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Keith Powers is Young Hollywood's "Power Player"

Keith Powers is Young Hollywood's "Power Player"

Keith Powers has arrived. His looks, talent and perspective on life have thrown this actor into the fast lane with zero signs of slowing down.  After making a name for himself in popular music biopics like BET’s “The New Edition Story” and “Straight Outta Compton” and currently as Jordan on Freeform’s “Famous In Love” - this 25-year-old is not playing around. He’s here for all of it and we’re ready to just sit back and watch his purpose and his passion unfold right in front of the world. 

Powers grew up in Sacramento, California and at the time he was all about the sports life. He played it all - baseball, ran track, basketball and football. And it’s what he says he built his laser-focused discipline on. He sees the discipline he learned on the field as the kind of discipline he uses on the daily in the professional field of modeling and acting.  

Powers’ powers are evident from the moment you lay eyes on this man. You could drape any designer on Powers and he’ll make it look the way it was intended during the creation stage – he just shows up and completes it.  But his chiseled charm is nothing compared to what he is bringing to the table – with talent and humility outweighing all the superficiality usually overflowing in his line of work. He’s vocal about social issues and will use his platform to be candid about them. But none of that really comes as a surprise when you scroll through his mama’s Instagram – a feed full of images of him and his siblings, a tightknit crew that show up for each other. There really is no greater strength than the one that comes from a loving support system and Powers has got that going for him, too. 

We recently pulled up a seat with Powers to ask him a few questions in order to get to know the actor, the model, and the man that has us all tuning in. 

 Louis Vuitton sweater, COS pants

Louis Vuitton sweater, COS pants

You started modeling at 9 years old then moved on to acting. What’s that transition like? The good, the bad? 

The transition is hard. It's hard to go from modeling to acting because when you're modeling sometimes it’s easier to book jobs than it is when you first get into acting because acting takes time. So I guess you just have to have a lot of patience as an actor, which is hard because jobs are just not easy to get. I think that's the most complicated thing about that transition is to be able to transition and sacrifice a lot of modeling jobs for the acting world. So you really just got to trust and believe in yourself.

KEITHPOWERS_MFPMAGAZINE

 

If you had to single out a person as the one person who helped you find your path who would that be? 

If I had to single out one person, oh, that's tough. It would be my parents. I’d have to say both. They really just stick behind me and really support me. They are someone I can always lean on. I don't think it was ever just one person, but I think my parents, they always supported me. So that's really who helped me choose this path and who helped me to believe in myself, to go this route in entertainment. 

 Gosha Rubchinskiy x Burberry shirt.

Gosha Rubchinskiy x Burberry shirt.

Given the variety of projects you’ve chosen - do you personally gravitate to them for the challenge or the comfort as in you can spy a piece of yourself in the character? 

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I guess when I take on a character; I always try to find things that I can relate to with the character in order to bring more life into that character. But it's always best to just play those characters … that are totally different from who you are and you still be able to relate to him. So I just think that I just try to find something to relate even if we have two totally different lives, two totally different views … just finding, being able to relate to the character just makes it, you know, brings more life and it helps you to understand humans in general. So it kind of helps you in real life as well. 

 Calvin Klein sweater, Cos pants, Gucci sneakers

Calvin Klein sweater, Cos pants, Gucci sneakers

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What do you do to invoke the spirit of a character especially one you might struggle identifying with right away? 

Making a transition is really just researching and really putting yourself in that character’s shoes. It's all about finding out what happened before that first page of the script. What happened before then … that's what you have to create in your head. You have to create that backstory. Now that's the best way you can relate to that character and creating a backstory can happen in many different ways. One being just simply kind of communicating with the writer and just figuring out, you know, where did this character come from? 

 

 

 

It seemed like everyone in the world tuned in to watch BET’s “The New Edition Story” - How did it feel to play Ronnie DeVoe? And how did it feel to see it all so well-received especially as someone who witnessed the entire arc from conception to completion? 

It was amazing to see everyone watch because I feel like New Edition is, was legendary, you know, American. I mean, they're a worldwide but being from America, an African American R&B group … when they all split up, Bobby Brown had his own thing. Ralph had his own thing. Johnny Gill had his own thing. They really changed music, really inspired a lot of bands after them, a lot of boy groups. They were one of the big, you know, after Jackson Five … one of the big boy bands, African American boy bands. So it was really good to see the world receive that and see the kids fall in love with that, a group that was from back then and you know, everyone receive them now as if they were a new group. That's why biopics are so extraordinary. 

 Maison Margiela knitwear, Philip Lim trousers, Louis Vuitton bag

Maison Margiela knitwear, Philip Lim trousers, Louis Vuitton bag

MFPMAGAZINE_KEITHPOWERS

It seemed like everyone in the world tuned in to watch BET’s “The New Edition Story” - How did it feel to play Ronnie DeVoe? And how did it feel to see it all so well-received especially as someone who witnessed the entire arc from conception to completion? 

It was amazing to see everyone watch because I feel like New Edition is, was legendary, you know, American. I mean, they're a worldwide but being from America, an African American R&B group … when they all split up, Bobby Brown had his own thing. Ralph had his own thing. Johnny Gill had his own thing. They really changed music, really inspired a lot of bands after them, a lot of boy groups. They were one of the big, you know, after Jackson Five … one of the big boy bands, African American boy bands. So it was really good to see the world receive that and see the kids fall in love with that, a group that was from back then and you know, everyone receive them now as if they were a new group. That's why biopics are so extraordinary. 

 Paul Smith shirt

Paul Smith shirt

In a world where a celebrity’s every move is tracked and criticized - How do you go about keeping yourself levelheaded and just focused? 

Personally, I delete my apps, just stay off of them, just to stop reading comments, just to live in the moment outside of that world because I swear like sometimes apps are a totally different world from real life … then you get people who troll and stuff online and they can just say whatever to you and stuff. I'm the type of person I just delete my app just to disconnect and I always feel good to always come back after deleting it because it feels fresh when you come back. 

 Louis Vuitton suit, Philip Lim shirt

Louis Vuitton suit, Philip Lim shirt

There’s success and then there’s purpose. What do you see as your purpose? 

I think, personally, my purpose is to simply just inspire people from my hometown (Sacramento, California). I think to just show them that you can be from kind of like a small town, you know, go far in this industry. I'm still actually still trying to find out my full purpose to be real, but I know that acting is going to help me get there.

Keep your eyes on Keith Powers. Trust us. There’s so much more to come from this power player. 

Words by Linda Hosmer

Photographed by Grant Legan

Styled by Adrian Martin

 
 

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