Asante Blackk is a passionate American actor best known for his role in Ava DuVernay's When They See Us, which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination. Asante, who recently turned 19, is one of the cast members on NBC's dramedy series This Is Us, where he plays Malik Hodges, Lyric Ross' on-screen love interest.
Blackk's IMDb bio reads that 'Asante Blackk is a passionate young actor who loves his craft.' and trust me, this is not just an exaggeration. Watching him in action, you will instantly realize why he is an iconic actor.
His role as a wrongfully convicted New Yorker in Ava Duvernay's When They See Us earned him an Emmy nomination and in This Is Us, the actor plays Malik Hodges, a teenage single dad and love interest for one of the show's recurring characters, Deja.
But what do we know about him? Here is his biography.
- Full name: Asante Duah Ma'at
- Professionally known as: Asante Blackk
- Date of birth: October 20, 2001
- Birthplace: Maryland, United States
- Age: 19 years old (as of 2020)
- Birth sign: Libra
- Profession: Actor
- Nationality: American
- Height: 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 meters)
- Weight: 54 kg (119 lbs)
- Hair colour: Black
- Eye colour: Dark brown
Asante Blackk's early life and family
The This Is Us actor was born on the 20th of October in 2001. As of 2020, Asante Blackk age is 19 years old.
Who are Asante Blackk parents?
The actor, who plays Malik on This Is Us, was born to Ayize (father) and Aiyana Ma'at (mother)
Both his parents are clinical social workers and couples therapists. His father's family is from Alexandria, Virginia, while his mother's family is from North Carolina, London, England, and Trinidad.
Asante has four younger siblings, two sisters and two brothers. His sisters are Akina and Akaiya Cyrah Ma'at while one of his brothers goes by the name Ayinde Ma'at. The name of the other sibling is unknown.
Upbringing and extended family
Asante grew up in a spiritually grounded and socially conscious family, as he comes from a long line of preachers, social activists, and counsellors.
Asante comes from a family of artists as well. His mother has a love for singing, and his father is a master of words and a poet in his own right. His grandfather, Dennis Wiley, is an accomplished songwriter and musician.
He is also the nephew of Rashar Morton, a graphic design artist.
Asante is also Samira Wiley nephew. Samira Wiley, the acclaimed Emmy-award winning actress, is the biological auntie of Asante, and the two are very close, as evidenced by the Asante Blackk Samira Wiley photos on social media.
Wiley is famous for her roles in The Handmaid's Tale as well as Orange Is the New Black.
Asante attended Judith P. Hoyer Montessori School for his elementary school education. He also went to Waldorf's North Point High School and graduated in May 2019.
The This Is Us star was in his first performance as an elementary school student at Judith P. Hoyer Montessori School. He was Mowgli in The Jungle Book. At the time, he was only six years old.
After transferring schools in the fourth grade, Asante took a break from acting until the eighth grade when he rediscovered his passion.
Once Asante began high school, he decided to take acting more seriously. The actor revealed,
I was doing school plays, and I had been auditioning for other things since maybe my freshman year of high school. It was around then when I realized that acting was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I felt a sense of community in the acting community, and I felt like I could freely be myself, and I loved being able to express myself in that art.
He joined the Theater Department in his school and had the ability to take several theater and acting classes as he continued to hone his skills.
During his freshman year in high school, he was cast as Bud in Father Knows Best and Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
One of his first professional roles was in How I Learned to Be a Kid at The Howard Theatre in Washington. He nailed the performance and hired an agent after that (when he was in the 9th grade).
Asante went on to take more roles later on in high school such as Harry the Horse in Guys and Dolls, and Montgomery in Fame.
Blackk was also awarded Most Promising Actor at the state-wide Maryland Thespian Festival. The young actor also served as the 2018-2019 President of the North Point High School Theater Club.
When They See Us
In 2019, Ava DuVernay and casting director Aisha Coley cast Blackk to play the role of Kevin Richardson in the Netflix limited series When They See Us, based on the widely known Central Park Five.
Blackk originally auditioned for the role of Korey Wise, one of the exonerated members of the Central Park Five.
Instead, he was cast as the 14-year-old Kevin Richardson in the Netflix four-part limited series centred on the real-life young men who were falsely convicted of a horrendous assault in 1980s New York City.
This Is Us - His role as This Is Us Malik
The actor has been playing Malik on This Is Us since 2019.
Malik This Is Us was introduced in the season 4 premiere of This Is Us as a classmate of Deja's (Lyric Ross) at her new school in Philadelphia.
In the show's episode titled, "Unhinged," fans get to see Deja and Malik's fledgeling relationship hit its first hurdle, as Deja discovers that her crush is also a single father.
In 2020, Blackk played Corey in an episode of Social Distance, a tragicomic anthology series featuring both dark and funny takes on how people strive to stay connected while staying apart.
The anthology series, which was shot entirely remotely during social distancing, follows families, friends, and couples as they deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd.
For Blackk's episode, titled Pomp and Circumstance, he got the opportunity to star alongside his dad, Ayize Ma'at, thanks to his aunt, Samira Wiley.
"The producers of Social Distance are the same producers of Orange Is the New Black and my aunt, Samira Wiley, [was] on Orange Is the New Black. So, they were having trouble finding a father-and-son duo [from different generations] who could do the last episode. They called up my aunt and asked, 'Would Asante and his dad be willing to do it?,' and she had no idea. My dad has no acting experience. She didn't know if he would want to do it, but he was like, 'Oh, yeah, sure.'"
Awards and nominations
The actor has been nominated for one Primetime Emmy. He also has 2 award wins and 7 other nominations to his name. They include:
- 2019 - Primetime Emmy - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his role as Kevin Richardson on When They See Us (2019).
- 2020 - BET Award- YoungStars Award
- 2020 - Black Reel - Outstanding Guest Actor, Drama Series for playing Malik on This Is Us (2016)
- 2019 - Black Reel - Outstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie/Limited Series for his role as Kevin in When They See Us (2019)
- 2020 - Critics Choice Award - Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role in This Is Us (2016)
- 2020 - Critics Choice Award - Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television for his role in When They See Us (2019)
- 2020 - Image Award - Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special for his role in When They See Us (2019)
- 2019 - OFTA Television Award - Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Limited Series for his role in When They See Us (2019)
- 2019 - AAFCA TV Honors - Best Ensemble - When They See Us (2019)
- 2019 - OFTA Television Award - Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Limited Series - When They See Us (2019)
Other interesting facts about Asante Blackk
- In his free time, Blackk loves making short films of his own, cooking, playing basketball, writing, and playing video games.
- How old is Asante Blackk? He is 19 years old (as of 2020).
- In 2020, Blackk was featured on Forbes' 30 Under 30 - Hollywood & Entertainment list.
- His current residence is in Canyon Country, California.
- His parents are the stars of the YouTube channel Relationship Advice with Ayize and Aiyana Maat.
- What nationality is Asante Blackk? He is American.
- Apart from acting Asante has also worked with Nickelodeon to recreate the SpongeBob, Danny Phantom, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme songs with a rap twist.
Asante Blackk is one of the actors in the award-winning NBC series This Is Us, where he plays Malik. Once you see the actor in action, you will agree that the role was meant for him, as he effortlessly portrays the teenage dad with a certain je ne sais quoi that endears many to him.
In the show, Lonnie plays young Randall, that is, the younger version of Sterling K. Brown's character. While Lonnie is an extremely talented actor (his tearjerker scenes in This Is Us will have you crying), there is much more to this young man.