BY SADÉ KELLY
It’s hard to believe that Kai Turè is just thirteen years old. During my interview with her, I could hear youthfulness and excitement in her voice as she spoke of pizza and pool parties while working on the set of “Troop Zero” alongside Viola Davis. There was also a maturity tinged with a powerful dialogue as she addressed equality and mental health issues with teens due to the global pandemic.
You may know Turè from her recurring role as “Tenesha” in OWN/Tyler Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong”. She’s also appeared on “Vampire Diaries”, “Good Behavior”, “Faith Under Fire”, “Bad Dad Rehab”, “An Actor Prepares” starring Jeremy Irons, “Nappily Ever After” starring Sanaa Lathan, and “The Hate You Give” starring Amandla Stenberg.
Currently, Turè is starring and producing her very own web series “Hunter”.
“I’m always auditioning. My dad always told me find a way or make one,” said Turè.
Question: What made you want to pursue acting?
Kai: When I was around the age of 5 or 6, I always watched Disney. I was always into “Ant Farm”.
I was looking at all the things that were going on in their lives and I was like, “Hey! Does that really go on in real life? Are people’s lives that interesting?”
So, I decided to try to become an actress. I talked my mom into it. I begged her for about a year and I just fell in love with it.
Question: Have you picked up any hobbies since the pandemic started?
Kai: Yes. I have started doing hair. I’ve done my own box braids…. my mom’s box braids. I’ve done box braids and crochet braids on my sister’s hair. I’ve done a lot of stuff with hair!
I also picked up guitar.
Question: Let’s talk about “If Loving You Is Wrong”. What was it like playing the character “Tenesha”?
Kai: It was fun. Mr. Tyler Perry is super kind and super sweet. Everybody on set was very kind and sweet to me. It was just a really great experience and great family.
I was about 5 or 6 when I first got that role. Who get’s to work with Mr. Tyler Perry that young? And how he would pull out the Madea voice and everything… it was so amazing!
It was such a great experience and a lot of fun. I don’t know where I would be without that experience.
Question: What was it like working with Viola Davis? She’s one of my favorites.
Kai: Yes! She’s super, super, super, super sweet. Something about being around all of these big-name artists and big-name actresses…. everybody knows who Mrs. Viola Davis is. It just really reminds you that everybody’s the same. Everybody’s normal at the end of the day. She’s just a normal and really sweet and really kind person. And I love that about her.
Question: From a 13 year old’s perspective, how do you see the world right now? Things have been crazy and kind of hectic.
Kai: Things are definitely crazy in this world.
I feel like everyone should think this… everybody’s equal. Everybody’s the same person. There’s nothing different about us other than how we look. There’s no reason for us to be treated differently for just the way that we look.
Question: Can you tell us more about your version of “Stress Less for Teens”?
Kai: “Stress Less for Teens” was basically made because in quarantine, everybody was talking about how the parents have to work from home and deal with the kids going to school and everything. Nobody was really talking about the kids point of view.
Kids aleady go through anxiety and some go through depression with school and stuff. Being out of school and having no social interaction at all was a lot! A lot of kids were going into some really dark places.
We decided to make “Stress Less” for kids. It’s just a few ways to calm down and be able to continue to do your work and get better.
I’m in a Girl’s Scout troop. The people that are doing this with me are all in Girl’s Scout with me. We were doing this to try to get a Silver Award. Even though we needed the Silver Award, we wanted to find something that will help people beyond this point It’s timeless and everyone can use it forever. So, we decided to come up with this to help people stress less.
We talk to therapist. We talk to younger instructors and we research a lot trying to figure out a good way to do this.
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