13-year-old shining star Kwesi Boakye began his career at the young age of ten months old when he was discovered in a toy store and has since had a growing resumé that includes work in movies like Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, The Princess and the Frog and Happy Feet to name a few. This Friday, September 21, 2012 Kwesi can be seen on the big screen starring the new faith-based independent film Unconditional.
We caught up with Kwesi just as he was getting out of school (he’s an A and B student at a public charter school) to talk all about the movie, milking cows, working with the cast, his Cartoon Network show The Amazing World of Gumball and more. We even asked Kwesi what fellow young star he’d like to work with in the future. Check out the exclusive interview below by reading to see what all he had to say.
Hey Kwesi, how are you feeling? How has your day been?
It’s been pretty good, you know I came from school and I just finished recording my Cartoon Network show.
How was school? What subjects did you have today?
You know, all six, Math, PE, English, Science and all of that stuff.
What’s your favorite subject?
I’d probably say English. I think I actually like that, my teacher in that class he’s really nice so I like doing English.
Good choice. English is a great subject. Let’s go on to talk about your movie that’s coming out on Friday, the movie’s called “Unconditional” and you play the role of Macon, is that right?
Yeah. I play the role of Macon. This character it was actually cool playing him, I mean it was a whole new experience for me because this guy is going through so much, he’s basically raising his sister by himself and he’s just looking for like a stable parent figure in his life so he can actually be a regular kid and just have some fun in life.
So do you think you relate to him at all? How did you get into character for the movie?
No, I didn’t relate to him at all so I had to really prepare myself to do this and in the movie I had a southern accent so I had to look at some videos and just try to mimic everything they did and just try to get it down pat.
I worked with Michael Ealy on the film so I learned some cool things from him. Working with him taught me to just prepare yourself for every scene ahead of you and just stay in the mood of the scene. Doing this movie it actually opened up my eyes to show me that there are actually kids out there growing up parent-less and I knew that was a problem but I never knew it was so bad. I actually got to experience that playing this character so it was cool for me.
Has this movie inspired you to do more like with giving back to the community or getting involved with charities?
Yeah definitely. During this movie I went out and passed out some backpacks and like some back to school supplies. It was a great feeling doing it, I mean, when you pass out the backpacks you see that they’re all smiling and it’s just a warm feeling inside. I plan on doing some more things [for the community].
So where was the movie filmed? What were the locations?
It was shot in Nashville Tennessee and that was pretty cool for me. That was my first time there so everything was a new experience. They had like a lot of land and all these animals like horses and cows so it was great, it was a cool experience.
How was it working with Michael Ealy? What was he like to work with?
He’s a really cool laid-back guy, he’s really nice and I had a good time working with him. He was really cool.
Who were your favorite people in the cast to work with?
Of course Lynn [Collins], she played the main actress in the movie and Michael. I also had a little sister in the movie, Gabriella Phillips and she was great, I mean she’s so energetic and she was a great actress. The funny thing is she didn’t speak throughout the whole movie and in reality it’s so different from her, she talks a lot but I had a great time working with her. She was great!
So tell me about a fun moment on set because obviously there’s a lot of kids on the set and you seemed to have a lot of fun so is there a moment you won’t ever forget?
There’s this one scene when we had, I don’t know what we were riding on but I think it’s like tractor or something like that, it was like a haystack and we just rode around the whole farm just throwing hay at each other and just having a lot of fun. It was really cool for me, I probably will never forget that. I also got to milk a cow so that was really, really cool, that was my first time doing that. I was a little a nervous because, I don’t know, I was so close to the cow like if it made one wrong move and stepped on my toe my whole foot would be broken, but it was cool for me.
Did you get much milk out of her?
Well they didn’t really tell me to squeeze it. There’s this scene, like funny part where I’m trying to milk the cow I’m like pretending like I’ve done this before so when I do it, I squirt it all over my face and so they had like a little thing ready to squeeze in my face.
You just come from recording your voice over for Darwin in The Amazing World of Gumball, is that right?
Yeah, that show comes on Cartoon Network every Tuesday and it’s pretty cool shooting it. I mean, I get to go all out and just scream and do different type of voices doing the show so it’s really cool for me.
Yeah definitely, I mean of course you can’t see your face on this because it’s an animation so you can just go in like some shorts and you can be comfortable when you’re doing the show so it’s really cool for me though.
You’ve done so many things, you’ve been so many characters, what would a dream role be for you?
I’ve done some really good roles but a role I’ve always dreamed of doing as I was growing up, I really want to do like an action movie like a Mission Impossible like Tom Cruise or something like that. That would be really cool for me doing some stunts, that would be amazing doing some Spiderman things, like a superhero.
That’s definitely a good choice, I can see you doing something like that.
Yeah, I gotta get my six pack for that one though. [Laughs]
There’s so many stars on the site and so many other young stars out there and you’ve worked with a lot of them. Are there any other young stars that you’d like to work with in the future that you haven’t yet?
I’d say Jaden Smith. I mean, I watched the Karate Kid and he did a really good job so I’d like to work with him that’ll be cool for me. We can do like a little movie like the Bad Boys like revamp the franchise.
Besides acting is there anything else you’d like to do when you’re older? Any other career choices?
I play basketball right now so I’d like to do that you know play in some leagues or something around that. I think it’ll be too hard to play in the NBA and act at the same time but acting is what I really like to do but basketball is something I like doing too. I could also see myself as I get older probably like writing or directing I think that’s pretty cool. When I’m on set I see what the directors do and they’re so into it and that’s really cool to me so I think I’d be interested in doing that later on.
Are there any other projects in the works for you? What’s coming up?
Oh yeah, I filmed a movie in New York, it’s a short film called Sketch and I think they’re gonna be releasing it in festivals around town, that’s gonna be pretty cool so you should check out for that. I played an autistic boy in that one so it was a whole new experience for me I mean, that’s something I’ve never done before. It was cool though but really challenging. I had a great time doing it and I definitely learned a lot from it.
Tell me a really silly interesting fact about yourself that nobody would know?
Uh, well something that I’m a little scared to tell you [is that] I was afraid of Chuck E Cheese at one time. I don’t know how I can be afraid of him but when I was little every time he came out I started to run away from him and cry to my mom. [Laughs]
Are there any last words you have for the readers? Where can they find you?
You can find me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/officialkwesiboakye) and Twitter @KwesiBoakye and on Instagram at Kwesi_Boakye.
Thank you so much for talking to us.
Thanks for having me, I had a great time talking to you.
We spoke with Kwesi nearly 3 years ago when he was promoting “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”. It was a fun interview, if you haven’t read or heard it check it out HERE.
Photos: Adrian J Photography
Tags: Kwesi Boakye