Skylan Brooks is taking the world by storm! At just 19-years-old, this young actor is making power moves like never before! You may recognize him for his breakout role in “The Darkest Minds” as ‘Chubs’ or ‘Ra-Ra Kiping’ from Netflix original series, “The Get Down.” He’s caught the hearts of many all over the world and he’s got more up his sleeve. In this exclusive interview with Sheen, Brooks opens up about life as actor and an exciting new project.
Tell us about yourself. When did you know that you wanted to become an actor?
Well, I am 19-years-old. Of course, you can find that on Google (laughs). I’m really just a kid from Los Angeles. I got my start because my mom put me in pageants and modeling. I didn’t really like it at first because I wasn’t that type of guy but it turned out to be great because it allowed me to grow and become confident. I’ve been doing it since I was five years old. I booked my first commercial when I was eight, it was a Kool-Aid commercial. I realized I wanted to get into acting for sure when I was around 10-years-old. It was something that came naturally to me. I enjoyed getting the chance to work with new people. I’ve constantly met cool people through my career and I just felt like it was something I should just run with.
Tell us about your role on The Darkest Minds. What was it like working alongside powerhouses in the entertainment industry?
My character is Chubs. His ability is to solve any problems, speak any language, he can also hear radio frequencies. He is the main navigator for the crew as the movie goes on. My character is protective and sassy when it comes to how he observes and checks out other players.
It’s always cool to work with powerhouses in the industry because I get a different outlook. Amandla Stenberg is so sweet, she’s kind of like a grandmother, she calls people “angel” and such (laughs). Mandi Moore was extremely awesome when it came to her acting ability. She is really cool in person. The director, Jennifer Yuh Nelson is my favorite animator! Kung Fu Panda was something I watched all the time so it was amazing getting to work with her on the film.
You are known for your breakout role in the Netflix series, “The Get Down.” Can you describe your overall experience?
It is crazy! (laughs) Crazy in a good way. That was the first time that I’d ever been in a series. It went on for two years but I really enjoyed it. It challenged me and it made me a much more advanced actor. I came from a level of kind of being confident with being able to learn lines and being able to express my character in a very deep way. Through that, it challenged me to do in a much more fast pace. Television is so much quicker than it is in film. I had to sing, dance, act all at the same time and do it well at a heightened level. I had to perform live so that was a completely different experience for me.
You are currently in the studio, working on your first album slated to release next year, what can listeners expect to hear?
I wouldn’t say it’s too much mainstream radio but jazz, hip-hop, and soul. You can expect, I wouldn’t call it old tunes but maybe an oldhead or an adult would say, “I can listen to this.” It will definitely have the inflection of trap music but it is all combined to give this kind of surreal experience in my own way.
What else can we expect to see from Skylan Brooks in the future?
Well, I’m doing more films. I’m working with Nate Parker on an upcoming film. I’m sure it will release late next year. I’m working on a television show for FOX as well!
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All Images by Ryan Wimsatt | provided by Anderson Group Public Relations