He’s only 16 years old, but D’iallo Thompson’s acting career spans 11 years, and he’s finally landed the role of a lifetime alongside heavy hitters such as Ice Cube, Common and Nicki Minaj, portraying an unsure kid facing insurmountable obstacles in Barbershop: The Next Cut.
It’s hard to imagine that at the age of 5, Thompson’s dream of a blooming acting career is finally coming into fruition. According to the teen phenom, after landing his first role as Moses in his church’s play as a child, he knew he’d spend the rest of his life pursuing a career in acting, revealing “I remember walking on stage and I just remember the feeling. It was unbelievable.
Though the movie is one of his biggest roles to date, Thompson acting skills are poised to captivate audiences. Though young in age, the seasoned vet approached portraying his character Kenny Smith, Common’s son is the best friend to Ice Cube’s son, “Jalen” with an introspective lens, tapping into what wasn’t on the script to ensure his portrayal of the character was authentic and honest.
And viewers are sure to be on a roller coaster of emotions as they are taken on a journey of forgiveness and redemption, watching Thompson assist in telling the truth about teens and the unsought of gang violence they face every day in similar communities.
“I think despite it being really funny it tackles a message that’s really relevant in the day, specifically in Chicago but it also can apply to other cities. Me and Jaden are kind of put with the task of joining a gang. It’s really scary but it’s basically a mirror of what teens go through every day.”
Unlike his character in the film, nowadays Thompson’s life is much more exclusive. While many of his peers are in class learning arithmetic, he’s finishing homework assignments in between traveling the country promoting the movie and rubbing elbows with his idols, noting “I feel like this whole experience has literally changed my life and given me so many opportunities. It’s almost like a dream.”
And he’s taking it all in, taking meticulous notes on how to reach the pinnacle of success in such a competitive industry, stating that being around such star power taught him that, “You have to keep working really hard consistently and stay humble and continue to enjoy what you do.”
And if you think balancing a promising career and teenage life is an easy task, Thompson has news for you—it isn’t. In fact, between going to school, trying to maintain a normal life and hang out with friends, comes with its fair share of unique challenges.
“Well going to school and trying to be an actor isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. There’s actually a rule where I can’t miss so many days or I’ll get kicked out.”
As for life after Barbershop, the skies are the limit. The talented teen’s ambition does not stop at acting and he intends on taking a stab at a music career as well.