A model-turned-actress, Joy Bryant modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria's Secret before gaining widespread attention as an actress in the Denzel Washington directed “Antwone Fisher” (2002). With a Young Hollywood Award and a Black Reel nomination in her pocket, she continued to give strong performances in such movies as Mario Van Peebles' “How to Get the Man's Foot Outta Your Ass” (2003, netted a Black Reel nomination), Bille Woodruff's “Honey” (2003), Jim Sheridan's “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” (2005) and Hunter Richards' “London” (2005). She also appeared in the Emilio Estevez directed “Bobby” (2006), from which she shared a Hollywood Film Award and a SAG nomination, and acted in MTV's “Carmen: A Hip Hopera” (2001). She also played Valerie Gallant in three episode of “ER” during 2003-2004, worked with Terrence Howard and Richard Gere in “The Hunting Party” (2007), and costarred in “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” (2008), a comedy directed and written by Malcolm D. Lee, to name a few appearances.
Bryant married stuntman Dave Pope on June 28, 2008.
Childhood and Family:
Joy Bryant was born on October, 19, 1976, in The Bronx, New York, to a 15-year-old mother. She was raised in a modest home in The Bronx by her grandmother Lauraine, who died when Joy was 17. A beautiful, smart girl, Joy was educated at Riverdale Country School in The Bronx and Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, where she was a full-scholarship student. Thanks to her academic achievement in high school, she was accepted to the prestigious Yale University on a full academic scholarship, but dropped out a short time later to start a modeling career.
Joy Bryant was spotted by a modeling scout from Next Models Management while a student at Yale. Subsequently, she embarked on a career as a fashion model in Paris. She worked extensively for several years before hitting the big time when she landed an exclusive contract with Tommy Hilfiger. She also appeared as a cover model for the Victoria's Secret lingerie catalogue and in numerous reputable print campaigns.
Bryant branched out to acting in 2001 when she was cast in the role of Nikki in MTV’s television movie “Carmen: A Hip Hopera,” directed by Robert Townsend. The dramatic musical also starred Beyonce Knowles and Mekhi Phifer. Bryant followed it up with small parts in the short “Kite” (2002) and the Warner Bros. feature comedy “Showtime” (2002), starring Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy. “Showtime” marked Bryant's big screen acting debut.
Bryant did not score a breakout screen role until Denzel Washington hired her for the role of Cheryl Smolley in the actor's feature directorial debut “Antwone Fisher (also 2002). Brilliantly portraying the perceptive girlfriend of Antwone (played by Derek Luke), she was nominated for a Black Reel for Best Supporting Actress. She also won a 2003 Young Hollywood for Breakthrough Performance - Female and the film was awarded a Humanitas Prize in the category of Feature Film and an Image for Outstanding Motion Picture, as well as received a Golden Satellite nomination for Best Motion Picture-Drama.
Bryant's next significant role was that of Priscilla in “How to Get the Man's Foot Outta Your Ass” (2003) Screened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2004, the film earned her a second Black Reel nomination in 2005. 2003 also saw Bryant play Jessica Alba's best friend in the drama “Honey,” which was directed by Bille Woodruff. She also began a three episode role in the popular medical drama “ER” (2003-2004), as Valerie Gallant. In 2004, she costarred with Dominic Purcell in “Three Way,” a sexy thriller adapted from the 1963 Gil Brewer pulp novel “Wild to Possess,” had a bit part in the blockbuster film “Spider-Man 2” and acted with Orlando Bloom and Bill Paxton in the adventure drama “Haven.”
2005 proved to be an even better year for Bryant. She first appeared as Jill in the voodoo thriller “The Skeleton Key,” which starred Kate Hudson, John Hurt and Gena Rowlands and was directed by Iain Softley, before supporting Chris Evans and Jessica Biel in the biopic “London,” in which she was cast as Mallory. She then portrayed Charlene, the girlfriend of drug merchant and aspirant rap artist Marcus (played by rap star 50 Cent) in the urban drama “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” for director Jim Sheridan.
In 2006, Bryant joined the cast of the drama “Bobby” (2006), directed by Emilio Estevez. Along her impressive costars were Estevez, Laurence Fishburne, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, and Ashton Kutcher and she jointly netted a 2006 Hollywood Film Festival for Ensemble of the Year and a 2007 Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. She next portrayed Terrence Howard's girlfriend in the Richard Shepard written and directed adventure “The Hunting Party” (2007). Richard Gere and James Brolin also starred in the film. Some of her more recent acting jobs include teaming up with Michael Clarke Duncan, Martin Lawrence and James Earl Jones in the comedy “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” (2008) and portraying Jasmine in the series “Parenthood” (2010-2011).
Hollywood Film: Ensemble of the Year, “Bobby,” 2006
Young Hollywood: Breakthrough Performance - Female, 2003