At only 19, Grown-ish actress and activist Yara Shahidi exhibits poise and knowledge beyond her years. She sat down with Tamron Hall to discuss everything from how her family has kept her grounded to the few few women and nominees of color at the Academy Awards.
Shahidi's family advised her early on to avoid focusing solely on acting. As a result, she's become a well-rounded adult, telling Hall:
I think my parents absolutely are the reason that we’re able to go through this world successfully because the first thing that they said is ‘Acting is something we do, but not who we are,’ which may sound counter-intuitive, but it really stems from this place of ‘go explore all of your other hobbies.' My mother always says, 'There's nothing more interesting than an interested human.’ I think what my parents have done for not only myself, but both my brothers, is just do anything, and give us access to opportunities that keep us curious.
Hall and Shahidi also discussed the fact that so few women, artists of color, and people from the LGBTQ+ communities have been nominated for major awards this season. Shahidi shared:
I think that's why the [NAACP] Image Awards matter to me. That’s why they’ve always been important, is because its known that we've been overlooked and neglected in so many spots and I think the intersections of being a woman, and being a proudly black woman and woman of color, I think there’s so many times that I look around and it's almost like, ‘Are we kidding at this point?’ I think what it means is that we can no longer use their metric for success. It's why it's so important for us to be such a tight knit community and why I think the image awards and the NAACP were the first organizations to support me. It's who I credit my public speaking to.
Shahidi took home the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on Black-ish. She is nominated for the 2020 Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Award for her role on Grown-ish.
Watch Shahidi and Hall's insightful chat below.