At five-years-old Dante Brown caught the attention of late night host Jay Leno during an open mic comedy audition. After that the Chicago-native found himself on a whirlwind adventure straight to the top, proving that he is definitely a rising star to keep an eye on. Brown, now 17-years-old, recently sat down with Michigan Avenue to talk about his co-starring role as Roger “R.J.” Murtaugh, Jr., on Fox’s Lethal Weapon, his hometown, gun violence, and much more.
Born and raised in Chicago, IL., Dante began acting and modeling as a baby and quickly landed campaigns for Keebler and Sears. As he progressed in the industry, he became one of the most popular faces among the young Hollywood crowd, being deemed as a “Young Denzel Washington,” who of course is among the list of his most inspirational influences. “[Some of my inspirations and influences] on the acting side [are], I would say Denzel Washington and Will Smith,” the teen told Michigan Avenue. “Casting directors say I look like Denzel a lot—I’ve been taking that compliment and really rolling with it.”
And rolling with it, he has! Brown has not only proved that his is a force to be reckoned with in front of the camera by landing the role in the popular t.v. series, Lethal Weapon, but he is a certified entertainer who can add musician and dancer to his resume as well. Recording under the moniker “DanteThePoet,” Brown successfully connects with Generation Z in a special way, not necessarily preferring one aspect of the entertainment industry over another. “I don’t think you should have [to prefer] one or the other—I think you can do both. Why not? If you [have] the talent, why not use it? So, I can’t pick one over the other. They’re both talents of mine [that] I’m going to keep using and creating from, and inspiring others to do the same. Music gives me a certain feeling; I get to release a lot of things I don’t get to release in acting. And [with] acting, I get to release a lot of things I don’t get to release in my music. It’s like [your] left hand and right hand—you have to use both at some point.”