HBO has released a new teaser trailer for the upcoming documentary series Being Serena. It premieres on May 2 and features five spell-binding episodes. The project chronicles tennis icon Serena Williams at pivotal moments in her personal and professional life.
According to HBO, Being Serena provides viewers unprecedented access to Williams during her pregnancy, new motherhood and marriage, while documenting her journey back to supremacy on the court. The intimate first-person show delves into her landmark career, family life and expanding role as a businesswoman and investor in the worlds of tech, fashion, fitness and philanthropy.
“HBO is honored to work with Serena Williams on such a personal project,” said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports to VARIETY. “Even though she has been in the spotlight since her teenage years, Serena continues to capture the imagination. With our partners at IMG, we look forward to giving viewers a revealing, behind-the-scenes portrait of her life on and off the court.”
Being Serena is produced by HBO Sports and IMG’s Original Content group.
Actors from “The New Edition Story” and Lee Daniels‘ “Star” dropped by Clark Atlanta University Thursday afternoon to speak to a classroom of aspiring theater students. The intimate conversation was presented by Farrinheit411 and was part of CAU’s weeklong Homecoming activities.
Keith Powers, Ryan Destiny and Luke James were greeting by high-pitched screams and a thunderous applause as they entered the Mass Media Arts Black Box Theater. The triple threat performers talked candidly about their roles, their time on set and in between projects and their newfound fame.
Powers and James both appeared in this year’s highly anticipated BET biopic about iconic R&B supergroup New Edition. They both talked about meeting each other on set and how quickly they formed a fraternal bond with the rest of the cast members. Powers portrayed Ronnie DeVoe while James starred as Johnny Gill.
Destiny is one of the three main actresses on Lee Daniels’ hit Fox series “Star.” The show, which is now in its second season, features her along with Jude Demorest and Brittany O’Grady as a trio of singers trying to make it in Atlanta’s cutthroat music industry. Destiny plays Alexandra “Alex” Crane, a wealthy 19-year-old singer-songwriter who grew up in the shadows of her famous rock star father played by Lenny Kravitz and her prime & proper mother played by supermodel—Naomi Campbell.
In addition to the students asking questions, they also shared with the actors their personal aspirations and how attending an HBCU (Historal Black College and University) has brought them closer to their goals and dreams.
Check out a few more pics below:
Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers
Keith Powers talking to the students about starring in “The New Edition Story”
Keith Powers began his career as a model
Luke James and Keith Powers
CAU students sharing their experience at an HBCU
Keith Powers, Ryan Destiny, Farrinheit411, Eric Little and Luke James
Mary J. Blige has had an eventful 2017 to say the least. The Grammy-winning music diva, actress and fashion maven released her husband, released a new album and is now gearing up to release a new movie, “Mudbound.”
The multi-platinum selling artist is profiled in the November issue of ESSENCE where she opens up about the film project coming at a time of major change in her life on and off the stage.
“If I didn’t let go and give into the character, the movie probably wouldn’t be what it is right now. It was the one thing that needed to be done, and I couldn’t let Dee down.”
“Mudbound” follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry (Jason Clarke), his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson (Blige and Rob Morgan) — sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations — struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face.
“Mudbound” has already garnered critical acclaim and some pre-Oscar buzz and will debut on Netflix beginning Friday, November 17.
For someone to have achieved all that Kendrick Lamar has over these past few years, you’d think that the success, the fame and the fortune would have gone to his head by now. Well, you’re wrong! As his hit single goes, staying “humble” is the best position to be in when your life has literally taken you from Compton to Cape Town.
The Grammy winning rapper sat down recently with Dave Chappelle for a one-on-one conversation for INTERVIEW Magazine and dished about his career, his platform and music. For Lamar, the albums are inspired by the average, everyday person trying to make it through life.
“At the end of the day, the music isn’t for me; it’s for people who are going through their struggles and want to relate to someone who feels the same way they do, said Lamar to Chappelle.
When asked how he has handled fame, Lamar admits that he’s still growing and struggled with the fast pace of it all in the beginning. However, he was able to find some balance when he went back home to see some familiar faces.
“The best thing I did was go back to the city of Compton, to touch the people who I grew up with and tell them the stories of the people I met around the world. Making To Pimp a Butterfly was me navigating those experiences.”
Lamar also admits that his concert tour to South Africa completely changed his view and perspective about his gifts and purpose. Seeing the land and talking to the people proved to be just what he needed for this part of his life’s journey.
“I went to South Africa—Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg—and those were definitely the “I’ve arrived” shows. Outside of the money, the success, the accolades … This is a place that we, in urban communities, never dream of. We never dream of Africa. Like, “Damn, this is the motherland.” You feel it as soon as you touch down. That moment changed my whole perspective on how to convey my art.”
Click here to see more pics and read the entire article!
Check out photos from Jussie Smollett‘s fashion spread in VULKAN Magazine. The “Empire” star talks candidly about fame, the pros and cons of social media and having no regrets in his career so far.
“Social media is a very interesting thing to me. On one hand it’s wonderful because it has given everybody a voice, everyone an opinion, and everyone the opportunity to speak. On the other hand, the problem is also the fact that it has given everybody a voice and everybody’s got something to motherf***ing say!”
He also discusses his desire to be a great director and an even greater father.
“I want to be a father; I feel like every single thing I do in life is for my unborn child. Every thing I purchase, every dollar that I save, and every responsible decision that I make is because I want to be the best father I can possibly be. I want to be the father version of what my mother was for my siblings and I.”
Check out more photos below + excerpts from the interview:
“Quincy Jones once said, “Don’t believe the good that people say about you because then you will also believe the bad.” It can be so easy to get wrapped up in everything that you’re doing but at the end of the day, the only thing that’s going to matter is when I die, the effect that I’ve had on peoples lives, either positive or negative, It’s up to me.”
“I’m in a place where I’m very blessed and very grateful and I don’t want to take anything for granted and act like “oh, the stuff that led me up to this was shit” because that’s not cool. So as of now, I don’t regret anything.”
“What inspired F.U.W? [chuckles]… it’s a f***ed up world is what inspired F.U.W! It is such a pain that I carry so deeply in me, what our people go through, and what this nation and this world goes through.”
Check out these amazing images of “Queen Sugar” star Kofi Siriboe for UPSCALE magazine’s October issue. The 22-year-old actor and Wilhelmina Model portrays ‘Ralph Angel Bordelon,’ in the Ava DuVernay series that premieres tonight and Wednesday at 10 p.m. EST on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Inside, Siriboe chats about the show, his new found fame and his desire to be more than just a star. “I’ve always wanted to reach beyond just entertaining with an overall goal of being reflective and introspective in everything I attempt. I think that’s what I am doing because its all bringing me closer to God and to the people. Hopefully, when they see me they see themselves to…” said Siriboe to UPSCALE’sSatchel Jester.
See more images of Kofi rocking Italian fashion-house Etro and quotes from the interview below:
“I was a little chubby boy that was homeschooled, so I was a bit different. I never did prom and those things. I always laid low…”
“My character is a formerly incarcerated single father who only knows struggling in New Orleans. This was intense for me. I wanted to make sure I gave the character layers and made Nawlins proud. It’s a blessing to be able to share my art on this level and I didn’t want to mishandle it.”
“This space, this opportunity and favor puts me in a special state of mind that produces a vulnerable feeling. Though I have been acting my entire life, I’ve still lived most of it in private, so this is all truly special.”
Check out a few photos from the recent Merge Summit that took place August 25-27 at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The event was presented by Relevé Entertainment, in conjunction with Walgreens and AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The Merge Summit (Founder-Dr. Holly Carter; Co-Founder and Co-Chairwoman-Robi Reed; Chairwoman-Traci Blackwell) is a unique event created to inspire synergy with faith based and entertainment industry leaders to educate, uplift, and encourage attendees to aspire towards their professional and personal goals. The theme of this year’s celebration was “Infinite Possibilities” as a way to allow the Summit to serve as a proper launch pad to propel attendees into their vision.
The weekend opened with a formal opening Gala acknowledging the outstanding accomplishments of Senior Vice President of Prudential Financial-Dorinda Walker, ESSENCE Magazine Editor At Large-Mikki Taylor, founder and senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center (LWCC)-Dr. Bill Winston and Emmy Award Nominated Actor-Courtney B. Vance. This evening was hosted by celebrated actress/comedian/TV personality- Sherri Shepherd and featured performances by Jonathan McReynolds and Ezekiel (The Poet). Nearly 60 of the industry’s top entertainers and executives led more than 20 interactive panel discussions, workshops and Master Class sessions covering music, television, film, creative development, branding and new media.
The Merge Summit’s featured participants included: Hit Fox TV Show Empire Co-Stars, Trai Byers and Grace Byers; Tina Knowles Lawson, Actor-Richard Lawson, Multi-Platinum GRAMMY Award Winning Singer/TV Personality-Michelle Williams; GRAMMY Award Winning Universal Motown Gospel Recording Artist-Tasha Cobbs; Monami Entertainment CEO-Mona Scott Young; Director, Supplier Diversity, Walgreen Co.- Rona Fourte; Blockbuster Producer (X-Men, Wolverine, and Fantastic Four), Ralph Winter; CEO, Liquid Soul-Tirrell Whittley, Co-Chairman of de Passe Jones Entertainment –Suzanne de Passe; EMMY nominated and Peabody Award Winning Motion picture and television producer and owner of Martin Chase Productions –Debra Martin Chase; Vice President Of Talent & Casting for Original Programming at BET Networks-Robi Reed; Head Of Talent and Casting for ABC-Ayo Davis; Walt Disney Studios Executive Vice President, Production, Tendo Nagenda; President of Studio Lambert-Greg Goldman; Film Producer and President/CEO of Franklin Entertainment-DeVon Franklin; President, Producers Guild of America CEO of Revelations Entertainment- Lori McCreary; Senior Director Of Development for BET Networks-Tamara Gregory; Film Producer/CEO, 1019 Entertainment-Ralph Winter; Casting Director/Producer (Empire, The Butler)-Leah Daniels-Butler; Head Of Television for Will Packer Productions-Korin Huggins; Revolt TV’s Head Of Programming-Kelly G; Vice President Of Talent Development & Inclusion-Disney/ABC- Tim McNeal; and GRAMMY Nominated Producer-Harmony Samuels.
Actresses: Meagan Good Franklin, LisaRaye McCoy, Brely Evans, Essence Atkins, Edwina Findley-Dickerson, Salli Richardson Whitfield; Actors: Larenz Tate, Dondré Whitfield, John David Washington, Sinqua Walls, Cornelius Smith; Spiritual Leaders: Dr. Cindy Trimm, Pastor Wayne Chaney, Dr. DeForest Soaries, Shawn Bolz, Pastor Mark Baker; Author Sophia Nelson and many others.
As an added incentive for Platinum Level guests, the Merge Summit included an exclusive screening of “The Birth Of A Nation,” featuring a surprise post-screening Q&A with the film’s lead actor and director, Nate Parker, and TV personality/journalist, Jawn Murray.
“I wanted people to believe that this year’s summit was designed with them in mind to achieve the infinite possibilities that awaited them. From the personal testimonies, the feedback and word of mouth, I think the mission was accomplished. I feel humbled as this was God’s doing and it’s marvelous in my sight,” says Dr. Holly Carter.
See more photos below:
Michelle Williams, Tasha Cobbs, Essence Atkins and guest
Suzanne de Passe
Courtney B. Vance
Photo Credits: Alisha Marie Simmons of Visionary Instinct
Some of the biggest names in Black entertainment will come together to talk faith and fame at L.A.’s Merge Summit August 25-27 at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
The Merge Summit is a unique event created to inspire synergy with faith based and entertainment industry leaders to educate, uplift and encourage attendees to aspire towards their professional and personal goals.
This year’s festivities include a gala on August 25 that will recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Senior Vice President of Prudential Financial- Dorinda Walker, ESSENCE Magazine Editor At Large-Mikki Taylor, founder and senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center (LWCC)-Dr. Bill Winston and Emmy Award Nominated Actor-Courtney B. Vance. This evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian-Cedric The Entertainer and will feature performances by Jonathan McReynolds and Ezekiel (The Poet).
From August 26-27th, 60 top level entertainment executives will lead interactive discussions, workshops and Master Class sessions in personal branding, music, television, film, creative development, and new media.
Summit participants include Michelle Williams, Tasha Cobbs, Suzanne DePasse, Debra Martin Chase, DeVon Franklin, Leah Daniels-Butler, Meagan Good Franklin, Tia Mowry-Hardrict, LisaRaye McCoy, Brely Evans, Essence Atkins, Edwina Findley-Dickerson, Salli Richardson Whitfield, Cory Hardrict, Dondre Whitfield, John David Washington and Brian White.
“What a better place to bring the Word than amongst the brightest of stars and influencers in the entertainment industry,” said The Merge Summit Co-Founder and Co-Chair Robi Reed. “We need as many beacons of love and hope as we can find to light a path in these days and The Merge Summit is the place where those like minds meet. I’m excited to see us climb to a new plateau this year.”
I had the pleasure of attending the Atlanta Merge Symposium (a smaller scaled down version of the L.A. event) at Bishop William Murphy‘s dReam Center last November and had a blast.
Golden Globe winning-actor Idris Elba will be the first to admit that he has a lot going on. Between his grueling television and film schedules, red carpet appearances, photoshoots, interviews and DJing gigs, Elba is truly a man in demand. But could all of this fame and success be too much even for him? Well, that is a concern he expressed in the newest edition of INTERVIEW.
London’s leading man covers the magazine and opens up about all of his current projects including “The Jungle Book,” “Star Trek” and “The Dark Tower.” He also says he wonders if multitasking will have any effects on him later in life and how he doesn’t want his fans to grow weary of seeing him.
“I don’t want to sound ungrateful or anything, but I sleep less, I’m constantly thinking, I’m constantly multitasking, and I really don’t know what the effects are going to be when I’m older. I don’t ever stop. Not because I’m greedy or anything, but I’m always creating, debating with the part of my brain that is dormant. Wondering how I can move in and create a bit more space and take a bit more time. But it’s almost like the more I achieve, the more capacity I have to achieve. I do worry sometimes about whether I’m going to burn out. Not burn myself out, but burn my art out, with audiences going, “Ah, yeah, I’ve seen enough now, thanks very much.”
It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s CAM NEWTON! The Carolina Panthers quarterback is featured on not one but two covers of EBONY for April and May. One shows off the superstar’s 6’5″ 245 lb. frame while the other includes him with his supportive and devout Christian mother, Jackie Newton. Inside, Newton talks candidly to EBONY about his monster success, fame, failures, fatherhood and the challenges of being the “realest” on and off the field.
“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare that to,” he told reporters.
Newton has been at the center of a lot of controversy before and after Super Bowl 50 and now it’s his time to set the record straight.
Click here to read a portion of the story and check out the full covers below:
Some of the stars from ABC’s dramatic thriller “How To Get Away with Murder” came out Saturday evening for a special screening of this week’s highly anticipated new episode. The event took place in Atlanta, GA at SCAD’s aTVfest and was attended by students and die-hard fans of the show hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite character.
Liza Weil with Jack Falahee and Peter Nowalk
“How To Get Away with Murder” stars Emmy and Tony winning-actress Viola Davis as the brilliant, charismatic and seductive professor Annalise Keating who gets entangled with five law students from her class, ‘How To Get Away with Murder.’ Little do they know, the students will apply what they learned to real life situations. The series debuted to a lot of fanfare in 2014 and is produced by Shonda Rhimes.
Charlie Webber, Liza Weil and Jack Falahee
Actors Jack Falahee, Liza Weil and Charlie Webber all joined the show’s creator and writer Peter Nowalk for the intimate screening. The viewing was immediately followed by a lively Q&A session where they all discussed the rapid success of the series, what it’s really like working with Viola Davis and the challenges they face playing such complex characters and more. Check out their surprising answers below:
Jack Falahee plays Annalise Keating’s student ‘Conner Walsh’
On adjusting to the sudden popularity of the show…
Charlie Webber: I get asked this a lot. I don’t think you can ever expect a show to be this or to take off like this! What Pete allows us do as actors, I’ve never experienced before and it’s just been fabulous. I just love going to work everyday.
Jack Falahee: There were fans waiting for me at the airport today! (cheers) So that’s crazy. To think that a year ago today we were up here on this same stage and now there are people waiting at baggage claim. Yeah, it’s been a roller coaster but a really good one.
Liza Weil portrays ‘Bonnie Winterbottom’ the assistant to Annalise Keating
On finding out character details…
Liza Weil: We’re really not too far behind viewers in terms of the information that we’re learning about these characters. We’re really excited at any development in terms of forging their stories and all of that stuff. We just get rabid about it.
Jack Falahee and Peter Nowalk
On working with the great Viola Davis…
Peter NoWalk: She’s really our leader in so many ways. I’ve grown so much as a writer working with her. She’s extremely collaborative. In fact, she actually kind of came up with this week’s episode idea and pitched it to me beat by beat. As a creator, your exhausted all the time and you feel like you have no ideas and then here’s someone who comes to help you out. She’s been doing this for so long and she always challenges me and I hope it bleeds into the whole the show. It’s the best version of a collaboration. I feel like, in a weird way, she’s really like my teacher but much nicer than Annalise Keating.
Charlie Webber plays ‘Frank Delfino,’ AnnaLise Keating’s other Assistant
On the challenges they’ve faced playing these characters…
Liza Weil: I think last year was certainly really scary for me. I had never played like a romantic thing before. I think I’ve only played an awkward “virginity losing” scene that was supposed to be really uncomfortable and terrible. The stuff with ‘Bonnie’ and ‘Asher’ (played by Matt McGorry) was really scary for me because I had never done that. That was something that was great to sort of work through.
Jack Falahee: For me personally, the taking off of the shirt has been a challenge that I really didn’t see when I auditioned for the pilot. But it’s been overwhelmingly positive. Pete’s always the first to be like ‘whatever your comfortable with’ Jack. I think I’ve also learned a lot about myself as both an actor and a person accepting my body. This is what it is America and you’re welcome!
Charlie Webber: I’ve done a lot of the sexual stuff over the years. (cheers) It’s been bit of a staple in my career. (LOL) What’s funny for me is that being with these people, I’ve really been able to do my shit. I really care about this. I care about my work and this character and getting the chance to explore that. It’s not necessarily going there but the willingness to let people see it is what’s new for me. I’m really appreciative of that and it’s been both scary and fun.
Jack Falahee and Peter Nowalk
On the similarities between them and their characters:
Charlies Webber: Frank is this completely different person. What I find fascinating is that I spend more time with him than I do as myself. He’s in my bones and I love him despite his flaws but he’s a terrible person in a lot of ways. I relate to him because I am him but I don’t know what we have in common other than the fact we’re the same person.
Liza Weil: There’s always stuff that you can relate to in your character. The gift to being able to play a person for a long period of time is that they do sort of get in your bones and you can sort of trust that they will be there next to the vodka. Wait! That’s a terrible answer.
Jack Falahee: I actually revel in what I don’t share with Conner. I guess we do both share the fact that we’re both flawed. Conner is also very confident and I’m not. I think that seeing that juxtaposition or at least examining it is sometimes helpful.
Check out a sneak peek of this week’s new episode below:
How to Get Away with Murder returns this Thursday, February 11 at 10 p.m. EST.
REELZ is starting the New Year off with a bang! The network announced this week the return of a few fan favorites like “Gangters: America’s Most Evil” and “Autopsy: The Last Hours of…” In addition, they will debut a brand new documentary “Whitney Houston: Addicted to Love,” which explores the life and times of the late Grammy-winning music icon.
Check out full descriptions and dates below:
Gangsters: America’s Most Evil – Premieres Tuesday, January 19
From thugs to lethal beauties, outlaws to kingpins, each episode profiles these gangsters and reveals their ominous motives and the circumstances that eventually led to their downfall. The premiere episode on Tuesday, January 19 features a storyline that reads like a movie script for a blockbuster crime thriller. James Spencer Springette, known as “Jimmy the Juice”, went from selling juice to tourists on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to distributing thousands of kilos of cocaine into the United States. Find out how he found himself on the FBI’s top ten list of most wanted fugitives right next to Osama bin Laden. This season will also explore the Black Mafia Family (BMF) as well as renowned human smuggler Cheng Chui Ping aka (Sister Ping). “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil” is produced by Asylum Entertainment.
Whitney Houston: Addicted to Love – Premieres Saturday, January 23
Whitney Houston’s story of global celebrity had it all—massive success in music, a game-changing role in a blockbuster movie and volatile substance abuse. Intertwined was her mercurial relationship with husband Bobby Brown in addition to the complex dynamics of having close family members running her business affairs. Whitney Houston: Addicted to Love delves into the iconic singer’s public and private life through revealing insight from those who surrounded Whitney including her publicist Kenneth Reynolds, bodyguard Alan Jacobs and bandmates Wayne Linsey and Kirk Whalum, Arista Records’ Gerry Griffith and friend Jermaine Jackson who share their personal stories and thoughts on Whitney’s astonishing story of success and excess. “Whitney Houston: Addicted to Love” is produced by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
Autopsy: The Last Hours of…- Premieres Saturday, January 30
Autopsy: The Last Hours of… reveals the truth behind the controversial deaths of global icons and people whose untimely deaths were surrounded by scandal and intense media attention. Fact and fiction are forever separated as renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter reconstructs their final hours using crucial medical evidence from the actual autopsies to explain how and why they died while interviews with friends and family shed light on the events that led to death—finally putting an end to the speculation. Celebrities explored include Phil Hartman, John Belushi, Maurice Gibb, Don Cornelius, Christopher Wallace (The Notorius B.I.G), Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Rodney King. Natalie Wood kicks off the season 1/30.
The “UNCF An Evening of Stars” telecast airs Sunday night, April 26 at 10 p.m. EST on BET. I had the pleasure of covering the red carpet for the evening and picked up a few exclusive interviews with many of the show’s presenters and performers including “Empire” stars Trai Byers, Grace Gealey and Jussie Smollett. I chatted briefly with the trio about their hugely popular Fox series, their new found fame and so much more. Check out the 2-minute clip below! #excited
Congratulations are in order to funnyman Dave Chappelle. The comedic actor is back on the scene and is one of GQ’s Men of the Year. A more buff Chappelle appears on the cover and talks exclusively to the magazine about everything from his 10-day run at Radio City Music Hall to his opinion of Tyler Perry to his views on “Celebritydom” to the Donald Sterling debacle and much more. He also appears in a pretty cool fashion spread that features threads from Tom Ford, Salvatore Ferragamo and John Varvatos.
Check out his dope photos and a few excerpts from the interview below:
Chappelle reveals why his Radio City gig was a must…
I have a show-business bucket list. There’s just certain things that every entertainer always dreamed of doing. When I was 19, I used to walk up Sixth Avenue and look at the marquee of Radio City. I’d see the lines outside. I’d be like, “Man, I just want to… Radio City!” It just so happened the venue was open during the same time frame I was willing to play. The venue opened up for an astounding ten days. And I said, “Well, can we do all ten? You know, can I even do that business? I haven’t played New York in so long.” I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity.
Chappelle on why he would love to guest star on a few TV shows…
For one year, I want to do this thing where I guest-star on as many television shows as I possibly can. I love television. The fact that television ultimately made me famous was very gratifying for me. Chris Tucker did it in movies, and Chris Rock did it from his stand-up, which was very impressive. But you know, the thing that people most will remember me for is Chappelle’s Show. If I were to never do anything else, that show would be a culmination of what was a very long and tedious process of me learning how to be in the television business. I’d be a zombie in The Walking Dead. A corpse on CSI. I’d be the first black guy to fuck Olivia Pope on Scandal…
Chappelle’s thoughts on Tyler Perry’s impact…
He’s [Tyler Perry] a pretty prolific dude. What he was able to accomplish is very, very impressive. There’s no way you could look at it and not be impressed. And what I like about what he did initially with those Madea movies is that it was an after-church crowd. Like, he was the first guy I saw in mainstream media that was speaking directly to that audience. I like that about him.
Chappelle on Celebritydom…
Fame can be a tough thing. Some people have great experiences in show business. We’ll say, for lack of a better term, I had an allergic reaction to some of the things that I was going through.
Chappelle on when he realized his comedic talents as a youth…
I didn’t start coming into my own as a guy until I was 12 years old. I can actually remember the moment. I went to a party. I was scared to go to this party, but I ended up going anyway. And when I got there, it was like I could tell everyone was really happy I came. And then a kid explained to me, “Man, it’s not as much fun when you’re not here.” And I was like, Oh, I didn’t know that. I didn’t realize that kids thought I was funny—that I had actual friends. Even at 14, when I started doing stand-up, I was always a pack animal. I’d like to be a lone wolf, but I’m just not.