Director Steve McQueen
The number of directors in Hollywood that are people of color is rather low. The number of award winning people of color? Even lower. But Steve McQueen has carved out a place for himself as a talented writer and director. McQueen, not to be confused with the actor of the same name, is responsible for three award winning feature films. One of those films, 12 Years A Slave, even earned McQueen a best picture award at the Oscars.
There is no doubt that McQueen is an extraordinary man. In 2014, he was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people. The article was written by one of the stars of 12 Years A Slave, Lupita Nyong’o. In the article, Nyong’o calls McQueen a “visionary” and a “passionate storyteller.”McQueen is known for having good relationships with his actors. McQueen and Michael Fassbender have had a long standing partnership. Fassbender has appeared in all three of McQueen’s feature films. Of McQueen Fassbender says, “The fact of the matter is, [he] changed my life […] Steve and I have a really good understanding. We are on the same page, we see things in the same light and we want to take risks and stretch boundaries.”
Steve McQueen and the cast of 12 Years A Slave. Pictured from left to right: Lupita Nyong’o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Steve McQueen, Sarah Paulson, & Michael Fassbender.
All of this from a man who says he was put into a class for “manual labour, more plumbers and builders, stuff like that.” At thirteen years old, McQueen attended a school that was institutionally racist, something he speaks about more comprehensively in this interview with The Guardian. “School was scary for me because no one cared, and I wasn’t good at it because no one cared. At 13 years old, you are marked, you are dead, that’s your future.” It’s an inspiring story for any one who feels hopeless or is in the same situation.
Usually when I speak to people about Aziz Ansari I receive blank stares. If I mention Tom Haverford from NBC’s Parks and Recreation though, people know exactly who I’m talking about it. To me, this is problematic because Ansari is an incredibly talented actor and comedian. I first discovered Ansari through the 2009 film Funny People and later stumbled upon his stand-up comedy. Although Aziz has a steady role in Parks and Recreation, it would be nice to see him gain more exposure.
Before he became famous, Ansari was a frequent performer with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. This venue for comedy shows also housed many famous alumni like Amy Poehler, Adam Pally and Donald Glover. At the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Ansari performed both stand up and sketch comedy. Shortly after this, Ansari made his first big break in the 2007 MTV sketch comedy series, Human Giant.
Rob Huebel, Paul Christian Scheer & Aziz Ansari
As Ansari gained more recognition for his talent, he was able to carve out a very special place for himself. Ansari would be seen in a music video with Kanye West and Jay-Z. In late 2013, he was one of nine comedians who roasted James Franco. He would have guest roles in many popular television shows but still Ansari has not become a household name.
Although Ansari currently has no upcoming projects for 2014, he has been doing a lot of charity work. In 2012, he participated in an animated video for Oxfam America to encourage donations. More recently, he performed at a benefit for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings at the Wilbur Theater in Boston.
Aziz Ansari is on Tumblr, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. He is also currently doing a stand-up tour which you can buy tickets for on the Ticketmaster website.
Sometimes we see actors who are right on the cusp of breaking out into Hollywood, but then they never do. This is often the case with actors who are minorities. Regardless of their talent and charm, some of them will never become household names. 31 year old actor John Cho nearly suffered this fate. He was one of the stars of the 2004 hit, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle but for several years after bounced from obscure project to obscure project. Finally in 2013, John Cho seems to have bounced back, going from a relative unknown to once again being on the cusp of fame.
Cho landed a role in Star Trek: Into the Darkness, which made audiences start to take notice of him once again. His role as Sulu was once played by George Takei who has nothing but kind words for him. In an interview with Larry King, Takei says that Cho is “a good actor [who] has talent, […] good looks [and] energy.” Following Star Trek, Cho appeared in the Fox drama, Sleepy Hollow. While the show will return for a second season, executive producers are hesitant to say if Cho’s character, Andy Brooks will return.
John Cho and Karen Gillan filming Selfie.
John Cho also recently filmed the pilot for Selfie, a comedy with Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan. The show will air on ABC and revolves around social media and how some of us are better at dealing with it than others. Aside from this upcoming show, John Cho can be found on Twitter or in upcoming film, Zipper.
By now, you’ve probably heard of the MTV show, Teen Wolf. Some people love it, while others hate it, but either way it has taken audiences by storm. Teen Wolf began in 2011 as a remake of the 1985 film of the same name, starring Michael J Fox. But the MTV show has quickly spiraled into something more. It follows sixteen-year old Scott McCall, played by 21-year-old Tyler Posey. Somehow Posey, makes the transition to a sixteen year old effortlessly and we have no trouble believing the character of Scott McCall. The show follows the adventures of Scott- who is a werewolf- and his best friends as they struggle with adolescence and supernatural threats. There’s never a dull moment in the show, which is in part due to the incredible acting of the main cast.
Teen Wolf might be Posey’s break out role but it’s certainly not his first role. He’s been working in the entertainment industry since 2000. You might even recognize him from Maid in Manhattan(2001).
Tyler Posey and Jennifer Lopez in the Maid in Manhattan
Just like most actors in this new generation, Posey is a musician. He is the vocalist and guitarist of Disappearing Jamie. He can also be found on Twitter, Instagram and on his own website. He can also be seen in the upcoming film Taco Shop.
Teen Wolf is on at 10/9c on MTV on Monday nights. Although the current season is over, the show will return with a new season on June 23, 2014.
“I don’t wanna be ‘the bee’s knees.’ I don’t wanna be any kind of knees! I just wanna be a normal girl, with normal knees,” laments Ruby Rose (voiced by Tuggey) in the animated series RWBY. Fortunately for us Lindsay Tuggey is far from a normal girl. She’s a voice actress, dancer, video producer and editor and even a professional video game player. Tuggey works at the Austin based RoosterTeeth Productions, a company with a diverse range of content suitable for her many talents. Roosterteeth produces podcasts, competition shows, serialized content and lots more. Tuggey’s real place to shine however is in the company’s new animated series RWBY. The series is about four women at Beacon Academy, who each have their own unique weapons and powers. The first season of the show has sixteen short episodes and can be viewed on the RoosterTeeth site or on Crunchyroll. The second season will premiere this summer.
Tuggey can also occasionally be found on both the RoosterTeeth and Internet Box podcasts. But aside from her acting what makes Lindsay Tuggey so interesting?Perhaps it’s her ability to juggle so many cool jobs and make it look effortless. Or perhaps it’s her most recent that I find so encouraging. She recently became a full-time part of Achievement Hunter (a smaller division within RoosterTeeth). Achievement Hunter consists of six men, plus Tuggey who release weekly video game related content that is always entertaining. She easily glides through the testosterone saturated video game world and makes a place for herself. Tuggey isn’t all about her femininity nor does she overcompensate with fake machismo. She’s just herself, which is why she’s so great.
Lindsay Tuggey is a great role model for women but beware, RoosterTeeth content is usually explicit. She often interacts with her fans on Twitter and the RoosterTeeth website.