It takes a certain level of talent to embody the essence of a Jamaican in feature films much less one minute sketches for Tik Tok. That is why Juliet Bodley a.k.a Julie Mango is such a beloved story-teller. It’s not to say other Jamaican comedians aren’t accurate in their portrayal of our people and culture but what sets Juliet apart is her uncanny ability to capture our idiosyncrasies.
Juliet’s true talent is in her deftness at modelling behaviour, something she learned growing up observing her uncle and father. They are very dramatic and animated she says and so over time she has become adept at copying their mannerisms and affect. In fact several of her more popular characters are modelled from them.
It helps that Jamaicans are such colourful characters so much so that the sketches seemingly write themselves.
“The other day I was talking to somebody and they asked me how I was, but instead asking how are you, they asked – you good differently tho? and I was like I should do a skit on how Jamaicans ask “how are you”.”
Despite her immense talent for inciting laughter, comedy was never something she thought about pursuing as a career. In fact, Juliet Bodley is a ‘proper proper’ engineer. It was only after her first video went viral back in November 2020 that she started cultivating an audience around her talent.
But Juliet is not popular just because she is so accurate in her portrayals, her posts often goes viral because they are highly shareable. Meaning any of her sketches can be shared in a work group with the boss or family chat with your granny and all would appreciate her deftness and humour.
That may seem like a trivial point but having moms, dads, grannie’s and aunties alike sharing your Tik Tok content is a major flex for any self published talent.
“There was this little boy, probably no more than 13 (on Tik Tok) who dueted my dominos video in his room, and I’m saying to myself if his mother was to burst into the room and ask what he was watching, he can say a Julie Mango video and his mother would be ok with that, you have no idea how much that energies me.”
She has even gotten DM’s from fans thanking because her videos helped them cope during rough times. As someone who have suffered with mental illness since age 8 Juliet is a passionate advocate and so she is especially happy when her videos help someone struggling with depression and other mental health issues.
“It’s fine that I’m making people laugh, that’s good but when I’m affecting people’s lives on such a deep level it’s like O.K God I see you using me as a vessel.”
See video above to hear more about Juliet’s struggle with mental health, her plans to collaborate with other Jamaican content creators and her upcoming Nollywood debut.