Da’Vinchi Juste – Grown-ish
By: Malasha Parker
Q) What was it like to guest star in Marvel’s “Jessica Jones?” Where you a fan of the comics before the show?
A) Because it was my first project I was in awe! It was amazing. I was so fortunate to be working with Krysten Ritter! I wasn’t a huge fan of “Jessica Jones,” but I am a fan of a bunch of other Marvel comics: Spider-Man, Superman, The Hulk, Iron Man, etc.
Q) How was your “Grown-ish”character, Cassius “Cash” Mooney originally described to you?
A) Charming, charismatic, megawatt smile and a superstar!
Q) What about Cash Mooney’s character description appealed to you? Could you relate to his situation in any way?
A) When I read the character description with a friend, my friend said, “OMG! That’s you!” She said, “Use your charm and you’ll get it.” So, the fact that he was charming I felt it would be easier for me to play this character. I got some training and then went out. His charmed appealed to me. I relate to his indecisiveness when it comes to things outside of his main focus (basketball). I’m like that with my career – it blinds me to things outside of it because I am so focused on training and getting all of my ducks in a row that it gets in the way of having normal relationships (similar to Cash).
Q) What was it like working alongside Yara Shahidi on “Grown-ish?” Were you a fan of her work before meeting?
A) It was a great experience. She is a phenomenal actress so for me to be co-starring alongside of her was very helpful in helping me become a better actor. Because most of my scenes were with her, I fed off of her energy which was making me grow faster. I didn’t know who she was before booking this, but I heard stories about a young activist that’s killing the game yet I never put a face to the name. So, she was a myth before meeting her, but after I met her I became a real fan!
Q) Where you familiar with any of the other cast members’ work before beginning on the show?
A) I’ve been compared to Trevor [Jackson] in the past so I watched projects that he’s been on like Burning Sands on Netflix. My little sisters are fans of Chloe X Halle so I’ve seen them on YouTube before.
Q) What have you taken away from working on “Grown-ish?”
A) After shooting “Grown-ish” I learned what it takes to really be an ACTOR. It’s one thing to be an actor in class training and it’s a whole other thing to be one on set. It’s a different experience, especially when you’re with people who’s in been the game for a long time.
Q) You’re a part of social media. How has the fan reaction to Cash been?
A) They love Cash more than they love me. Then, when Zoey started hating him they started hating Cash, but now they love me. [laughs] It’s been great overall the character gets lots of love.
Q) Do you hope to move into movies or do you enjoy acting on shows more?
A) Yes, one of my goals this year is to be a lead in a movie! I don’t mind doing both for as long as I can.
Q) You’re in an early stage of your career, so who is the one person you hope to work with one day?
A) Will Smith.
Q) Can you tell us more about your spoken word/music?
A) Like most artists, my music/spoken words is just a reflection of how I feel at that particular moment in my life. I just try to be as authentic as possible in my artistry.
Q) You’ve read a lot of inspiring books, which would you say is the one that most inspired you and why?
A) That’s so hard to choose just one since I have so many. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles because it breaks things down in a way that I feel everybody can relate to and grasp.
Q) What advice can you give to people who are close in age to you about persevering in the acting industry?
A) Outsiders coming into this industry carry a certain aura that is new, that’s a plus. If you persevere, study, do your best and keep your head up at times when things look impossible you will make. Stay optimistic no matter what; make that promise to yourself.