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Meet rising star Kamil McFadden

ONE TO WATCH: Kamil McFadden (Photo credit: Tammie Ter-Veen)

KAMIL MCFADDEN’s love of acting started young. Home-schooled by his mother, he began to explore the arts of acting and immediately fell in love with it.

He was home-schooled by his mother, however, when he began learning about the arts, he immediately fell in love. He explained that the connection to acting was immediate - it became very real and then on very serious.

His love of the craft took him to Hollywood, where he moved to pursue his career, whilst learning to balance the life of a teenager; from attending auditions, going to school and having a social life.

“There’s a lot of sacrifices that comes with pursuing your passion and I had to learn that,” says McFadden. “Weekdays I went to Youth Ensemble of Atlanta from 6am-9am and then started school. Weekends was 12pm-6pm. It was hard but it had to be done”.

What he learnt from this experience was the importance of professionalism. He says “it’s something that will help you out in your career.”

On asking him what drives his creativity in this field, he says “everything around me. It was natural and instinctive; it was my experiences, friends, family.”

Creativity seems to run in the family, as the 21-year-old actor isn’t the only one with an artistic eye. His mother and father both journal, with the latter often writes poetry. He grew up in a forward-thinking household, surrounded by various forms of art which inspired him to take it to whole new level.

Alongside that, McFadden has been immersed in music his whole life, listening to various genres from Neo-soul and R’n’B to hip hop.“Every Sunday morning, my mom would play Maxwell. When we heard that we knew it was time to clean the house.”

The American actor’s most notable role so far was in Disney’s K.C Undercover - which also stars girl of the moment, Zendaya. McFadden plays Ernie Cooper - a role that has taken his career to new heights as he still remembers how he felt the day he found out that he’d been cast in the role. “It was in 2016 on Mother’s Day, and I got the news that I was cast for the show. I was blown away; I worked so hard and when it finally came it was surreal.

“When I was auditioning, the energy in that room was magical, I hadn’t felt anything like that before”. This was McFadden’s first recurring role in a television series, and he expressed his excitement to work alongside amazing actors whilst expanding his own skills.

“Working with actors like Zendaya and Kareem Hardison gave me one of the best experiences in his life,” he recalls. “It showed me how far I had come from all the auditions I went to, but also I was able to learn from everyone I worked with - see how they operate, their attention to detail, their creative control and more. I got to learn from everyone on set and allowed me to see other areas I could go into.”

McFadden is keen to explore other facets of the industry, starting with his new project, where he’ll be playing Elijah Bradley (a.k.a Patriot) in the new animated TV show Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors.

Asking him why he was drawn to this project, he mentioned the diversity amongst the cast was a big qualifier. “There is just a a good range of diverse characters, there’s a Hispanic character played by Cierra Ramírez, and a Middle eastern character played by Kathreen Khavari.”

When he was auditioning for the show, McFadden explained that it was a vibrant and energetic environment. “The production process was amazing, it felt like a live audition. There were other actors there doing their table read and I could play off them. It flowed a lot better than if I read the script alone. It was a great experience.”

As he embarks on a new journey in his career, the young creative reflects on some of his biggest inspirations throughout his life, including Will Smith and Donald Glover. “I used to watch reruns of Fresh Prince it Bel-Air. He built his career and has such a range - he can do comedic and dramatic movies because he’s great enough to do both”.

Donald Glover is another idol of mine,” he mentions. “I read an article on him in the New Yorker and to read about his thought processes behind the music and script writing is fascinating.”

On asking him where he sees himself in the next five years, McFadden said: “I would like to be performing across all areas of entertainment such as acting, music, producing, directing etc. I want to be as versatile as Donald Glover”.

And while many actors dream of one day winner prestigious awards like an Emmy and an Oscar, McFadden makes it clear that that’s not his end goal - “doing what I loves and discovering new avenues to pursue it is.”

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