Photographer Damarko GianCarlo
Wardrobe Fairfax Copenhagen 
Grooming Mirlen Quesada 
Interview Kyra Greene 

Tell us about your origins? Where were you born?

I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and that’s where I was raised for the most part. Starting around the age of 15, I split most of my time between LA and Milwaukee. I spent the early half of my life living with my Grandma before traveling as an actor.

You are an emerging actor who is bound to show many talents. Would you say you sing, dance and act? Which do you like best?

I do all three, as well as rap! It’s not a hard decision to choose singing as my personal favorite. I started singing when I was only 3, and spent most of my life classically training. Music as a whole is just a comfort for me, it’s very seldom where I’m not either singing or singing along to something. 

Are there any others in your family who also sing?

I come from a musical family actually, so yes! Both of my maternal grandparents are singers, my mom and her brother, as well as all my siblings. All of my brothers are rappers and songwriters as well. It’s definitely in our blood and we share a connection with music.

You played Simba on Broadway in “The Lion King”. Tell us about that experience. Any great memories?

Wow, that was so long ago it almost makes me feel old! I played Young Simba in the Lion King when I was only 10 years old. It was for sure an amazing, life changing experience. Sometimes I look back and say to myself wow, you carried an entire theatre show on your back at 10! That’s an amazing accomplishment. Honestly, looking back, I was just having fun. It was before I understood the politics of the industry, which is amazing in retrospect. The greatest memory I have from that is not only the training, but meeting all the amazing people that were touched by the play, especially kids my age. It was moments like that, that showed me… wow, this is what I want to do!

Where you familiar with “The Lion King” before you auditioned for the role?

Interestingly enough, yes. I was a big fan of the movie and actually saw the play in the exact theatre a year and a half before I booked the role, and I said to myself after the show “I want to be Simba”. Little moments like that show me that I’ve always been a big believer in manifestation.

Do you miss doing live shows 6 days a week? How did you manage?

I actually don’t, when you’re only 10 its not that draining but it eventually catches up to you. I was somehow able to do online school, the show and train outside of Lion King. I think having an involved dad allowed me to manage my time well.

You play a young Sam Richardson in the new Netflix Rebel Wilson movie “Senior Year”, correct? Tell us about the role, what people can expect from the film, etc.

Yes, I do! I like to call him Baby Seth. Baby Seth is honestly a sweeheart, kind of nerdy but I like to call those passionate interests haha. He’s trying his best to not only fit in and seem cool, but also garner the attention of his high school love young Stephanie, played by the amazing Angourie Rice. So, I have this giant red mohawk-streak because he’s trying his best to be cool! The movie is honestly so unnecessarily funny and heart-warming, while also being nostalgic. Everyone will love it.

How was Sam Richardson in-person? Was he as funny as he is on camera? Did Sam give you any comedy tips?

Sam is honestly so relaxed, and just such an overall nice guy. He’s just as funny in person too. We didnt get to spend too much time together because our shoot schedules were honestly so inverse of each other, but when we did see each other the energy was awesome.

What high school did you attend? If so, how would you describe your own senior year?

I graduated from Compass Charter School, with honors might I add. I attended an online school, for the most part. It was a legitimate school with teachers and counselors and everything, but it was still online and I definitely was my own teacher in some way, so my experience was definitely a little different. I didn’t have a prom or anything. But I had a lot of friends in high school even without going to a public school, and my senior year was definitely a blast.

You filmed “Senior Year” in Atlanta : Do you have any restaurant recommendations to eat at for our readers?

My favorite spot to eat while I was there filming was this Jamaican spot called “Mangos”, so good!

I heard Janet Jackson is one of your top tier artists from your favorites list? Why Janet?

Yes, I’m so heavily inspired and influenced by Janet. She’s the queen of pop to me. I truly admire her for consistently evolving everything she does, her music is both socially conscious and sexually intimate, her music videos transcend time to me. Her vocals, especially her harmonies inspire me as a vocalist. She’s truly a class act in everything she does.

Favorite Janet Song ?

Come Back to Me.

Favorite Janet Album ?

The Velvet Rope!

Favorite Janet dance moment ?

The dance break from the “If” music video.

If a casting director were to read this, what genre of movie or TV would you want to be cast in? Dream role? What actor/actress would be acting opposite of you in the role? (Could be dead or alive)

Besides a teen drama, akin to Degrassi or Euphoria, I’ve always dreamed of playing a superhero, especially in X Men. My dream co-lead was always Nelsan Ellis, may he rest in peace. I’d also love to act along side Taraji P. Henson.

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