Black-ish star Marsai Martin and five reasons she’s winning right now

Last updated at 09:20
Marsai Martin.Getty Images

14-year-old Marsai Martin has been the youngest person ever to sign a 'first look' deal with a major film studio.

The deal with Universal Pictures means she gets her hands on scripts for films before anyone else does.

It's been a whirlwind couple of years for the comedy actress who's also set to become the youngest person to produce a movie later this year.

So, if you haven't heard of her already, you soon will. Here's five reasons why you NEED to know about Marsai Martin...

She's been acting since she was five
Marsai Martin.Getty Images
Marsai after she landed a role in "Black-ish" at the age of 10

Marsai landed her first acting gig at just five years old, starring in a TV advert. By the age of 10, she'd moved to Los Angeles, and within 100 days of moving, she got a main role in the American comedy, Black-ish.

There have been over 100 episodes and the series has won loads of awards in America.

She pitched her first film at nine
Marsai with her co-star Miles Brown, in 2015Getty Images
Marsai with her "Black-ish" co-star Miles Brown, in 2015

Marsai's first produced film, called "Little" is going to come out in April. It's about a black woman who is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.

It's been a long time in the making because Marsai first pitched the film and script when she was nine years old!

She even has her own production company
Marsai Martin.Getty Images
Marsai owns her own production company

Marsai and her family have set up their own production company. This means they can come up with ideas and scripts and pitch them to major film companies.

"My parents and I always look at movies and just think, what's missing? from the plot to the people of colour or diversity in general", she said in a recent interview.

The first film being developed by her production company, Genius Productions, is called "Step Monster". It's going to be a comedy about a teenage girl (Martin) who is adjusting to life with a new stepmother.

She speaks up for diversity
Marsai Martin.Getty Images
Marsai has spoken out a lot about black representation in film

Part of the reason why Marsai first pitched her film was because she felt as though there weren't enough films for young people from a black perspective.

She wanted to see what a switching bodies story would be like for a young black woman.

In an interview, she said: "I hope that [in 21 years] we won't even have to be a first anymore: first black woman to do this, or first black male, or first woman to do that. I hope that we always have diversity, that we have equality and representation every step of the way."

She's hungry for success
Marsai Martin.Getty Images
Don't get in Marsai's way!

Marsai might only be 14 but she doesn't take any prisoners. When an agent told her to "chill out" and enjoy her success, she reportedly fired him.

She said in an interview: "My peers are still growing and they have so many ideas, too. Sure, we can't drink or drive, but we can do the same things adults can. When they recognize us for what we're actually doing, they'll see us in a different light. That actually motivates me to keep going."

So, whatever you do, don't mess with Marsai!


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