Marsai Martin is sharing her experience with growing up in the spotlight, staying true to who she is, and her best advice to fellow youngins: “Just really be yourself.”
This Little star is also a big-time producer, the youngest in Hollywood, to be exact. During a virtual sit-down interview with Entertainment Tonight, Martin opened up about her younger years, growing up in the spotlight and growing into her identity.
“I’m blessed to actually have the platform that I have,” Martin said to the outlet. “Being a Black girl, even in [a] white, male-dominated industry, you have to use your voice. You have to speak your mind for your audience.”
While she’s an amazing talent on the hit show Black-ish, Martin is on to more adventures like shopping around her latest unscripted series that centers on “trailblazing” Black women. The actress is also creating new resources and avenues for other young Black creatives. “Back when I was in Texas, I didn’t see young Black girls who looked like me. I just thought they weren’t allowed to be on screen, and I don’t want anyone to feel that way,” Martin said, before adding that she wants people to “really use their talents for the greater good” without worrying about “what they look like and how people will see them,” Entertainment Tonight reports.
The actress hails from Little Elm, Texas but moved to Los Angeles in 2013. Despite the time that has passed, Martin says she still that small-town girl. “I feel like I’m still the same me, and that’s what I love about myself,” she says. “Going into Black-ish and national commercials, and even pitching Little at a young age, I was, like, nine or 10, and honestly I feel like, at that age, I just didn’t care about how people would look at me.”
“I had a vision, and I just went towards it,” she continues. “I just saw it as a fun game. Even pitching Little, I was like, ‘I’m just talking to my homies… the heads of Universal.’ I really loved how back then, my mind was just carefree, fearless, do whatever without hesitation, and I feel like that’s how people should be these days. I feel like everyone is so on [their] toes and don’t really want to use their platform because there’s ‘cancel culture.’ I want to do things because they make me happy, or make me feel good, and came from my headspace. I feel like everyone should think that way.”
Martin goes on to say that representation is key when it comes to diversifying the entertainment industry. “People are really realizing that Black women don’t get the same recognition as the ‘normal’ standard of beauty,” she says. “‘Normal’ is everyone, honestly. For me, it’s very important to have a diverse cast to where everyone sees themselves in anything that they do.”
Lastly, Martin shared that she believes one day, her story will change the lives of others. “I do feel like I’m on my way to being a legend,” she says. “A legend means leaving a mark on the world and people not necessarily, like, knowing your name, but your impact has changed their everyday life.” She added that she loves the person she is. “It makes me feel proud to be who I am,” she explains. “That’s what comes with beauty as well, being proud of who you are. Not regretting anything. Just really being yourself.”