It seems like every year a new face rises on the big screen to make a statement about how he or she belongs in the film or TV industry.
One young man who has been shining beyond his expectations is preparing for season 5 of Showtime TV series The Chi.
Actor Michael Epps spoke with BSO in August during a phone interview to discuss what his future would’ve looked like had his mom not taken action by offering him acting.
“I probably would be playing basketball because that’s what I really planned on doing before my mom brought the acting idea,” Epps said. “When I got into the acting game, I was real young but at the time my mind was just on basketball. I wasn’t focused on acting like later down the road I would’ve been paying more attention to colleges.”
The scenery of impoverished neighborhoods latch on to young Black men and women who see their neighborhoods as a prison of self hatred. Epps, who made the right decisions as a young Black man, reflected on how it’s not easy trying to persuade the wrongdoers on how their actions will catch up with them.
“I know a lot and have seen a lot going to school in Chicago. I grew up and related to a lot,” Epps said. “A couple of people I tried to talk to and their heads just stuck on that path (negative route). That’s the direction they wanted to go.”
Epps recognized the depictions Black America witnessed via mainstream media when it comes to the image of the young Black man. With Chicago as the primary scapegoat for people to point their fingers at, The Chi is showing another trait the Drill music scene doesn’t focus on which is accountability for actions. Epps spoke on the evolution of Taylor’s decisions and how the new environment he was exposed to in the aftermath was a culture shock.
“I kind of feel like Jake is actually morphing into that person. As you can see…like when the show first started, he was what everybody thinks of a typical young Black boy just gang banging and throwing his life away. As you see throughout the seasons he kind of evolved. He’s now in an all white school on the North side. He’s actually seeing life for what it is.”
Season 5 of The Chi has been confirmed and renewed to return next year in 2022 on Showtime. Epps will deliver with the brilliant cast on set and he has his mom to thank who he loves dearly.