The Hate U Give is already a best selling book, and it’s about to become a high grossing movie as well. The film, starring Amandla Stenberg and KJ Apa, just made its way into theaters this weekend. The film features a realistic and powerful portrayal of racism and police brutality. Young up-and-coming actor TJ Wright plays ‘Sekani Carter’ in the film, and is making an impression on audiences everywhere. YEM spoke to TJ about his character and his growing career.
Young Entertainment Mag: How did you begin acting?
TJ Wright: I started off modeling when I was about two. When I was four, I kept asking my parents to be on TV and then they put me in a musical theater class, which I loved. I moved over to commercial acting when I was five and have loved it ever since.
YEM: Tell us about your character, Sekani.
TJ: Sekani is a joyful person and his name actually means joy so he fits into his name pretty well. He’s a funny guy who supports comic relief in this movie.
YEM: Are you and Sekani alike?
TJ: Yes, me and Sekani are alike because we’re bubbly people that like to tell jokes and have fun. But we also understand other people’s emotions.
YEM: Had you heard of the book The Hate U Give before?
TJ: No, I hadn’t, but began reading it after I landed the role to get into character. The book is amazing like the movie!
YEM: What do you like to do when you’re not acting?
TJ: Drawing! I love drawing because I like making characters and giving people personalities. I also really like learning new styles from other great artists because it helps me know more about my own style and get tips about how I can do my drawings differently. I really spend a lot of my time creating things – like making new slime recipes or writing stories or making collages.
YEM: If you could work with any actor, who would it be and why?
TJ: That’s a hard question because I look up to a lot of people, but if I had to choose one, I would love to work with Michael B. Jordan. He’s a great actor who can portray different types of characters and I believe he could help me add more depth to my style.