We at Bleu had the honor of getting to speak with Jahking Guillory, breakout star of the new movie KICKS. An actor and rapper, he is already being hailed as a rising star and veteran on the entertainment scene at the tender age of fourteen years old. We spoke to Guillory about what it’s like being a teenage movie actor, his experience working on a movie for the first time, and his upcoming projects.
You’re only a teenager yet you are already described as a veteran in the entertainment business. What does that feel like?
It’s just all that long hard work since I was eight, prepping for this day and this moment. I’m just proud of myself and I’m so happy, you don’t understand how happy and excited I am.
What drew you towards being an actor/entertainer?
I’ve always loved people on television, like since I was six I was watching The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and I was telling my mom like, Mom I wanna be on TV like that. Just seeing myself on the big screen is part of the reason why I do this. Like, this is my job forever.
Do you feel that you might be missing out on having a “normal” teenager’s life?
Oh no. I don’t even have that many friends, like I don’t let too many people into my circle. I just have one best friend that I’ve had since preschool, I still mess with him and my cousin, and my other cousin, and it’s just those three people that I mess with and I’m never gonna stop messing with them, because I’ve been through the struggle with them. And I still get girls and I still get my own education, I’m homeschooled, so I’m not really missing anything.
What was it like working on KICKS?
Oh it was great for it being my first film and that experience in general, I just love it so, so, so much and I’m so thankful for Justin and for everyone that worked on the film for being so helpful and understanding. It was just great and I’m just now taking it all in. I’m proud of myself and everyone working on the film. I’m just happy.
What was it like working with director Justin Tipping?
Oh he’s great. He’s so understanding and so helpful, he helped me get into the character a little bit more. He helped me go there. Like in some scenes I had to cry so he helped me go there. So he’s really helpful, you know?
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
The sideshow scene. Like I’d never even heard of the term and once I heard about it I was like this is gonna be crazy, and once I was there and living the moment, it was crazy. All those cars spinning and going that fast, the smell of the burnt rubber, everybody getting hype—it was all something that I’d never seen before. It really opened my eyes to a different life.
What were some of the challenges about working on KICKS?
There wasn’t really anything challenging; the only challenge was getting into the character a little bit more. But like I said, Justin helped me get into the character a bit more and going deep into everything.
What about your character, Brandon? What was it like bringing him to life?
I looked at some parts of my and my dad’s family, and I studied them- the way they stand, the way they talk, the way they wore their pants. I kinda put that into the role of Brandon, like him being shy and him channeling his anger by him being quiet. I put that all together into one and it wasn’t that hard! It just came naturally so I just watched everybody and made Brandon.
Do you think you could be friends with him?
Yeah I could be friends with myself too. Brandon’s cool.
What do you think you’ll take from working on this movie?
Me learning everything about being on set, learning how to go there… KICKS is really… I hope it opens a lot of doors for me and everybody involved in the film.
Bearing all this in mind, do you have any advice for young actors?
Keep trying. I went on millions of auditions and I kept trying. Something is gonna give, you just gotta put the work into it. Keep trying.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now I’ve been holding off on stuff that I want to do. I think KICKS is so special, I don’t wanna do anything just for the sake of it being anything. I wanna do really really great work and have it be special and have it have a special connection to KICKS and my heart. But as of right now I’ve been in the studio back to back days and back to back weeks, just recording and recording. You’ll hear it shortly.