Jazsmin Lewis is an African American actress of film and television. She is maybe best known for playing the title role on the 2005 film “Traci Townsend,” where she took home a Boston International Film Festival Award for her performance. She portrayed Ice Cube's wife on the hit comedy movie “Barbershop” (2002), from which she jointly picked up a Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award, and later reprised the role on the 2004 installment “Barbershop 2: Back in Business.” Other films she has acted in include “How to Be a Player” (1997), “The Beat” (2003), “BAADASSSSS!” (2003), “Three Can Play That Game” (2007), “Divine Intervention” (2007), “I Do... I Did!” (2009), “Dreams” (2011) and “Breathe” (2011). Lewis began on television in the early 1990s, and has made guest appearances in a number of sitcoms like “Martin,” “Moesha,” “Eve,” “All of Us” and “Meet the Browns,” among others. She had a regular role on the UPN short lived series “The Good News” (1997-1998).
Childhood and Family:
Jazsmin Lewis was born on March 22, 1976, in Cleveland, Ohio. Her mother is a Caucasian and her father is of African American and East Indian descent. She grew up with both cultures, and is very proud of her multi racial heritage.
Jazsmin Lewis landed her first television gig in 1994 when she was cast as Pina in the episode “The Closer I Get to You” of the Fox popular sitcom “Martin,” starring actor/comedian Martin Lawrence. In the following year, she branched to the big screen with a supporting part as Raven in the independent action/thriller “Broken Bars,” directed by Tom Neuwirth and starring Ben Maccabee, Wings Hauser and Joe Estevez.
Lewis spent the rest of the 1990s working largely for television, with a sporadic return to the wide screen. She made guest appearances in such series as “Saved by the Bell: The New Class” (1995, as Carla Peterson), “Hang Time” (1995, as Teresa Campbell), “Family Matters” (1996, as Yvette), “The Wayans Bros.” (1996, as Lena), “Sparks” (1996, as Ms. Robinson), “Malcolm & Eddie” (1996), “In the House” (1996, as Carly; 1997, as Debbie), “Baywatch Nights” (1997), “Living Single” (1997, as Candace), “Martial Law” (1998, as Justine Winship), and “USA High” (1998, as Tyrae the Blind Date), as well as appeared in the pilot of “Claude's Crib” (1997, as Tiffany). Lewis made her debut as a regular on the sitcom “The Good News,” a spin off of the UPN series “Sparks,” playing Venita Stansbury. The show ran on UPN for a season from August 25, 1997 to May 19, 1998. Lewis got her second film role in “How to Be a Player,” a 1997 comedy starring Bill Bellamy, Natalie Desselle and Bernie Mac. There she played the role of Pookie. She returned two years later in the independent film “Fraternity Boys,” which was directed by Robert Townsend and starring Brooke Marie Bridges, Penny Bae Bridges and Jeff LeBeau.
In 2001, Lewis had a recurring role as Lanae Foster on the R&B singer Brandy Norwood comedy vehicle “Moesha” (UPN, 1996-2001). She appeared in three episodes: “Graduation Day,” “Creepin'” and “Mayhem at the Jam.” The same year, she also co-starred as Jasmine Ridgewood on the drama/thriller film “Automatic,” opposite Sterling Wolfe and Alimi Ballard. In the next year, she guest starred in “For Your Love” (as Chantel) and “Half & Half” (as Karen) as well as being cast as Jennifer Palmer in the box office hit comedy “Barbershop,” which was directed by Tim Story and starred Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve and Michael Ealy. She shared a Washington DC Area Film Critics Association for Best Ensemble for her work on “Barbershop.” From 2001 to 2002, Lewis was famous as the spokesmodel for the Coors Light.
After “Barbershop,” Lewis appeared in several movies during 2003-2004. She had the leading role of Tawanna in the Sundance Screened drama “The Beat” (2003), which was written and helmed by Brandon Sonnier, appeared with LL Cool J, Gabrielle Union, Essence Atkins, Duane Martin, Mel Jackson and Megan Good in “Deliver Us from Eva” (2003), a modern, urban update of William Shakespeare's play, “The Taming of the Shrew,” directed by Gary Hardwick, was featured in “BAADASSSSS!” (2003), a biopic written, produced, directed by, and starring Mario Van Peebles, and played Pluke in the direct to video “Black Listed” (2003), which was directed and written by and starring Robert Townsend. She also reprised her role as Calvin's beautiful and supportive wife Jennifer in the sequel “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” (2004). The film grossed $65,971,313 against a budget o $37 million. In “ Doing Hard Time” (2004), a drama film starring Boris Kodjoe, she portrayed Robin.
Meanwhile, on the small screen, Lewis played the role of Jada in six episodes of the short lived ABC criminal drama series “Line of Fire,” starring Leslie Bibb, Jeffrey D. Sams, David Paymer and Anson Mount. Created by Rod Lurie, the series debuted on December 2, 2003 but was canceled after just 11 episodes in June 2004, though 13 episodes in all were produced. In 2004, she played the recurring role of Dani in the UPN sitcom “Eve,” starring Eve, Jason Winston George, Ali Landry, Natalie Desselle-Reid, Brian Hooks and Sean Maguire.
2005 saw Lewis appear in the comedy film “Flip the Script,” starring Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Robin Givens and Laz Alonso, and star as Malika Melrose in the direct to video comedy “Wifey,” opposite Tiffany Lowery and Carl Gilliard. Besides, she portrayed Gwenn Finn in an episode of the UPN sitcom “All of Us” called “Creeping with the Enemy.”
However, Lewis did not receive her breakout role until she was cast as Traci Townsend in the comedy film of the same name (2005), directed by Craig Ross, Jr. and written by Bobby Thompson, who was also a producer of the film. For her bright acting, she was handed the Best Acting Performance Award at the 2006 Boston International Film Festival. “Traci Townsend” also won the Audience Choice Award at the 2006 Hollywood Black Film Festival and the 2007 Black Reel Award for Best Independent Film.
Lewis landed the supporting role of Tiffany in the Samad Davis directed romantic comedy film “Three Can Play That Game” (2007), opposite Jason George. It was is a sequel to the 2001 film “Two Can Play That Game.” She starred as Divine Matthews in the Van Elder movie “Divine Intervention” (also 2007), co-starred with Gregory Alan Williams, Jazsmin Lewis and Dwayne Boyd in Alfred Robbins' drama “Grapes on a Vine” (2008) and portrayed Dr. Jazmine in the drama film “I Do... I Did!” (2009), opposite Marcus Patrick, Cherie Johnson, April Scott, Antwon Tanner and Shar Jackson. On television, Lewis portrayed April in the made for TV film “Applause for Miss E” (2009), starring Vanessa Bell Calloway as the title role, and guest starred in Fox's sitcom, Brothers” (2009, as Monica), and Tyler Perry's sitcom, “Meet the Browns” (2010, as Joy).
In 2011, Lewis co-starred with Thomas Mikal Ford and Mel Jackson in the drama film “Dreams,” supported Malika Blessing, Maya Gilbert and Christian Keyes in the drama/romance film “The Perfect Man,” which was directed and helmed by Paul D. Hannah, and portrayed Angela Logan in “Breathe,” a drama penned and directed by J. Jesses Smith. She also played Allison in the TV series “She's Not Our Sister,” opposite Clifton Powell, Jackée Harry and Drew Sidora.
Lewis will star as DR. Masters in the upcoming comedy film “The Marriage Chronicles” (2012), by Paul D. Hannah. Co-stars in the film will include Darrin Dewitt Henson, Terri J. Vaughn, Persia White, Caryn Ward and Clifton Powell.
Boston International Film Festival: Best Acting Performance, “Traci Townsend,” 2006
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA): Best Ensemble, “Barbershop,” 2002