Marsai Martin may only be 16, but don’t be deceived by her age as the famed actress and executive producer commands enough experience under her belt to rub shoulders with her senior colleagues in Hollywood.
Though Martin broke into Hollywood after she was cast to play the role of Diane Johnson in popular sitcom Black-ish in 2014, the teen proved her talent went beyond acting when it was announced she was going to executive produce the movie, Little. Then 14 years and 241 days at the time of the movie’s release in 2019, Martin wrote her name in the history books as Hollywood’s youngest ever executive producer.
Besides executive producing the movie, Martin also starred in it alongside Issa Rae and Regina Hall. In the film, Martin plays the role of a younger Regina Hall after a little curse takes the strict businesswoman back to her little 13-year-old self.
“To be able to create a film, star in it, be with your favourite stars, and actually seeing that entire experience was so amazing,” Martin said in an interview with Guinness World Records. “It was so fun and so exciting because I always want to create things that make me happy. It’s insane when it actually comes to fruition.”
Martin, who successfully pitched the story to Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, said she had the idea for the movie when she was as young as 10 years old. And though the movie was released last year and Martin is 16 now, she still received her flowers for her amazing feat as the Guinness World Records officially named her as Hollywood’s youngest ever executive producer for her role in the project.
The conferment, which was announced on November 30, means the teen will feature in the Guinness World Records 2021 edition. Speaking with the organization, Martin expressed her excitement about the award and revealed she was shocked when she learned she was going to be featured in the next edition.
“I was very shocked for sure. For me, I could have never imagined being a part of something like this, I am so beyond grateful to be part of it,” she said.
Martin was born on August 14, 2004, and had her first taste of being on screen at the age of five when she was cast for a national commercial. At the age of 10, she was cast for the role of Diane Johnson in Black-ish and the only way has been up for the very talented and captivating young actress ever since.
With several projects along the way, the trailblazing teen said she wants the younger generation to “see that anything is possible, no matter how old you are, no matter what time, what place, it has to all start with you.”
“I hope that all the young Black girls out there really see how a change can really happen, just by being yourself, just by any imagination you have that can run wild. You only live once so go for it,” she said.