10 year-old Marsai Martin plays the smart and sassy eldest twin, Diane Johnson on the hit ABC sitcom, Black-ish, where she co-stars with the likes of Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis-Ross and Laurence Fishburne. The young actress has taken the world by storm with her dazzling onscreen presence and was even nominated for Best Performance in a TV Series, supporting actress nomination from the Young Artists Awards, celebrating their 36th year. Marsai takes time out from her busy Hollywood schedule to sit down with Parlé Magazine to discuss her rising career, her adjustment to life in the spotlight and her plans for the future.
Originally from Plano, TX, Marsai’s natural charisma and charm got her into acting at a very young age. Prior to being on a hit sitcom, Marsai mainly did commercials in her local town. It wasn’t until she moved out to Los Angeles in late 2013 that she got her big break when she auditioned for Black-ish. “I auditioned for the show alongside Miles (who plays Jack on the show). After screen testing and reading with other kids who were auditioning, I got the part before I even left the studio that day,” Marsai excitedly recalled. Marsai’s role as Diane has since captured the attention of millions on a weekly basis.
Life for a working adult actor can be stressful but for an up and coming child star it can be very important for them to take time out to enjoy themselves as well, especially when they have such a busy schedule like Marsai. “I go to school part time with other kids when I’m not doing the show. When I’m on set I have a tutor who helps me with my work so that I don’t miss anything. During the week I work, but on the weekends I get to enjoy myself. ” Marsai enjoys herself by hanging out with friends, singing, dancing, playing with her beloved pup Chelsi, and going to the movies.
Although life in the spotlight has been very kind to Marsai, she does admit that being recognized in public is a bit of an adjustment for her. “Being recognized in public has been very different for me. I used to be able to hang out with my family and friends without anyone bothering us but now people stop us to take pictures and ask for autographs. I’ve just got to adjust to it.” Even with the extra attention Marsai is very thankful for the fans she has.
The show Black-ish has already won an NAACP Image Award. Marsai and her TV twin Miles Brown have both been nominated for 2015 Young Artist Awards for their work on the series that has landed them much acclaim. When asked about her thoughts on being nominated for this award Marsai simply says, “It feels great because I’ve never been nominated for an award before.” The 36th Annual Young Artists Awards is set for March 5th.
Marsai says that working on Black-ish keeps her busy and has provided noteriety but its not about the fame. Marsai wanted to make it clear that her main goal is to inspire young girls like herself to follow their dreams no matter how old they may be.
She continues to achieve her own goals as well. Marsai will play Jill in the Disney Jr. Animation Series “Goldie & Bear.” ‘Goldie & Bear’ centers on the adventures of newfound friends GOldie and Bear, following the renowned porridge incident in the fairy tale. The show will debut this Fall.