From starring on two popular television shows as a teenager to becoming an activist for young fans, Yara Shahidi, of “Black-ish”, is getting real about growing up on screen and in a politically driven world.
“It’s a funny place to grow up because they appreciate you being a kid, and then there are moments in which they want to know your opinion like a peer,” she told Porter Edit about her time on TV.
The rising star, 18, now has her own spin-off show, “Grown-ish”, which covers real issues facing young adults today including drugs, dating, sexual orientation, racism and gender identity.
Shahidi isn’t afraid to champion these topics in real life and has even been praised by Oprah and Former First Lady Michelle Obama.
And she opens up to the weekly magazine about how actors often get flack for getting political. “If we are going to be on this red carpet, what are we going to talk about? We are not going to just ignore the fact that there are riots happening and there is a KKK rally,” she explains.
In such a politically charged climate, Shahidi reveals Trump’s win has actually had a positive influence on her and her peers, learning to use her platform as a tool.
“I think, oddly, it’s exciting because I don’t think that I would look forward to voting as much if there hadn’t been so much duress happening,” the teen says. “My friends have always said that if I got a fake ID,” she jokes. “It would be to vote early.”
But her decision to become a voice wasn’t always supported, “I remember being at the White House and somebody asked me what I wanted to do. I said that I wanted to be a thought leader and she just kinda chuckled and said, ‘You need credentials for that.’”
Adding, “It was really off-putting.”
Up next for Shahidi is a possible role in “The Sun Is Also A Star”, a movie based on the bestselling Young Adult novel. According to Variety, the actress is in talks to take on a part in the film about a teenage girl who falls in love with a boy right before she and her family are deported to Jamaica.