Algee Smith @itsalgee
Photography by Collin Stark @collinstark
Grooming by Elisa Lara @makeupbyelisalara
Styled by Enrique Melendez
Interview by Samantha Stricklin @f0rsakens
What originally inspired you to take on an acting career?
I got inspired to take on an acting career actually, through music. I’ve been doing music since a very young age & saw it as a form of expression. When I found acting I realized it was just another form of expressing that I enjoyed.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an actor?
I believe one advantage of being an actor is the ability to tell other people’s story. To speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. The ability to touches the heart & souls of viewers. I think a disadvantage is that some think being an actor is just a walk in the park or easy all of the time when that’s not the case. In some cases we have to do a lot of digging within ourselves to go to places we don’t necessarily enjoy going.
What are you proud of?
I’m proud of myself, my family, my friends & my team!
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Some of my biggest influences are my parents, my family, Tupac & Martin Luther king
Do you have anyone you admire and would love to work with in the future?
Well I admire a lot of people. But a few off the top of the head would be Will Smith, Edward Norton & on the music side there’s way to many to name haha
What were the biggest struggles you had to face to get to where you are?
I think the biggest struggle I had to face was standing totally firm in my faith & in what I believe the higher power told me to do for my life. Taking risks to get where I am
So tell us about your role in "The Hate U Give"?
In The Hate U Give i play the role of Khalil Harris. A 17 year old young black man living in the inner city Garden Heights. Khalil’s family dynamic is unfortunate to say the least. His mother is strung out on drugs, he just found out that his grandmother has cancer, & he now has to put food on the table for his 10 year old little brother. With all of this weight on his shoulders & no option to go & get a job. Khalil turns to the quickest way to get money. Which is unfortunately dealing narcotics for the local gang members in his neighborhood.
Are you and your character alike in anyway?
I think Khalil & myself are very much alike. To state the obvious I’m a young black man living in America. In all reality this could happen to me! Based on my skin color alone. Other than that I’m a big Tupac fan as is Khalil. I’m a ladies man as is Khalil. & im a family family like Khalil.
What do you want people to take away from the movie?
I personally want people to take away the message that is the importance of identity. The important of finding your purpose in life which leads to finding your voice! I would love for people to empathize more so than sympathize. Be open to have conversation on the way it made you feel & where you feel like you could be a part of the end to the injustices that we are exposing.
Tell us about your role in "The New Edition Story "?
In the New Edition Story I play the role of Ralph Tresvant! Lead singer of the iconic supergroup New Edition! It was a blessing & honor to be a representation of the legendary history every member & team member of that group made. I gained a lot of love & dedicated supporters from that. I’m forever grateful.
How did your prepare for the role?
Preparation for my role in the New Edition Story involved A Lot OF DANCE REHEARSALS!
8 hours a day, short lunch breaks, but really hard work! Which helped prepare me for every role that I take on now.
Do you have a dream role you would like to play?
When it comes to acting I would love to take on almost every genre. I want to do Comedy, Dramas, Sci-fi, romantic comedy, futuristic, anything that challenges me!
What goals you want to accomplish by the end of 2018?
I can honestly say that I’ve accomplished a couple of my goals for 2018. Which was finishing my album ATLA & also landing a couple of great roles. I have a few more but I’m now working on my 2019 goals!