Caleb McLaughlin, starring as Lucas Sinclair in the Netflix science fiction hit drama Stranger Things, is getting ready to take New Edition fans down memory lane with his portrayal of Ricky Bell in BET’s upcoming biopic—The New Edition Story, debuting tonight through January 26th.
Recapturing the beginning of Bell’s career in the biopic was a great experience for the fifteen-year-old actor and he hopes that his excitement in the role will translate well on screen. “It brings it back to my parent’s era, and they’re excited to see me,” McLaughlin commented in an interview with Huffington Post. “So I just want to make them happy.”
And of course, the native New Yorker gets to exercise his vocal chops with ease in the biopic as his career began on Broadway as the Young Simba in the musical The Lion King.
Originally, the talented teenager auditioned for the role of Michael Bivins but was offered the role of Bell instead, stating that the one obstacle to completely mastering the character for him was Bell’s charm. “I sing and I dance, but he’s a ladies man,” McLaughlin stated in the interview. “And I’m a ladies man too, but I’m not as slick and smooth as he is. But I became to be more slick and smooth as he is by learning the character.”
Despite the fact that McLaughlin is not an 80s baby, he is definitely wrapped up in the nostalgia of it all and “…get[s] to relive [his] parents’ childhood.”
Tune in tonight for the beginning of the six-hour, three-night premiere of The New Edition Story on BET and see if you think McLaughlin nailed it. We think he will! Check local listings for times.