Marsai Martin is using her platform to inspire young creatives in Hollywood. The talented teen sat down with For(bes) The Culture to tell the world just how she is doing it.
Check out what the talented young actress, producer, and entrepreneur had to say below.
For(bes) The Culture: How have you had a hand in helping to diversify entertainment?
Marsai Martin: I was the first one at my age to really put my hands on and just go for it. I feel like leading by example is the biggest thing for anyone to be part of. Just doing it out of necessity just started up a whole bunch of people, which I’m excited and beyond grateful to be at the forefront of it all.
For(bes) The Culture: Why was it so important for you to join the cast of Black-ish when you were younger, and how do you think the show is facilitating much-needed conversations in Black culture?
Martin: I was like 9-years-old when I joined. In the beginning, I just saw it as a fun opportunity and that was a time where I was going to audition after audition. When Black-ish came up, it was exciting mostly because I knew the cast. Obviously I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I love Anthony Anderson and Tracee.’ The more I grew up on the show and actually gave Diane a back story and growing her personality and character, it made everything clear when seeing how important the topics are that we’re talking about. It had really never been done… a sitcom that is really touching on things that are real life situations that you wouldn’t expect a comedy to talk about. Being part of an amazing cast and crew while learning while I’m working was truly amazing. It’s a blessing.
For(bes) The Culture: How did you see the pandemic impact young creatives such as yourself, and how did you cope when it first hit?
Martin: It impacted us so much because we had a lot of projects that we were planning on filming. It actually was a relief because we ended season six of Black-ish in the beginning of March, then the pandemic hit in mid-March. It was crazy because it happened so fast. We were planning on being part of a lot of projects throughout the whole year of 2020. We were booked and busy, and next thing you know we just wiped everything out which was insane. Even for young creators and people just getting started, it was way more difficult on the creativity side because the normal ways of expressing yourself, you couldn’t really do that anymore. You could barely even take a walk. Now we’re kind of over the hump of doing it more safely, but in the beginning it was hard because you could barely get out of the house.
We were in a crazy place but now that we’re all filming again and adjusting to this new normal at the moment, it’s been more comfortable. I definitely miss things the way they were – I miss Disneyland, I miss Disney World and I miss all those types of things obviously. But as a teenager, I coped by trying new hobbies. In the beginning, I was FaceTiming my friends all the time. My friends and Miles’ [Brown] friends are both in a trio and we were all on FaceTime every night to talk about our day. That was the only way we really got to communicate and socialized. I learned how to cook stuff other than cereal. I got into TikTok around March as well and binge-watched a lot of shows. It was difficult but I tried to make it work. I feel like everyone tried working out as well which didn’t really last forever but we were at home so we did what we could.
To read the remainder of Martin’s For(bes) The Culture interview, click here. We cannot wait to see what else 2021 has in store for Martin. We know that it is going to be nothing less than outstanding!