He was discovered in a toy store when he was just 10 months old and won over the producers of his latest project, Tyler Perry’s ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself‘ and landed the role after just the table read! With some great stories and cuteness you want to just eat up, Kwesi Boakye is well and truly on the road to stardom! Kwesi gave YBS an exclusive interview where he talks about riding on segways, his Ghanaian Heritage and why Tyler Perry is just a really cool guy!
You can read just the questions and Kwesi’s answers below, or listen to the audio for some added extras, added conversation, added laughs and added info; like how to properly pronounce Kwesi’s name!
YBS: You’ve been acting for a long time and worked with a lot of people so was working with Tyler Perry for ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’ a big deal for you?
Kwesi: Yeah it’s a big deal for me because I’m one of Tyler Perry’s biggest fans and I’ve watched all of his movies and plays so it was like a dream come true for me to be working with him so I was just really excited when I found out that I got the job.
YBS: What was it that you loved about your role in the film?
K: The thing I loved about my role in the film: ‘Manny’, I liked the way he’s a smart mouth a little bit and I liked that cause I’m really the total opposite of him so it’s a bit of a challenge for me to do the role so I just had to get into the zone and like focus. And I liked that cause I like challenges, so I think that’s the most things I like about my character.
YBS: So you’re definitely not a smart mouth then? Your mom doesn’t take that?
K: No, my mom taught me better than that!
YBS: That’s good to hear! So what was it like working with Tyler while he was directing as well?
K: It was weird and cool in the same way seeing him switch from director mode to an actor, Madea and Joe. It’s just so weird to see him change his personality that fast. Like go to his house and Tyler Perry’s just a regular funny guy and go to Madea who’s some crazy big old woman who looks mad.
YBS: So we’ve got a question from a fan from Young Black Starz, and her name is Aduma. She says, how was the audition process to land such a big role?
K: I actually didn’t have to audition or go to a call back or anything. The casting director, she offered me the part in the table read. So I did the table read and they just liked me so they gave me the part.
YBS: What was a funny story from the set? Did anybody have a funny blooper that they did or something really silly that happened?
K: It was actually about Tyler Perry himself, cause he was just flying his plane and stuff and 5 minutes into when he was flying his little aeroplane, he crashed into the window and it was funny cause he was all bragging about it and like ‘Oh, I’m not rusty, I’m so good at it’ and 5 minutes into his flying of it, he crashed it!
YBS: Is he funny when he’s not acting and he’s himself?
K: Yeah he’s a really funny guy, he’s not just funny when he’s acting, he has a funny personality. He’s always telling jokes and stuff and just hanging out with you and talking to you all the time. I just like that about him so I hope to work with him one more time.
YBS: Yeah he sounds like a really cool guy!
K: Yeah he’s a really cool guy, he has a segway so he can ride around the set cause his production is actually a big place cause he has a studio, so he has this little segway thing and he rides it around the whole studio. He let me ride it once and that was a very cool experience. I never knew you could control it with your body!
YBS: They look scary!
K: Yeah I was a little scared but I’ve always wanted to try to drive one of those and it just surprised me to see that you can control it with your body, it’s not like you control it with buttons or anything.
YBS: That sounds cool! Did you film it at his studio in Atlanta?
K: Yeah we filmed it at his studio. I had to fly out to Atlanta and that was cool because this was the first time I actually got to travel for an acting job so that was a real cool experience.
YBS: That sounds great, being flown around to do your work and you’re only what, 10 years old?
K: Yeah, I’m 10 years old.
YBS: How was the premiere for you?
K: It was a very new experience for me because as soon as I walked in there were all kinds of people rushing to me saying ‘Kwesi, Kwesi, picture right here, right here!’ and it was so cool to see all of the cast members again and Mr. Perry himself. It felt like a homey feeling there. I also got to travel, it was in New York, and I got to see a lot of new places. I went on this tour bus and I got to see where Harlem was, I drove on the Queensboro bridge, and I saw all kinds of other stuff.
YBS: I bet you felt like a real star with all of those photographers
YBS: Do you find it hard work or do you really enjoy it so much that it’s easy for you?
K: It’s not hard work at all, it’s just easy for me to do it because I’ve actually been doing it since I was 10 months so I know what I’m doing. It’s just fun doing it, I’ve always liked doing it since I was a baby. Cause I like it a lot cause I get to travel new places, meet new people and make new friends so that’s the really cool part about acting.
YBS: Your two brothers are also actors, so all of you have the acting bug huh?
K: Yes, I have an older brother named Kwame, he’s 15 and I have a brother Kofi.
YBS: You’ve done some movies with them right? How was it working with them?
K: I’ve never worked with Kwame yet but I’ve worked with Kofi cause I was doing an independent film, it’s called 40. we finished shooting that a couple of months ago and that was a cool experience too because we got to shoot it at some ranch and they had horses and everything.
YBS: Can you ride horses?
K: No I cant ride horses, I rode one but I’m not a cowboy!
YBS: Do you ride a bike?
K: Yeah I like to bike a lot. I have a bike and I ride around my neighbourhood with my brothers sometimes. Just to feel the breeze and to get out of the house. We like to have races sometimes, it’s just cool, I like riding a bike.
YBS: And it’s safer!
K: Yeah, it’s a bit safer cause you can control the bike, the bike doesn’t think for itself!
YBS: Do you like the twilight moves as well?
K: Yeah I like the movies aswell.
YBS: What book are you reading at the moment?
K: It’s this book called Pinky Pye. It’s about this family, they’re called the Pye’s and all of their pets have special talents; they have a dog that can stand up on it’s hind legs forever and box with people. It’s a good book so far.
YBS: What’s your favorite TV program?
K: I like watching iCarly a lot.
YBS: Do you have a favorite movie?
K: It’s probably ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’
YBS: What other hobbies do you have? We heard you like dancing?
K: Yes I like dancing, I actually took a couple of classes at millennium with Shane Sparks. I think that was one of my first dance classes. I like dancing a lot, I’ve been doing it since I was a baby, my mom used to tell me all kinds of funny stories about it. Every time I listen to Michael Jackson or music I like I just used to start bobbing my head and dancing when I was a baby.
YBS: Yeah, Michael Jackson does that to you! His music was contagious!
K: I was really sad to hear the news!
YBS: Definitely, the world is just in shock about it!
YBS: So was it your mom that got you into acting?
K: Yeah, she was the force behind all of my acting, but she didn’t actually go to find an agency for me. We were at KB Toys and just shopping for a toy for me and then an agent just walked up to my mom and said, oh your boys are so cute, here’s my card I’m an agent and would love to get them on the TV. My mom said, oh yeah I’ll put them forward for it, she did and the rest is just history!
YBS: Wow, that’s a real star story! So we want to know more about your name. It’s Ghanaian right?
K: Ghanaian, yes. My mom told me my name, Kwesi, means ‘Born on Sunday’ and I was actually born on Sunday so I think that’s why they named me Kwesi.
YBS: Do you know a lot about your culture and heritage?
K: I know a lot about my culture. My mom actually introduced me to the language, it’s called Twi. She introduced me to a lot of the food, I eat a lot of the good foods like the soup, they have all kinds of soup, and they have this dish, it’s called FuFu.
YBS: Explain to everyone what FuFu is cause I don’t know if everyone will know what it is.
K: FuFu, well it’s basically a dish. It goes with soup, any kind of soup you want really. It’s made out of plantain and you only have to put it in the microwave and put a little bit of water in it and stir it around.
YBS: Can you say anything in your language for us?
K: I know how to say thank you, you have to say ‘Madase’.
YBS: It’s a pretty language, don’t you think?
K: Yeah, it’s a pretty language!
YBS: One of our YBS member, Millie Boakye, wants to know if you have any family members in Michigan because she has the same last name as you!
K: No, I don’t have any family members in Michigan.
YBS: But you can probably tell her that your surname is quite a common one, isn’t it?
Ever been confused about how to say Kwesi’s name? Head on over to the audio to hear him pronounce it for you! (It’s at 10:00)
YBS – What do you order when you go to McDonalds?
K: A double hamburger with only ketchup and with a Sprite.
YBS: What’s your favorite smell?
K: Probably the See’s Candy, every time I drive by I put my head out the window cause it smells so delicious!
YBS – What’s more interesting, old people or babies?
K: I’d say babies are more interesting because they do all kinds of things and you never know what they’re gonna do next, they’re unpredictable. So I’d say babies.
YBS: Mac’s or PC’s?
K: A mac!
YBS: Apples or Oranges?
K: I like oranges better than apples. Oranges are more sweet and taste better to me.
YBS: Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts?
K: Krispy Kreme, 100%
YBS: Facebook or Twitter?
K: I’d say Facebook.
YBS: LA or New York?
K: LA because I’ve been here a little bit longer. But it’s pretty close, like half and half because in New York, there’s a lot of things I haven’t seen yet. But I’ve been there for my movie premiere for ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’. But they’re half and half, I’d say about the same.
YBS: If you had any advice to give to young actors like yourself, what would you say to them?
K: Just keep your head up and never quit when you think things are going bad for you. And just never quit cause if you quit you’ll never achieve what you wanted to achieve in the first place, and if you don’t quit you will achieve it. So the most advice I would give to them is keep your head up and never quit!
Now that’s some good advice if we ever heard it! YBS is so proud that all of our Starz are so wise! Don’t forget to check out this impressive young man as ‘Manny’ in ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’ showing in theaters everywhere NOW!
Tags: Kwesi Boakye