Jurnee Smollett Explains How Her Workout Routine Changed for “Lovecraft Country”

Jurnee Smollett at the "A Wrinkle in Time" film premiere in 2018. Photo by Jim Smeal/Shutterstock (9439357dr)

After playing one of the key roles in Birds of Prey, Jurnee Smollett is back in our lives thanks to the HBO show Lovecraft Country. The characters she played in these projects are very different in terms of physicality, and she was forced to completely switch up her fitness routine in between.

Smollett recently discussed her fitness journey with Men’s Health and revealed that she worked out closely with celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins to get in the right shape for Lovecraft Country. She had to accomplish “softer and rounder” look common for a woman in 1954, especially since her character Leti was a passionate sprinter.

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A friend of mine, Christy, talks often about being a joyful warrior. I’ve struggled more than ever lately to find my joy. Trying to find ways to remain in touch with my inner joyful warrior during this time. Someone who always inspired me with her joy is @msjeanettejenkins. Join us tomorrow (Friday) at 9am pst/ 12pm est for a joyful warrior workout and breathing/ yoga session. #rp @msjeanettejenkins ❤️Join me & @jurneesmollett this Friday June 12th 9am PT/ 12pm ET/5pm in the UK for our #SuperheroWorkout. The workout will be 40mins and will start with 20mins of Cardio Kickboxing and Bodyweight Strength Work followed by 20mins of Flow Yoga. ⁣#Reminder Countdown Clock ☝️in my stories! ⁣ ⁣ ❤️Jurnee called on me to help her prepare for her role as #BlackCanary one of the #Superheroes in the box office smash #BirdsOfPrey And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harlequin. ⁣ ⁣ ❤️We worked together for four to five months leading up to the taping of the movie. Jurnee's training regimen consisted of strength training, cardio, plyometrics, kickboxing, yoga & meditation.⁣ ⁣ ❤️ We can’t wait to go LIVE with you on Friday June 12th 9am PT/ 12pm ET /5pm in UK to enjoy a motivating, sweaty, fun, inspiring workout! #PositiveEnergy #WorkoutMotivation #JurneeSmollett #JeanetteJenkins #SuperHero #SuperHeroTraining #IGLive #Workout #BirdsOfPrey #FlowYoga #Strength #HIIT

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This task wouldn’t be so difficult if she wasn’t busy shooting Birds of Prey after finishing the Lovecraft pilot. Smollett was required to put on between 10 and 15 pounds of muscle for the role of Black Canary and she did intensive training that included mixed martial arts.

Once Birds of Prey wrapped up, she was forced to lose her newly-gained muscles and switch up her workout routine while filming the rest of Lovecraft Country. Jurnee’s training regimen consisted of strength training, cardio, kickboxing, yoga, and meditation, but she was able to take things a little slower after switching to her new role.