Keke’s star is rising with her role in True Jackson, VP, which debuts this fall. She plays a 15-year-old girl who gets the vice president’s job at a major fashion company.
Has she become friendly with any teen stars like Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato?
“I hung out with Miley before,” she tells me. “She used to live fifteen minutes away from me. We would just be hanging out, talking, singing on her little computer — you know, singing, playing around.”
In The Longshots, Keke plays a young girl who goes out for the boys’ football team; Ice Cube plays her uncle. The film is inspired by a true story – and Keke met the real-life Jasmine Plumber.
“She was a very shy, quiet young girl,” Keke says. “It took be aback because when you think about a girl playing football, you think of somebody really strong, but she was just a regular girl, just like me. She was just playing a sport that she loved. She was a really nice, really sweet girl. She actually told me a story – when she first started playing football, the guys didn’t believe that she would be really good. She just had to show them. The first game that she played, she tackled a guy and broke his leg. The guys were like ‘we really get that you’re amazing.’ They realized she was there to play the game, not to play dress-up. She really was there to play the game.”
What did she think of Ice Cube?
“I’d seen Boyz N The Hood, and I was in Barbershop 2, and I knew about him in rapping and I knew about him in Barbershop 2. I thought he was a cool dude.”
Cube laughs, “I hope you still do think I’m that.”
Why did Cube become an actor?
“I would go see movies and come back and try to tell people how it happened and try to keep it dramatic and try to keep people on the edge of their seats with my stories,” he says. “I always liked to be able to command the floor. Rapping fulfilled that. You could really tell a good story, you have to be clever, and that got the ball rolling.”
He continues, “When I met John Singleton, we were doing Boyz N The Hood on the weekend. He sat down and was like ‘yo, when are you gonna write a script?’ It took me aback, like ‘ I can’t write no script.’ He said ‘you can write a record. You can write a rap – you can write a script.’ It planted the seed in me. I started working that night. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I started. My first script was Friday. I haven’t looked back.”
Cube savored the truthfulness of this film.
“Anybody can make believe something like this about a princess quarterback, but this is a real story about real people,” he says. “This movie is about two people getting each other off the deck. Helping each other and building their self-esteem, and in the process bringing the community back.”
What should we take away from this film?
“I want them to be inspired,” he says. “I want them to have a good time. Just be inspired to take a chance. Sometimes you’ve gotta overcome the odds. Just because something is not really made for you, that don’t mean you can’t be a part of it. Hopefully it will inspire some people to do their thing.”
The Longshots is in theaters now.