Where you from?
I was born and raised in Brooklyn.
Really? I LOVE Brooklyn!
Yeah… my mom was only 13 when she had me. Everyone discouraged her but she didn’t listen and chose to keep me and said I would be special…she’s pretty much the foundation of my life.
That’s pretty powerful Daveed.
She planted the seed obviously. She’s always installed in me to not be dependent on anyone and not to let anyone tell me what I can’t do…
Wow, I love that…she sounds like quite an amazing woman!
She just remarried and now I have a responsibility for my little siblings. My little sister was at the film.
I saw her…she was so spellbound…very adorable!
She said to me, ‘you never came back in the movie…’ and I had to explain it to her. I really care deeply for them. I’m very big on being a role model.
Good! We need more of them in this world. You are very young and very talented you are on the right track to being a role model.
Like a leader of New School…I’m a rapper as well…
Leader of the New School?
You know, like the new generation?
Oh, I see what you’re saying. So like where it used to be considered Old School….
It’s just about me living my life right… you know of course I’m going to make mistakes…but you know I have power and with this power comes responsibility.
Very true. Whenever people become well known in the acting business…people become very curious about them and what they’re doing: what they’re wearing, saying…who they’re dating…
But you know it is what it is. You know my mother had me young and we struggled a little bit but now, 19 years later…here I am! So you know I’m just really into acting, music…I just opened up my own club and as far as acting goes, I was about 12 when I got into acting which was my first…the 50 cent movie…
Wow! That’s a great start. I heard he’s supposed to be a very open kind of guy. He really tries to be a positive role model for young people…would you agree with that?
Yes, most definitely. I seen the commercial and I told my mom I’d love to be in that movie and the very next day I got cast.
What was that like?
I got to meet him and I knew from that day on what I wanted to do with my life you know acting and everything that goes with! He really changed me.
I saw you taking a picture with your grandma after the film and she seemed so ecstatic…what did she have to say about this film? Did she think it was a little violent?
Well she doesn’t really watch movies but she really loved it for the most part…I mean everyone was just so excited to be a part of it…such a good cast! The director did something very good.
Seriously. Was this your first feature film?
Basically yes but I was in a bunch of stuff…most recently I was in Ugly Beauty and was supposed to come back for the second season but then they canceled the show. I’ve been in Sopranos and… I’m very humble. I’m young and like I said it’s just wonderful right now… I’m in a space where I’m very creative with whatever it may be…don’t be surprised if you don’t always see me in roles like that….
I thought you were amazing in it!
What I mean is I don’t want to become type cast. I do movies like that but I also do other roles…my next step would be horror or comedy or drama. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do that again you know I’m trying to get a Grammy here… I want to make movies that have purpose and meaning in all areas of life.
I see. Does this depict real life then or is it stereotypical?
Well yes and no. I mean in places like Philly it can sadly be a reality but also I feel that there are many more entrepreneurs that are young and black like myself…I mean I understood…that time in Philadelphia that’s just what it was. I just don’t want to be doing too many of these roles…
You want to be well rounded…I understand that. I think that’s what most actors want. I’ve heard a lot of female actresses say they will only do serious roles but sometimes getting them is a different story.
I want to be like Will Smith; he’s done so many different roles, not just this black gangster role. I love everything new you know I’m still young…for future reference people will see me a lot after this film…
That’s good to know. Now, you said you’re also a rapper too?
The album should be out hopefully by September you know it’s just a work in progress...
Who was your favorite actress?
Do you mean in the film?
Yeah…well, actually wait…maybe I shouldn’t ask that question because there was really only two come to think of it (laughing)…
Well, with Judy Jerome she was just amazing… it was really something special. I mean a lot of the times you just don’t see that.
I agree…I was very impressed with her depiction of that character also…and then to meet her in person was a bit strange because she spoke differently…
She’s a very talented actress, very, very, talented. And like Sean was saying when we were being interviewed after the festival afterwards you know that movie had a very low budget but the money isn’t everything to me.
I think this movie will make a lot of money. This happens with a lot of indie films and it’ll happen with this one.
That’s why I didn’t hesitate…when I see something that moves me in a way…just being there with the cast members was amazing…
It must have…what was the set like? It must have been very exciting.
Being there was just great…I liked to make people laugh on set but I could not make Will laugh…he’s very serious and was always in character.
His hard work must have paid off then because this film is going to get him a lot of recognition.
Yeah, he’d never laugh, but that wasn’t till we said ‘cut’ then he was back to himself. He just brought the best out of me… you know you got to feed off of the others’ energy…especially the scene where we were shooting at the store…
What an intense scene…there were so many scenes like that throughout the film…I found myself holding my breathe through most of it…
…I just snapped into it for that scene...I would LOVE to work with anyone on that film again.
How long did this actually take?
18 days…and I was only on set for like four days BUT they were long…I mean usually when you have a major film you know you work for a few hours…that scene that I just mentioned took many long hours. And it was so cold! My hands were so numb… it was freezing…we did like 18 hours a day. I commend him (director) for that…it was really something else!
Now, this question will be tough, who was the best actor in the film…aside from yourself (laughing)?
Will all the way...that guy is so talented it’s ridiculous…he’s a good guy too. Whenever we got a chance to chop it up there was always something.
Have you been to every festival for this film?
Brooklyn, San Jose California …I won’t be making the one in Hollywood…
So how does any film get chosen for a festival? Is it really an almost impossible feat like everyone says?
Well, basically they send the film in and they watch the film and then I guess a certain number of people have to vote for it…I mean like the director said last night even for Brooklyn it was chosen from 4,000 films…that’s a lot of freaking movies…
Incredible! When was the first time you saw it?
Last night was the first time I watched it in its entirety...because when I was in California…. I actually missed the first part of the movie (laughing) there was just a lot going on that day.
I could imagine…all the excitement. I would have been so nervous if I was you. So you didn’t get to see it until it was shown to an audience? That’s a little scary.
You don’t actually get to see the film until it hits the film premiere and this adds to the excitement…
What do you see happening for this movie?
I mean you want to say you want the movie to be here and here but sometimes you just want things just the way it is….of course I want this to be played everywhere as a major film but there’s a lot of politics behind that.
I was in another movie with Luke Wilson called Tenure….about a school teacher, it’s a comedy…I have a speaking role but it’s not major one…everything I’ve done has been good…a football commercial and one for Dominos…for some that’s a lot for others it’s not and you know for me I want to do so much more…I want to be like Will Smith…that’s the plan.
That’s very ambitious…let’s get back to 50 Cent, he’s had some life!
When you think about it…the man got shot 9 times and survived and made something out of nothing and you know his story is so incredible and he’s only 33!
Really? That’s so young!
You know mostly men don’t become men until they’re 40! I am his biggest fan and when I met him I was like, ‘Yo 50 let me rap for you’ and he was like, ‘okay, sure!’ and he let me rap for him and it was very big.
If you were going to attend the Academy Awards for one of you future films who would you bring and what would you wear?
My girlfriend… but if I didn’t have a girlfriend it would be between Megan fox and who else? I’ll just say her and the designer outfit would be by Louie Vouton….and my girl would probably wear YSL .
Nice choices. Now, let’s talk a little bit about your mother in the film. She was brilliant.
That was her first acting part and you wouldn’t be able to tell though… it was just so natural….
I can’t believe that!
Well, Sean (director) is by far is one of the most talented directors I have ever worked with…he sees things others just don’t see…he brought this movie to life and in 18 days….I mean a film can’t even get made in 18 days…he’s very talented….
Were you always acting?
Well up until I was seventeen I was in drama class. I graduated two year ago but I have since been represented by Abrams Artists.
It’s really impossible to get representation. How did you do it?
I just got lucky. My mom sent a head shot and normally when someone sends a head shot no one ever looks at it, but,…it just so happened to land on the bosses desk…he called me in and I did this little coke audition…I’m also very well known musically.
Little Mama was there last night to see me!
Really? I love her on that MTV series, America’s Next Dancer!
She’s HUGE…she did that album, Voice to the young people…she’s recorded with T-Pain and Chris Brown and myself…
What did she think of the film? Was she impressed with your performance?
She loved the film….
Maybe she can do a little promoting for it?
Oh, I don’t know if she’d do that…I’d love that but I don’t know….
So, what was it like preparing for the role for this film or any film rather, what’s the process?
During the film I was...the normal typical process doesn’t involve me studying the script all day….I’ll look at it, skim it, and then I’ll put it away…I did this for the last film I auditioned for recently, Lord of the Bad Axes…and that script was long and when I auditioned…I had only looked at it for maybe an hour and the next day I got on the hour long train ride and the funniest thing happened…I guess because I’m a musician/ rapper so I got used to memorizing things quickly…I just don’t do anything until it’s time. I just read a little of the dialogue and by the time I got there I had already memorized all 12 pages of the film…
That’s very cool.
…and while I was waiting I was looking in the mirror and getting into character and I think I got this but we just have to wait and see…everything I go for is major…see in Hollywood…they just want to go for people that are already out there, like a familiar face… like for instance when I did uh…Big Mama’s House I did an amazing job but they just wanted Branden C. Jackson who was in a bunch of movies. He’s wonderful but a lot of times that’s just what Hollywood does or people are friends with the directors but I don’t let this discourage me because everything happens when it happens…I’m progressing with the acting and you now everything else is just falling into place.
It certainly has already…this film was one of my favorite movies. I’m looking forward to now checking out some of your albums as well…thanks for chatting with me today!
You’re welcome, anytime.