Three years after featuring in a 2003 blockbuster Haitian movie The Wind of Desire, Genji Jacques stood in line at Miami Vice’s set, a film Jamie Foxx starred in. Jacques heard giggling. He turned around and rested his eyes on Sandra Justice, another actor. Jacques flashed a smile for her.
He turned and smiled at Justice again, and again. She started to wonder why that stranger kept looking at her. Justice’s friend, who was standing by her, told her that was the actor who played “in the Haitian movie all the girls are crazy about.”
Justice later bought The Wind of Desire and watched it.
“I thought he was very attractive, a great actor, and have a wonderful spirit,” she said of Jacques, whom they call the “Haitian Denzel.”
Eleven years later, Justice found herself on set with Jacques acting as his wife in Bae Night, an award-winning web series in Florida. She wasn’t just acting as Jacques’s wife, she was his wife as they got married on Apr. 25, 2010. They also acted in Covid-19: The Survivors as a couple and will feature as a couple again in a much anticipated Haitian-American short film, The Sweetest Girl: A Forbidden Love Story.
Jacques and Justice’s relationship is quite singular. Not often do people in the Haitian entertainment industry remain married for over 10 years – nor do they even put their relationships in the light.
“It’s rare to see celebrity couples in the Haitian Entertainment Industry (H.E.I.),” HMI Buzz’s CEO Oz’mosis Amadeus said. “Haitian celebrities like to keep things in the background or leave them as mysteries.
“Seeing a long-lasting relationship, in general, is a testament that love truly exists. I think they respect and love each other. I could see they respect each other as artists as well. And they’re each other’s fan.”
Before their long marriage stands a rather unique and extended love story.
Even though Jacques consistently looked back and smiled at Justice during Miami Vice’s set, he wasn’t on the hunt yet. For two years, they only contacted each other here and there to say hello, and ask how their acting careers were going.
“I was at a slow pace of going after her, I’ll be honest,” Jacques said. “When you’ve been doing your own thing for a little while you just want to make sure that this person is the right one for you. But I really enjoyed our friendship I was building on that a lot.”
Movie director and screenwriter Luner Eugene said Jacques was never the type to move from woman to woman, he dusted off many opportunities to date. Eugene directed and produced Bae Night and Covid-19: The Survivors, the web series and film the couple starred in. He also directed a music video Justice featured in, Poukisa.
Eugene said Jacques is a God-fearing man which explains his tendency not to jump into relationships. He also revealed that prior to meeting Justice, Jacques was left heartbroken after a relationship. It caused him to be extra cautious before dating.
“I think it’s because he had a girl who broke his heart during his college years,” Eugene said. “I think ever since that happened he never really had a serious girlfriend. She took a part of Genji and when he met Sandra, she filled that part. When he mentioned that to me, I was like “Wow!” He was scarred for a very long, long time.”
Meanwhile, during the long two-year friendship, Justice was confused.
“It was different for me, it was unusual,” she said. “At first, I thought he had someone then realized he was single. I guess it was God’s timing. And then, the women – at least, in my culture – we don’t usually make the first move.”
Jacques finally took a deep breath and asked Justice to go to the Fort Lauderdale Beach on Jun. 11, 2007. To Justice’s complete surprise, after those two quiet years, Jacques kissed her. It later became official: actor Jacques was dating actor Justice.
As their relationship grew, Jacques was blown away by Justice’s spontaneity and ambition. Jacques was also pleased because he was able to connect with her as an actor and she was devoted to God like he is. They gelled so well together that it scared Jacques.
“I was a little bit afraid because I haven’t met someone I clicked with like this before,” he said. “I believed she was the one. I didn’t want to wait any longer, three or four years. I had to make that step, don’t be afraid.”
Indeed, he took that step as they got married three years after dating on Apr. 25, 2010. Their marriage took their acting careers to new heights as they analyze movies at home and rehearse together. And they became a shoulder to lean on to each other after enduring the many heartaches of the entertainment world.
“Only another entertainer would understand another entertainer’s life,” Justice said. “The struggles, the challenges you face, it’s one of the toughest careers.”
In order to grow in their career, the couple had relented from being part of the Haitian and Haitian-American media industry because they said it needs improvement. Jacques hasn’t been in a Haitian movie since The Wind of Desire. Justice only acted in Haitian music videos that she produced.
Jacques and Justice will make their grand return to the Haitian-American entertainment business in The Sweetest Girl.