‘Speechless’ Star Cedric Yarbrough: JJ Leaving For College ‘Really Hits Home’ For Kenneth

JJ’s heading off to college soon on ‘Speechless,’ and that’s going to have quite the impact on Kenneth. Cedric spoke EXCLUSIVELY to HL about Kenneth’s future, a love interest, and more!

Speechless season 3 is going to be the season of changes. The characters continue to evolve, and JJ is taking a major next step in heading off to college. So, what does this mean for his aide Kenneth? HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Speechless star Cedric Yarbrough about just that and more. “You really find out the impact of JJ leaving Kenneth’s life and what that really means for him,” Cedric told HollywoodLife. “It’s been fun and games for those two, but it really hits home with Kenneth, and we really get to explore that. We get to really explore some emotional stuff, and I get to explore my emotional acting chops.”

JJ going to college means a new chapter for Kenneth as well. “I think that the character has always been kind of searching,” Cedric continued. “What is he good at? What can he do? This is a guy who was a basketball player in college. He only did one year because he was caught getting money, so he’s never really ever found what he’s really good at. He found this job as a groundskeeper. He’d thought he’d do that, and now he’s doing this thing with JJ and found out he’s actually good at it and now JJ is leaving him. What does happen with Kenneth?”

Season 3 will also feature a new love interest for Kenneth! “It comes from someone that you wouldn’t even expect,” Cedric teased. “It’s really, really exciting. We just did a table read for that one and it did quite well. I think people are really going to like where it goes.”

The show will also dig deeper in Kenneth’s family, and we’ll discover a lot more about the beloved character in the process. “There’s a ton of things that we don’t know about all of these characters, but particularly with Kenneth,” Cedric said. “We know that Kenneth is all heart and really loves JJ and really loves the family and cares for them, but where did this guy really come from? That’s something I’ve always wanted to explore. Even when I got the role, I was talking to [creator] Scott Silveri about this character and how much I didn’t want him to become this magic negro trope of this all-knowing, omniscient character coming out of nowhere like the Legend of Bagger Vance character or some of the characters that we’ve seen where the black character comes out of nowhere and knows everything about everyone. I’m glad that we’re really exploring his family and also Kenneth’s potential love life.” Speechless airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

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