At the ripe age of seventeen, actor Marcus Scribner sits on the cusp of adulthood. Continuing to play the eldest son ‘Andre Jr’ on the American television comedy Black-Ish, Scribner believes in the timely dialogue his series offers its viewers. As Candid sat down with this humorous young gentleman, we see that Marcus Scribner’s focus goes beyond just acting, as he prepares for the exciting next chapter in his accelerating career.
Did growing up near Hollywood motivate you to become an actor?
Growing up and coming from Los Angeles, you never go to Hollywood. It’s never even like a second thought in your mind. That never really inspired me to become an actor. What did inspire me to become an actor was when I was around seven years old, was really into school, didn’t really have too many other interests.
My parents just were like, “Do you want to try any other hobbies? Play basketball? Play football? Try an acting class”? I did all those things and ended up really enjoying basketball, lacrosse, and most of all, acting.
Some people buy lavish homes or automobiles with their first big gig, but I hear you bought a puppy following your first guest star role in 2010 on the former American television series Castle. Can you tell me about that/him?[Laughs] Yeah, that was our first big thing. Zeus is a beagle. He’s getting hefty now. He’s almost fifty pounds [twenty-three kilos], but he’s not fat. I try to tell people, He’s well-proportioned, people! He’s muscular.
Best decision I have ever made in my entire life. I wanted a dog for a really long time.
How did your role as ‘Andre J’ come about for the hit television series Black-Ish?
I’ve actually been acting for a long time before ever playing ‘Andre Jr’. The audition came around when I was fourteen years old and I auditioned for it, I think, about seven times. It’s kind of funny because after booking the role and meeting all the other kids on the show, I was like, How many times did you guys have to audition? They’re like, “We auditioned twice or three times”. I was like, What?!
It was a long process, but it was a great one because I really enjoyed the character and the script.
I knew that it had an important message to tell. I wasn’t sure if people were going to receive it as well as we did, but they definitely did. People understand the name [Black-Ish] now and they understand the whole situation. I am really proud to play ‘Andre Jr’.
In your opinion, what is it about Black-Ish that makes its characters and its storylines so relevant and necessary in today’s culture?
We make sure to tell stories that are happening in the media right now, as we speak. Everything that’s going around us, our writers are hard at work, making sure to include those in our episodes, so that we can really tell genuine stories. I think our characters, people can relate to them because they all come from different viewpoints and perspectives – allows the audience to come to their own conclusions when they’re having a discussion with their own family. We’re also pretty funny, I think.
Black-Ish continues to be a primetime hit for viewers and critics alike. Do you see an end in sight or do you see this series going on for several more years?
I have no clue. I see us still going on for many years to come. People seem to keep enjoying, so I think it’s important for us to keep up with what’s going on in the world, so we always have fresh, new content.
I hear that when you’re not acting, you have quite a passion for doing humanitarian work. How did that desire come about for you, and what are some of your latest projects?
That passion came about from my parents, who told me that if you have a platform, it’s important to use it for good. I volunteer for the Sandals Foundation and travel throughout the Caribbean. I went to many different schools in impoverished areas and donated Microsoft computers out there, worked with some of the kids, talked to them. I also went to the Reserve Protection Agency in South Africa and I got to promote technology that’s saving rhinos out there from poaching. It’s just been a whirlwind experience and I am glad I have been able to use the platform that I have been given by the show to make a difference in lives.
Are you able to still find ways to be an average teenager? If so, what does Marcus do for enjoyment?
What Marcus does for enjoyment is play video games. I definitely do regular teenage activities. I have been to homecomings, proms, all that kind of stuff. [I] just hang out with my same group of friends I’ve had for a long time – pretty much just do normal stuff.
Being now a successful young man, you must be attending award shows and red-carpet events. What is Marcus’s go-to style? Do you like dressing up in designer suits, or is going casual more your preference?
I think it depends what the event is. I definitely like both aspects of dressing up. I like to keep it cool and super casual, like a hoodie, some jeans, and some dope kicks. At the same time, going to important award shows, I get suited. I clean up pretty well, so I’d say I dibble dabble in both ends of the spectrum.
Even with all this steady acting work, you are still looking at attending university soon. What field are you looking to study, and have you already set your eyes on any particular universities?
I have been looking at University of Southern California, UCLA, and I am thinking about majoring in Communications, Business, or Theatre. I’m really leaning away from Theatre, because I do acting in my everyday life, but I know I haven’t learned everything that there is to being an actor. I feel like I would rather learn another skill to add to my repertoire. Something that is applicable to everyday life.
With Candid being a menswear fashion magazine, what is one trend in 2017 that you love and what trend must go?
I feel like men’s fashion is definitely heading towards more vibrant colours, prints, and stuff like that. I think that’s kind of cool. Often times you go to award shows and see everybody dressed in black, but this season I have been seeing more blues, greys, and different colours. That has been a pretty cool trend to me.
One, I think, that has to go? That’s a tough one. The ‘man bun’ has definitely got to go. Never will ‘Andre Jr’ have a ‘man bun’ [laughs].