Emayatzy Corinealdi is ready to take the case. Ava DuVernay’s film Middle of Nowhere was Corinealdi’s first role in a feature film.
Ten years later, she has her first starring role in Hulu’s Reasonable Doubt, the first scripted drama from Disney’s Onyx Collective.
Corinealdi plays Jacqueline “Jax” Stewart, a former public defender who now works as a high-profile civil and criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles.
Emayatzy Corinealdi As A High-powered Defense Attorney Who Loves Criminals
The spicy legal drama was developed by Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere writer Raamla Mohamed and produced by Kerry Washington and Larry Wilmore.
But when a man she once tried (and failed) to defend comes back into her life, Jax, already struggling with her failing marriage and the challenges of motherhood, must face the painful secrets of her past.
Corinealdi was interested in the project in part because the main character had a lot of issues.
Corinealdi tells Shondaland, “It was very clear who this woman was, and I liked that there was an opportunity to see this kind of black woman who has a successful career, is a partner in her law firm, is married and has children, but all of those things don’t quite work together.”
“We get to see the cracks that appear in her life, which is interesting to me because I like to see some of the chaos behind the scenes. We don’t always see it that way.
Below, Corinealdi, whose other TV credits include Hand of God, Ballers, and The Red Line, talks about the moral dilemmas Jax faces in her personal and professional life, the importance of showing black protagonists in a nuanced way, and the importance of having both sides of the camera represented.
Reasonable Doubt begins with the main character Jax Stewart (Emayatzy Corinealdi) tied to a chair and begging for her life in front of a gun.
The next episode is just as soapy. After six months of time travel, the series gives Jax three new love interests and a shocking murder to solve, setting us up for a season of hot trysts and shocking revelations.
But anyone who’s seen a bad thriller knows that groundbreaking twists alone aren’t enough to keep viewers hooked if the characters aren’t interesting.
Reasonable Doubt, developed by Scandal veteran Raamla Mohamed and premiered and directed by Scandal star Kerry Washington, does a better job than many other series that try to be a “water cooler show” in this way.
The drama is based on interesting characters, believable relationships, and a lot of sexual and platonic chemistry.
At first glance, Jax seems to have it all: a great job as a partner in a prestigious law firm, a luxurious home with a beautiful family (even if her teenage son Spenser, played by Thaddeus J. Mixson, is clearly going through a bratty phase), and a closet full of expensive outfits that look both super-sexy and super-professional.
Corinealdi is fun to watch in the role of Jax, and she’s lucky to have scripts that let her play many different characters. Jax can be sharp or soft, sensual or funny, depending on the situation, and Corinealdi plays all of her many sides with equal enthusiasm. She also gets along well with almost all the actors, which is a big plus.
Emayatzy Corinealdi plays a powerful defense attorney who loves criminals in “Reasonable Doubt.”
Kerry Washington, who plays Olivia Pope in “Scandal,” is behind a new legal drama that will appear on Hulu.
In “Reasonable Doubt,” Washington serves as one of the directors and a co-executive producer. Emayatzy Corinealdi plays a powerful criminal defense attorney who loves criminals in the series.
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