Being an up and coming actor is never easy, but if you're one who has played the little brother of Hip Hop legend Dr. Dre in the 2016 Oscar nominated film Straight out of Compton you might be one to watch. If you also happen to be starring as a member of one of the most iconic R&B groups of all time in a BET mini series then you might just be Keith Powers. From any standpoint that wouldn’t be the worst thing to be, seeing as though Powers is poised to take the film and television industry by storm, and if his previous work is any indicator of what we should expect, then we can be sure he can stand the rain, and anything else this industry throws at him.
With an ensemble cast that includes Empire’s Bryshere Gray and R&B singer Luke James, Powers will be playing Ronnie Devoe of New Edition in The New Edition Story airing January 24th-26th on BET. Speaking on why New Edition’s story needs to be told Powers says, “New Edition is one of those stories you have to see, it’s big to see their rise and fall because New Edition was so good at hiding what was going on. This was before social media and TMZ.” Powers attests that New Editions ability to keep their drama private stems from their professionalism “They were so professional they would argue five minutes before someone said hey you guys are going on, stop arguing, kill a performance, then get back to arguing off stage. Kids need to see how professional they were, because I feel that this generation has lost the art of professionalism.”
Professionalism is surely not lost on Powers who initially wanted to play sports but then transitioned into modeling eventually finding his way to acting. Of modeling Powers says,“I was booking booking booking I had worked with Calvin Klein and all these different companies but my heart wasn’t in it.” After signing with HRI talent he decided to commit to acting thinking, “I’m acting now but I’d never call myself an actor because I haven’t booked a job yet. So I'm like okay let me study the craft so I read five books and I take six different classes.” Those books and classes paid off, because after only three auditions he landed his first role in the film House Party Tonight’s the Night where he shot in South Africa. That experience further solidified Powers resolve that acting was his calling “That experience shooting in south Africa was like oh my goodness I hadn’t felt this way since I played sports. The feeling I got to go to set every morning was like the feeling I use to get going in to my football games.”
The New edition Story is not the only project we can expect to see Powers in this Year. He will also be staring along side Bella Thorne in the Freeform drama series Famous in Love where in true meta fashion Powers will be playing an actor named Jordan Wilder. This show however is no typical drama “It goes deep into what goes on behind the screen, I would say its Entourage with the seriousness of Pretty Little Liars.” Trying not to give any spoilers Powers says of his character “He’s like this bad boy who always gets in trouble, that indie actor that everyone respects that’s also a romantic. He has many layers to him, its fun to portray someone so different from me I'm more goofy and colorful and he's so neutral and dark.”
With landing role after role its clear that Powers is determined to take his career to even greater heights, of his plans for the future he says, “I want to dive more into films in the future, my goals are working out how I wanted them to. I wanted to be a regular on a TV show which I am, I wanted to do another Biopic after Straight Out of Compton where I play the lead, and I did which is crazy. But I eventually want to open my own production company where I can really take control of what films I want to do.” That’s not all Powers hopes for the future when asked about who he’d like work with he says, “Actresses, I want to work with Zoe Kravitz but I want her to be my love interest because she’s just so fine to me, every time I watch one of her movies I'm just mesmerized, as far as actor I've always wanted to work with Will (Smith) he makes you want to be related to him he makes you want him to be your father brother or uncle that’s how he makes you feel when you watch him.”
Powers is excited to have so many projects in the works and feels blessed to be in the position that he's in with the team that he started with. His advice to anyone who looks up to him and wants to become an actor is “Focus on the craft and the rest will come to you, that’s what people forget they get caught up like oh I want to book, I need to book, but you have to fall in love with it first.”