Garage Nation event for some fun dancing.

It’s great to see her fly, but it’s easy to see why Jobson is choosy about what she does. She’s going places, but she still wants her work to help others. “Yeah,” she says. “If I can change a perception and change a life, possibly save a life, in the process, then that’s what I’m doing my job for. I don’t see why I’m on TV for anything else, you know?”

  • On Thursday, December 7th, ITVX will broadcast Platform 7.

  • , shoes by Christian Louboutin

    Ejatu Shaw is the photographer’s assistant, with styling by Sam Deaman. Kareem Jarché did the hair and makeup, assisted by Bridgette Mogridge. The outfit consists of a Chanel jacket and trousers, along with earrings and a ring by Shaun Leane and shoes by Christian Louboutin.

Source: theguardian.com