Grand Army’s Odley Jean on Playing Dominique in Netflix’s New Show


Though your first instinct might be to lump any and all TV dramas about teenagers together, Odley Jean, who plays Dominique Pierre in the new Netflix series Grand Army, hopes you suspend that impulse for this show.

Degrassi was in the school and the hallways, but also went into the teens’ lives at home as well as a lot of social issues,” the 24-year-old confesses about the show Grand Army will likely be compared to. “But, I feel like Grand Army lays it all out there and calls everything and everyone out. And it’s up to us to dissect and have conversations… It’s not spoon-fed to you.”

Odley wears Hanifa dress, $499, Ettika earrings, Jenny Bird cuff, and Luv My Jewelry ring.

Stephanie Diani

Oddly’s character Dominique is a high school upperclassman trying to balance her school work, social life, and obligations at home. A first-generation daughter of a single Haitian mother, Dominique helps care for her niece and nephew while simultaneously trying to keep her spot on the school’s basketball team, spend time with her boyfriend, hang out with friend, and land a meaningful internship. Out of all the characters, Dominique has the most going on — and it weighs on her. When her sister is injured at work, she tries to find ways to step in so that her family isn’t short on rent — but doing so risks the life she has built for herself, in more ways than one.

Odley, a Haitian-American actress raised in Brooklyn, found synergy in her character’s storyline. “I’m still dealing with not taking on too much, and being able to prioritize and get things done in a timely manner,” she tells Teen Vogue. “If you take on so much, you end up spiraling — that’s what Dom went through. And although she kept putting on a brave face and pushing through, it still broke her.”

That young people are under more stress than ever is no surprise and Grand Army puts those pressures front and center. The show follows five students at the same high school as their personal lives intersect and overlap. For Dom, moments of teenage joy with her friends and her crush are countered by stressors that typically fall on much older people — but because Dom has no choice but to persevere for the sake of her family’s well being.

Odley wears Hanifa dress, $499, Dsquared2 shoes, Ettika earrings, Jenny Bird cuff, and Luv My Jewelry ring.

Stephanie Diani

Odley wears Hanifa dress, $499, Dsquared2 shoes, Ettika earrings, Jenny Bird cuff, and Luv My Jewelry ring.

Stephanie Diani

And few characters experience the range of Grand Army’s extreme highs and lows as much as Dom does; her budding relationship with the popular John Ellis (Alphonso Romero Jones II) is threatened by what she believes is a duty to provide her family, and she also doesn’t want to burden him with her home life. “Dom and John, first off, are so cute,” Odley says of her on-screen romance, adding, “it’s so important to see that on TV because oftentimes we see the same cliché storyline — like, him cheating or just trauma bonding.” Dom and John’s flirtation, by contrast, is “so genuine and pure and from a good place,” and both Odley and Alphonso worked together to make sure the other felt comfortable in really bringing the relationship to life. “It’s important for us to see love like this, especially young love on TV, especially young Black love on TV. We made it happen and I love to see it. And as many times I watch [those scenes], I still blush because it’s just so cute.”



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