Since bursting on the scene, 18-year-old actress Keke Palmer has been on a role. The teen has snagged starring gigs on both the big and small screens, and she doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
The “Akeelah and the Bee” and “True Jackson, VP” star is gearing up for several new film roles. She’ll be starring in the film “Joyful Noise” and she’s also getting ready to film a juicy new role in the film, “A Virgin Mary.”
Recently, Palmer sat down with Vibe Vixen to talk about her career, her love life, and how she manages not to be typecast.
Check out an excerpt below:
On meeting her boyfriend…
One day Patrick [Johnson, Jr.] came to the set of True Jackson VP, and he brought Rodney, my boyfriend, with him. My mouth dropped when I saw him, and I’m just like, Keke, control yourself! [Laughs] I was 15 years old at the time, and he was 19, so we didn’t talk or anything like that. I just always had a huge crush on him. Then when I was like 17, I talked to my parents ’cause my mom was like, ‘If you want to date somebody, I guess the oldest age would be 21.’ I just couldn’t believe that she said that to me. It really almost made my heart skip a beat because I always liked him.
On dating outside of her culture…
I’ve thought about it. It always seemed so difficult to me because I want to be understood culturally. When I’ve had crushes on other cultures, sometimes they don’t understand. They don’t get my jokes, they don’t get who I am or my family or anything like that. It’s not like I don’t find white guys or [other cultures] attractive, it’s just I want to be understood.
My boyfriend now is Guatemalan and Black, and he was raised by his mother who is Guatemalan, so he’s the only Black person. It’s culturally different, but I realized I can still find a way to understand [them]. Even though everyone is speaking Spanish around me and I don’t understand it, his mother is so kind and open that there’s not a problem. I don’t feel like I’m an outsider.
On her upcoming role in A Virgin Mary…
We haven’t started to film it yet, but I’m very excited because this is something new for me. People have always known me, as I said, as Keke Palmer the “good girl.” In this movie, I’m not necessarily being a huge slut, but my character is just that. She’s like, ‘I’m a sex enthusiast. That’s who I am,’ but the reason why I chose this film was because it’s different from what everybody knows me as. And this character spoke to me because she was funny, she was likeable… Even if I didn’t play the character, you would immediately love her because she’s just lovable. It’s almost like [Draya] on Basketball Wives LA. People can say whatever they want about her, but you like Draya because that’s who she is. You either like her or you don’t. No fronting, no nothing.
On being typecast…
My family has always taught me to have morals, be a good person, you know, that whole thing. But at the same time, when I’m acting, it’s not like I’m going to turn down every role. Like, I said I would do an intimate scene if it didn’t show my whole body. It’s not like I just won’t do this or I just won’t do that, but if they can change it in a way where it could be fitting for me, then that’s okay. I’m not going to break down and do a topless scene or anything like that, but I’d probably do an intimate scene if it was like Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps in Love and Basketball. That was classic. That wasn’t like overt or anything like that. No, I don’t want to be typecast, but I don’t want to do things that I look back on and say, ‘Well, why did I do that?’
Read more at Vibe Vixen when the issue drops on January 9.