Since the beginning of her career, the famed actress, activist, and now model, Amandla Stenberg, has had a resume filled with projects with a purpose. From The Hunger Games and beyond, the talented teen has a desire to make sure that everything that she does leaves an imprint.
“I want to make sure my projects have an impact. I want to make sure they’re able to either infiltrate into a viewer or affect it, but at least challenging people, whether or not that’s consciously or subconscious,” Stenberg tells W Magazine in a recent interview. “Whether or not I’m able to work on something that very clearly brings up certain kind of intersections of identity and and explores something that’s really kind of intricate, or whether I’m able to be a part of a project that’s going to be distributed very widely and receive a lot of exposure but it’s still powerful just because it has a black girl as the lead, whereas that traditionally would be given to white women.”
In the interview, Stenberg recalls one of her first meetings with As You Are director Joris-Peyrafitte in which she asked him if he had ever considered how women are portrayed in his film to which he laughed and said, “I never thought that I was going to be asked that question. But, that definitely proves to me that you’re the right one.” From there, Senberg went on to take control of her role as Sarah, even being allowed to include an improv scene in which she defends her women’s rights.
“We got to explore gender dynamics but also have these little feminist tidbits here and there,” Stenberg explains. “I’m always thinking about what projects I work on, but I also have to think about what’s going to make me happy. I’m 18 and sometimes it’s just cool to be able to mess around a bit.”
Well, whatever role she is in whether it is a coming-of-age romance, a drama about Nazi Germany, a dystopian science-fiction thriller, or an exploration of the Black Lives Matter movement, we definitely know that Stenberg will keep us captivated and pensive for years to come.