“Styling Hollywood” Is A Netflix Classic
Last month Netflix debuted “Styling Hollywood,” an ultra chic, but proudly black docuseries, following the lives of Jason Bolden and Adair Curtis, an insanely talented couple who run the JSN Studios design company — where Bolden styles Hollywood celebs including Mindy Kaling, Ava Duvernay, Taraji P. Henson, Yara Shahidi, Storm Reid and a gang of other lovely leading ladies and Curtis oversees interior design projects for stars like Dulé Hill and Sanaa Lathan. Our Senior Director of Content Janeé Bolden binged the entire series the weekend it was released and sat down with the happy couple to discuss.
Check out her interview below!
Janeé Bolden: How you decided who to actually feature on the show?(Henson, Shahidi, Reid, Duvernay, Lathan and the Hills all make appearances, while some clients were mentioned via photos or video b-roll)
Jason Bolden: It was the middle of the awards season and a lot of people were working or traveling, so a lot of it was the people who had a window of time and were available. Everything was happening in real time. Seeing Taraji the day of the Emmys was happening in real time.
Janeé: You guys are an African-American gay couple, not exactly what we see on TV much at all. How did that factor into you guys wanting to tell your story?
Jason: Hashtag #DoubleBlack!
Adair: In the beginning, and even up until we started doing press, it’s always in the back of your mind, you’re cognizant of it, that it is not often that you see yourself represented, or scenarios of people who look like you so much or have backgrounds like you, so much. So it was important to us to be portrayed in our truest form, in our truest light and to give audiences a glimpse of what our life is like. We’re just like everyone else.
Janeé: Yes you are, but way more fabulous! Better access, better cars, way cuter dog, way more access to dope closets and interiors as well. All that aside, you’re both very busy… How did you make time for production? Video production is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a production… That part didn’t get frustrating at all?
Adair: Yeah that part was hard. It was something we had to adjust to, because our work schedules are very hectic and we work around the clock. Sometimes I had to film by myself because Jason was working, he had to be on location somewhere or on a set with somebody or at a fitting. And then even vice versa. Jason had to film while I was at a site meeting or I may have been in meetings or designing … It was something we had to adjust to but the family just got used to it.
Janeé: If you guys get to do another season, and I hope you do, will we get to see more of your job Adair? I feel like the Hill house took up the bulk of the season in terms of what we saw of your work. We saw Sanaa’s Air BnB, we saw you furniture shopping with Gabrielle Union, but outside of that we saw a lot of Jason during awards season.
Adair: Yeah it’s hard to please everybody the crazy thing, or the factual thing about interiors is that things take a long time. Renovations take a long time. While Jason could outfit someone quickly and you can get this on film quickly, we can start a renovation in December and not finish until the next December and when you have a window to fit something in that’s what you do. If we get a second season. we will show the interior work, because Jason is involved in that too and you don’t get to see that so much. Our dynamic of how we work together on interiors. I’m hoping we get to show more of that too.
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Janeé: You live together, you work together, you’re married…How do you manage to work together and still be happily married?
Jason: I think it’s about deciding how you’re going to live. Making a decision to not have a combative relationship is a conscious decision. It’s actually easier to work with Adair than it is to actually work with other people. It isn’t difficult to work with him at all. What gets hard, and what everyone goes through, is how to get balance. Truly trying to balance things. How to be everything to everyone. It’s just balancing that. We’re in a service business, where you have to serve your clients all the time. The hardest thing about working with my husband is constantly remembering the balancing of it all.
Adair: I will add that we’re not perfect . Our relationship is not perfect. We have conflict all the. We stay in therapy about things because it’s important to talk about things. Since the beginning of our relationship we’ve always had that as a safe place to go to. So that Jason can say something and I can say something to someone who is neutral. Yeah so again, we’re just like everyone else and the relationship is like everyone elses, it’s just that when it comes to working, he knows his lane and I know my lane and we stay and lean into those.
[Editor’s note: For those of you who haven’t watched “Styling Hollywood” yet, much of the couple’s conflict during the first season revolves around Adair being more ready to start a family, while Jason was a bit more hesitant.]
Janeé: I’m glad you brought up therapy because Jason seemed so vulnerable when opening up about his fears around becoming a parent, so I had wondered if you had gone to therapy. Can you talk about your couple’s therapy?
Jason: I think for us it’s about evolving and becoming better humans. Sometimes you don’t have all the tools you need. We decided early on to reach out to someone who specializes in those type of things and to surround ourselves with people who want to live more progressive, happy lives. So when it came to being vulnerable when talking about the baby it was tough in the sense of being a bit overwhelmed- with everything that was happening with work and the filming of it all. It was a bit overwhelming so I needed a check in, with myself and with Adair. So again it sounds like a robot but everything you’re seeing was in real time. It was happening in that moment and I had to get it out because it was destroying me. I needed to get it resolved . Thinking about it, I hope that it is something people can take away from it… the vulnerability of it, and being able to share things and talk about what you are feeling and what is going on.
Janeé: I thought it was really great. Melinda seemed really invested in that decision, so I also wondered how grateful you guys were for Melinda, who works with you both, to play the role that she played in encouraging you to get on the same page about the baby?
Adair: What you saw on camera was us for the first time hearing part of Melinda’s story and her journey that we didn’t know. We had known Melinda for a ling time and fairly well we thought, it just showed us that you just don’t know what people are going through. The fact that she was able to come over and share with us and be vulnerable with us enabled us to be vulnerable with her. That was an invaluable lesson for us.
Janeé: So what did you think about the show, as you were watching did you see yourself doing something you weren’t aware of before?
Adair: For me, I think I’m really reflexive and I noticed that I say wow a lot, but the way it came across it seemed I say wow all the time! I’m just really more cognizant of it now more so than anything. But overall I was really happy and proud in the way things came together. Babe you have anything to add?)
Jason: I watched it and I was like wow that’s me and I was always hungry. I’m always eating something. I was really happy with how it all turned out. I was super happy. This has been a really great experience. I really am thrilled with how it all turned out.
Janeé: Is there a baby yet… I know you said we’re working in real time or a baby cooking?
Adair: We can’t really say… All we can really say is there is an update and we’ll be speaking about it soon.
We’ll definitely be tuned in to find out! “Styling Hollywood” is currently available on NETFLIX for your viewing pleasure.