For the past 5 seasons we’ve literally watched Marcus Scribner grow up before our very eyes. He spends his days surrounded by acting legends (Laurence Fishburne, Jenifer Lewis to name a few) rounding off an A-list cast (Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson, Yara Shahidi etc.,) on his mega-hit ABC show “Black-ish”! Now at 19 years old we find the burgeoning star at a most relatable crossroad into adulthood, self discovery and self expansion. Ever curious about the “how” we sat down with Marcus on set of his 26 Magazine cover shoot and found a perfectly fitting mixture of youthful excitement and mature professionalism that we’re certain will take him far. In his words you hear the poise, passion and purposefulness he puts behind his craft. While we talk his take on life in the limelight, activism and what he foresees for his future. One thing we found for certain; if our future is filled with equal parts focused & fun loving Marcus Scribners of the world, we just may be in good hands, after all!
Coat: TopMan Shirt: Geoff Duran Pant: Nordstrom
How old were you when you got the call that your were casted for Black-ish? -I was 13 years old just starting high school which was already a huge transition in itself, so it was kind of crazy to have a show go along with that! In fact the first billboard that went up for Black-ish was actually right across the street from my school, so you know that created some pretty interesting dynamics right away. Of course! What was it like for you being in school while your face donned a huge tv show billboard just feet away? -It all actually lasted for a pretty short period of time, this was just before Black-ish premiered so it was more like “Hey aren’t you that guy on that poster”? [lol] Not long after my face also ended up on the bus I used to take home from school, that’s when things sort of set in and my parents decided perhaps they should start picking me up [from school]. Eventually, I had to swap out all together and begin home schooling.
Suit: Topman Sweater: All Saints
Wow. So now you’re in the 5th season of Black-ish! That’s like an actor’s dream; to be casted on a show that just continues to last and last into multiple seasons! Can we go ALL the way back for a second? What was it like at age 13 when you received the call telling you that you’d landed the part? - It was a long process of auditioning, I’d gone in for like 6-8 auditions, call backs, screen tests etc., Finally one day I was outside playing basketball with my dad and my mom yelled out “hey you got the show”! Instantly of course, we all (my dog included) became SUPER hyped, it was a very exciting moment! Being so young at the time, I remembered [casually] thinking to myself "this is great, I booked a show it’ll go on forever."-Not fully realizing how blessed and lucky we were to have a show with such an amazing cast and such talented writers that would one day become a mainstay on television! Absolutely! it's no secret that you spend your day surrounded by and working with actual legends (Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne etc.,) what are some of the biggest takeaways or things you’ve learned from working with that caliber of talent? - I think it’s definitely like passive learning; being there & experiencing it every single day. Also, being on a television show like this you pick up things like shot lists, shot words, etc., which will help me later on hopefully in a directorial career capacity. On set you get to watch the comedic timing, the beats that they take and how they switch things up from time to time. [As an actor] it’s easy to get into a rhythm and just stick with one thing. So I’ve learned it's important to have fun, switch it up but still make sure that I go back to the core of acting and avoid getting too stagnant in one act.
1. Coat: Topman, Jacket: Topman, Sweater: Topman. 2. Coat: Topman
So not getting too comfortable in any one routine? Yes! Being uncomfortable is a part of reality, so you can’t really portray a character if you’re not at least a little bit uncomfortable in the role that you’re in. There always has to be that sort of fear of the unknown/not knowing whats coming next, because if you think about what’s happening next and you’re too busy focusing on the next line, then you actually miss experiencing the present moment and the feelings that you’re supposed to be feeling. There are definitely a lot of moments on set where I’m taking it all in and am like "wow this is something new and interesting that I’m learning here"! You mentioned directing, is that a future goal you think you’d be interested in? - I would LOVE to direct! I actually got into acting through my love of reading fantasy novels like Aragon & Harry Potter growing up. In fact [my dad loves telling this story] as a 3rd grader I’d be on my way to football practice with my nose buried in Aragon [which is a super thick book, if you can picture it]. So I knew early on where my interests lay. I was always more into stories and characters and just didn’t vibe as well with sports. I loved basketball but wasn’t the best at it growing up [though I did give it a good try]. Eventually I took a shot at an acting class and I ended up enjoying it and the process of finding myself in the new characters every time I stepped on stage!
We love that! Now that you’ve been here and doing this for a number of years, what advice would you give either to your younger self or any other aspiring actors your age? -It’s definitely about staying committed! The business can be discouraging especially at first when you’re auditioning and may not be booking right away. I was acting for 7 years before I ever booked anything as big as Black-ish. So it took a long time and a lot of commitment. Every week I would go to school and then on the weekends I would be at acting classes for 3 hours a day just working on the craft, really appreciating the art. Also, make sure that you LOVE it. Like DON’T go into acting just for fame chasing purposes. It can’t be solely about wanting “clout” or trying to “get to the [money] bag” -like still try to get to the bag, but also make sure that it’s a passion and something that you honestly want to to do. Because It's a lot of work, you spend a lot of time and there area a lot of commitments that you have to put into it. If you’re not enjoying it, then what’s the point?! Here at 26, we like to talk a lot about luxury, for us luxury can be your swag but it can also be a feeling or an emotion even. What is luxury to you? Luxury to me hmmm…. I’m definitely into fashion, like I just went to New York and got a Givenchy fanny pack (I love to talk about this fanny pack lol) -it’s now one of my prized possessions. Fanny packs are under-appreciated right now, but they’re a staple, so seriously, everyone should get into the fanny pack game while they can! -It’s like a practical piece of art, a lot of accessories in fashion are sort of throwaways, but fanny packs are legitimately useful! Aha! So what’s IN your fanny pack? -Ohhhh, I actually have an instagram video about this lol, honestly it’s just a ton of snacks. Also fanny packs are definitely useful for your AirPods, I think we’ve all gone through the horror of losing our AirPods, but NOW I know where they are, along with like my gum, candy, wallet, keys -it’s like a grab bag! [LOL]
Suit: Topman, Sweater: All Saints
Sweater: TopMan, Checkered Pant: TopMan
Another of our favorite questions for our younger 26 Stars in particular is: Where do you hope to be by the age of 26 Marcus? -I’m super excited to start a career in movies, expanding my career into the cinema, maybe even working on both sides of the camera. I would love to do some writing and directing [like we were chatting about earlier]. Who knows, hopefully even have a Marvel movie under my belt, that’d be VERY cool. So expanding my craft and also expanding in some of my philanthropic endeavors [Marcus is presently working with Congresswoman Karen Bass & her foundation on a myriad of topics from young voter turnout to foster care reform]. -Hopefully there's a lot on the horizon for me. -26, that’s a GOOD number! We think so too :) Here’s to the future Marcus, we are lucky to have you! -26.
As told to: Shawn Finnie Photography: Corey S. Guevarra for CYOER Photo Wardrobe: Kwame Waters
Production: Nick Zaglmayr Grooming: Amber Amos