By Nolan Syers
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to interview one of the brightest, young, up-and-coming stars of our generation. His name is Kwesi Boakye.
He is 11 years old and he’s been acting his whole life. His recent role was in the newest Tyler Perry movie, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”.
I also spoke with his mother. She was very heart-warming and friendly. She made me feel welcome. I then spoke to a very confident Kwesi. He listened carefully and was ready for his interview.
Kwesi answered in a very polite voice. As I started to talk and ask him questions, I noticed that he was very intelligent and very mature for his age. He has worked with adults his whole life. He's been an actor for most of his life.
My first question was how he started in the acting business.
“My mom says, when we were at the Fox Rivers mall, an agent came up to us, and she said she wanted to sign me. My mom said she would look into it, and she actually looked into it. The rest was history," he explained.
I thought that it was so intriguing that; an agent asked him if he wanted to act and for her to be his agent. I guess anything is possible.
Then, I asked him what he enjoyed most about acting. He was very direct.
“The thing I enjoy most about acting would probably be…. the fact that you get to meet new people and make new friends," he said.
I thought he brought a good point, and then asked him the complete opposite. I asked him what he thought was the most difficult in his acting.
“I’d probably say, memorizing the big script, because sometimes you get the script on the “day of” something. It’s super big and you have to learn it, but I just do it because I have a photographic memory, so it’s easy for m," he revealed.
I was amazed how he could do that and we talked about how big was his script for the Tyler Perry movie.
“Well I had a lot of lines in the movie, but the people contacted me and asked me if I wanted to be in it," he remembered.
I then, brought up the fact that his parents are African, and are from Africa. I asked him if he’s ever been to Africa, and what African cultures have they brought into his life.
“I’ve never been to Africa before, but I want to go badly because, they say it’s so nice. And the culture is the food," he explained.
Now, I’ve heard about African food and have wanted to try some for a while now, and Kwesi told me that the food is really good.
Then, I wanted to go back to the Tyler Perry subject, and I asked him what message does his character give to kids.
“Probably, keep your head up in hard times, when things are going bad. You have to keep your head up, and never keep your head down. If you keep your head up, you will keep building confidence. That’s what I think the message is going to be towards kids,"
The film focuses on a selfish alcoholic named April. She winds up taking care of her sister’s three kids. Later on, she falls in love with her Columbian immigrant worker.
After the Tyler Perry subject, I wanted to talk about his infatuation of video games. He stated in a previous interview he had, that the game he most enjoyed was NBA 2K7.
“I have a portable PlayStation (PSP), so I can walk and take it anywhere with me. Mr. Perry actually bought it for me because I had my birthday on the set. We started shooting
in March and we ended in April. My birthday is April 6th, so they had a little surprise party for me, and that was really cool," he said.
He also said that he hopes to be in another Tyler Perry movie because he liked the environment around him.
“He’s really a good person to be around because I can learn a lot more about add-libbing and other stuff," he stated.
I asked if he had any mentor figures (role models) in his acting career so far.
“I look up to my brothers because, they are actors too. I want to be just like them when I grow up because, they’re successful in the business and do their own thing," he said proudly.
Kwesi has made numerous guest appearances on television shows like Boston Legal, Days of Our Lives, Day Break, Strong Medicine, The Shield, Til’ Death, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd. Kwesi has also loaned his voice to the Academy Award winning animated feature Happy feet as well as an episode of the comedy South Park.
I understood that he was going to be in a new show with Ray Romano called “Men of a Certain Age”, which starts in January of 2010. I asked him to tell me a little about the show.
“I play Jamie Thorough, and he’s a little bit of a bossy person to his brothers, but not to other people. He just likes to mess with his brothers, and pull pranks on them. He likes to be the boss of his brothers and tell them what to do," he related.
I asked him how he got the role as Jamie Thorough. “I auditioned for that. There were a lot of kids who auditioned for my role. I had to go through an audition, and a call back, and then a screen test. Ray Romano was one of the judges," he remembered.
We were talking more about the show, and then we got to the school subject. I asked him if he was ever home-schooled, or if he’s home-schooled now.
“No, but my teachers, they are willing to work with me sometimes. If I have to shoot something, they’ll just give me the work ahead of time so, I’ll get to do it on set, and I return it when I come back," he told me.
I wanted to know what his most challenging role, he was ever given.
“Probably, this Tyler Perry movie, because Manny, he’s a smart-mouthed kid and he’s angry sometimes. It’s very hard for me because I’m like the exact opposite. I had to get in the zone and just focus real hard," he said.
I mentioned that in one of his interviews, he stated that he wanted to be like Jay-Z.
“I like his music a lot and I wanted to go to his concert. It was in New York, and he was there for the premier of my movie, so I wanted to go. I couldn’t because, “Men of a Certain Age” needed me back at a certain time."
“When I was in New York I went to the Central Park Zoo, and that was very cool. I got to see polar bears, some snow leopards, and a couple of snow monkeys. That was a very cool experience," he recalled.
I asked Kwesi if he had any plans to keep acting in the future.
“I plan to keep acting, like my brothers. I got attached to acting because I’ve been doing it 10 years. So, I really want to do it in the future," he reasoned.
Then, I wanted to know what he thought his life would be like if he wasn’t an actor.
“I can’t imagine it really because, I’ve been so hooked on acting. I really haven’t thought of anything else to do. So, I basically don’t have a plan b," he said.
He told me he liked acting in movies a little bit better than television, because in movies you get to travel to new places. He called it "a whole other atmosphere.”
Since he played the NBA video games; I wanted to know if he went to any live NBA games.
“When I was shooting the movie, in Atlanta, I went to an Atlanta Hawks game. I got to see Dwayne Wade.” “I’ve also been to a UCLA football game," he said.
He also stated that he likes to listen to Taylor Swift. After that I thanked him for taking the time to talk to me and I told him that the video would be up on Utube under Kidsnewsinc.com
He is a very confident and fun person and I would love to interview him in the Future.