Up and Comer: Justice Smith

‘Paper Towns’ is just the start for Justice Smith

Justice Smith

19-year-old Justice Smith’s feature film debut is quite something. With his only previous credits being two episodes of “The Thundermans” there’s no doubt his talent got him his supporting role of “Radar” in Paper Towns. And when you see the film, you immediately know why.

Smith is one of the best surprises Paper Towns has to offer. He makes the character of Radar funny and emotional in a quiet, unapologetic it way. His simple smiles let us know that Radar’s the friend that keeps the group grounded through the lows and embraces the beauty of the highs wholeheartedly. Radar is stumbling his way through high school, but Smith brings a certain confidence that the character doesn’t even realize he possesses. His performance seems effortless.

Radar’s storyline could easily feel trite in this coming-of-age tale, but Justice is able to bring innocence to the pretty average love story that is Radar and Angela’s relationship. Justice’s performance makes scenes that might feel cliché, instead have a breathe of his fresh air. (‘Angela’ played by Jaz Sinclair is no small part of that either.)

And it’s not just YE that’s loving Justice Smith. John Green, author of “Paper Towns” knew right away.

“From the moment I saw Justice’s audition, I knew we’d lucked into the perfect Radar. I didn’t yet know of course that he is brilliant and charming in life as well as in character, but I am so grateful that he will forever more be Radar to me.(via fanlala.com)


So what’s next for this teen – a starring role in a one-of-a-kind Netflix original series “The Get Down” from visionary director Baz Lurman. This musical drama is described as an exploration of the broken streets of New York City in the 1970’s told through the music of a group of budding young artists. With names like Baz Lurman, Jayden Smith, and Giancarlo Esposito attached, Justice Smith is in good company once again.Check out the “The Get Down” teaser below.

YE is too excited to see what happens next for this guy!  We’ll keep you updated.