Bright, enterprising, strikingly beautiful, multi-faceted, and an undeniable talent are all ways Jerrika Hinton can be described. In 2015 Hinton can be seen starring as the ambitious and headstrong “Dr. Stephanie Edwards” on ABC’s long running, award winning series “Grey’s Anatomy.” Joining the cast in season nine [2012] Hinton quickly became one of the most talked about characters on the show.

In addition to “Grey’s Anatomy” Hinton is currently in pre- production on SOLACE, an independent film which she is producing. The film is a dark, coming-of-age story about a young girl sent to live with her estranged family after the death of her father. Loneliness and sadness cause her to strike up a questionable friendship with the girl next door, who further pushes her to spiral out of control.

In 2012 Hinton wrote, produced, and directed the short film THE STRANGELY NORMAL, which received the distinction of being official selections at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, Out In The Desert LGBT Film Festival, and the Atlanta Black Film Festival.

RAINE: Can you talk about the moment when you realized that you wanted to pursue a career as an actress?

HINTON: I’ve been onstage since I was a kid so, career-wise, pursuing an acting career as an adult has never felt like a life-altering consideration. If anything, the decision to actively follow it as a profession came about once I was already in the midst of my career; the choice was more about deliberately choosing this life rather than letting it happen to me. Which is a great lesson to apply to so many things.

RAINE: In 2012 your short film Strangely Normal received the distinction of being an official selection at several nationally recognized film festivals. What was it like to receive that type of recognition?

HINTON: Gratifying. You create these stories in a vacuum and, ifyou’re fortunate, they are received in a meaningful way by the world. That’s really what all that fancy ‘official selection’ talk means: “This resonated with us and we have faith it will resonate with others.” It’s strange and beautiful validation.

RAINE: You’ve worked both in front of and behind the camera. Which do you prefer most and why?

HINTON: Ooh, this is a hard one. It depends on how I’ve come into the process: When it’s a story birthed from my own brain, I 100% prefer to remain behind the scenes where I can better care for its growth. Acting relies on different muscles. Similar instincts but different muscles. In either capacity, what’s paramount for me is finding the best way to serve the story — giving myself permission to get naked (metaphorically) and bolster the emotional intelligence good projects are built on.

RAINE: What words of wisdom do you have for aspiring creative entrepreneurs in your industry?

HINTON: Know and understand yourself first and foremost. You are your most worthwhile commitment.

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