Keke Palmer believes Queen Latifah and Ice Cube are partially responsible for kickstarting her career.
The Nope star made her acting debut in 2004 in Barbershop 2: Back in Business as the niece of Latifah’s character Gina. The movie starred Ice Cube and he and Palmer teamed up for a second time to play an uncle and niece in 2008’s The Longshots.
In an interview with Glamour magazine, the actress said that she hopes to create more opportunities for budding Black film talent just like Latifah and Cube did for her.
“When I think about Queen Latifah or Ice Cube, these are some of the people that helped start my career. Because of their success, I got an opportunity,” Palmer explained. “Many young people want to find a way to get into the business and think that the only way you could be is onscreen. We’ve got gaffers, we’ve got key grips, and we have people that work in electric. I hope one day I can be in a position to produce and create opportunities for people in my community, not just onscreen but behind the screen.”
The 28-year-old added that she hopes to write, direct, and produce more in the future and “provide other opportunities for more people interested in doing behind-the-scenes work”.
After appearing in several small roles, Palmer got her big break starring as the title character in 2006’s Akeelah and the Bee. In the interview, she said she has no issue still being recognised for one of her child roles.
“Some people are always going to say, ‘Oh, Keke Palmer, from Akeelah and the Bee!’… but I don’t have any bad feelings about it. If anything, I think that’s crazy that that character still has impacted so many people. It blows me away because some people don’t get that kind of role during the entirety of their careers,” she noted.