“Being an actor, you go in, you audition, and then you pretty much just try to forget that you were you ever in there.” – William Jackson Harper
Alongside series star Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper stars on The Good Place as deceased philosophy professor Chidi Anagonye, the soulmate of Bell’s character. The role was a major career breakthrough for Harper, who reportedly nearly quit acting before being cast on The Good Place after spending ten years appearing in small film and television roles (except for a long-running role on The Electric Company).
Speaking with the A.V. Club, Harper talked about his audition and being cast on The Good Place — and how that went from something he tried to forget to one of the best days of his life.
When asked what day he could re-live if he could re-live any day in his life, Harper thinks to when he received news of perhaps his biggest career accomplishment. He explains, “Probably the moment when I got the call that I got the job on The Good Place. That was the best day, just the best. I feel like everyone should have that day where the thing that they’ve wanted for a long time actually happens, and it’s the only time in my life that I’ve had that feeling.”
With that said, Harper admits that as great as that day was he didn’t necessarily feel confident after his audition for The Good Place, saying, “Being an actor, you go in, you audition, and then you pretty much just try to forget that you were you ever in there. Because you’re not getting the job most of the time. And so I had no idea. I just knew that I wanted it. But I was also trying to not think about it too much. And it was really great to have a big thing that I really, really wanted actually come to fruition.”