If you’re anything like us, you’ve been obsessing over Ginny & Georgia, Netflix’s new soapy series that’s a cross between Gilmore Girls and a Shonda Rhimes crime drama. The show tells the story of a mother and daughter who decide to put down roots in a small New England town after more than a decade on the move. Antonia Gentry plays Ginny, a 15-year-old who feels like an outsider because of mother’s tendency to drag her from town to town, on top of being a mixed-race girl in a racist country.
While the series’ plot feels like a whiplash, Gentry’s measured and empathetic performance grounds the show. The 24-year-old actress has been receiving critical praise since the show aired and may be the certified breakout of the ensemble. In light of all the Gentry buzz, here’s everything you need to know about the young star.
She grew up in Atlanta and attended a performing arts high school.
Gentry was born in Atlanta and attended Davidson Fine Arts in Augusta, Georgia. According to her IMDB page, the actress’ first play she performed was written by her mother, who is a poet and artist. She even competed in theater competitions of the regional, state and national levels throughout her time in high school.
Gentry is dating her high school sweetheart.
Her boyfriend’s name is Ezra Pounds, an Atlanta-based composer and producer. Pop Sugar reports that it appears they have been together since at least 2012. The two have posted a ton of pictures together on social media and look very much in love!
She was a part of an improv troupe at Emory University.
As an active leader in Emory’s Rathskellar Comedy Improv group, she honed her acting and comedic chops. She even gave the troupe members a nod on her Instagram before graduating.
She’s obsessed with karaoke.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly to promote the show, Gentry revealed that she has an “unhealthy relationship with karaoke.” She even used it as an excuse to bond with her castmates.
“[We] all went to a karaoke night shortly after we started filming. I'm obsessed with karaoke. I love it. It's an unhealthy relationship I have with karaoke. So we went to a karaoke bar and to break the ice, I just started singing "Chandelier" by Sia from the top of my lungs and then everyone joined it.”
Her breakthrough was Ginny & Georgia, but she’s been acting in plenty of other projects.
Gentry’s first major project was in the Netflix film Candy Jar in a bit part. She then landed a role in the series Raising Dion.
She graduated from college the same week she auditioned for Ginny & Georgia.
The star attended Emory University and had quite a few acting credits under her belt while still in school. Her life completely changed the week of her graduation–while working a part-time job and finishing up her classes, she recorded an audition tape for Ginny & Georgia. To her astonishment, she got a call back.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gentry said, “I was graduating the same week that I got the audition, so I was very swamped with all of my finals and exams. I was kind of stressed out, but then I got this really, really cool script and I thought, "Okay, well, I'm just gonna do a tape and think nothing of it" because I had all this other stuff going on. They ended up loving it and calling me back.”
She was so committed to landing the role of Georgia Miller, she developed blood clots from flying back and forth to auditions.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Gentry revealed that her cross country flights to attend auditions and chemistry reads caused her to develop blood clots.
She said, “That was kind of scary, but I [had] booked the role, and I wasn't going to tell anyone about my blood clot. I was like, this is too important. I'm just going to deal with it.” She continued, “The doctors were like, ‘We need to see you this and such amount of times.’ I was like, ‘Listen, I'm going to Canada [to film the show]. We gotta fix this, ASAP.’ I'm fine now, [and] that was kind of hard, but I wanted it to work. This was my dream. It’s a very serious thing, I don't want to make it light, it was very scary — but I wanted to make sure that I did everything I could to follow through with this. And I'm so glad I was able to."
She was proud to portray a mixed-race lead because she hardly saw herself on screen growing up.
Ginny & Georgia doesn’t shy away from portraying characters from inclusive backgrounds and expands the definition of whose stories are worth telling. Gentry appreciated the show’s straightforward approach to representation because she often didn’t see herself on TV.
She told W Magazine, “When I was growing up, I never saw a biracial lead. I didn’t see interracial couples or narratives often displayed in television or movies, and that was something I didn’t realize I wish I had until later on.”
In an interview with Teen Vogue, she said, “My mom is Black, she's from Jamaica...[Growing up] my mom was someone who I could confide in if I ever felt a certain way about my identity, because she understood, her being a Black woman. Ginny doesn't really have that with her mom. Georgia tries her best, of course, but there's always going to be that racial divide. As a biracial person, I learned a lot from playing Ginny. There's so many different experiences within the multi-racial community.”
In an Instagram post, she opened up about the racism she’s experienced.
In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police, Gentry opened up about her experiences with racism in a candid Instagram post.
“I have experienced racism all of my life. Whether it was white kids in school making jokes about my father marrying a ‘monkey’, being called a ‘mixed-mongrel mutt’, being called any colorful name under the sun, being told by white boys ‘you look better with your hair straight,’ or being told by white girls “I’d love to have a mixed baby but I don’t want to deal with all that nappy hair,” ‘for a black girl, you’re pretty,’ ‘you don’t act black,’ ‘you’re not black, you’re Jamaican.’”
“And to know that for centuries, black and brown people have been objectified, commodified, dehumanized, and undermined in ways that are insidious, incendiary, and intrinsic.” She continued, “I recognize my own privilege, despite the racism I’ve experienced. Recognizing the OVERT problem is NOT ENOUGH. Racism is a disease that has infected us ALL. Be the cure for yourself, for your community, for your family, for your country. For the world.”