Kareem Grimes

Photo credit Maya Ayanna Darasaw.

Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

From Boyz to Preach: A Conversation with Kareem Grimes

Kareem Grimes is one of the breakout stars from the CW Show, All American, however he’s been in the acting game since 1991. Check out our interview below where he discusses memories of John Singleton, All American and Hip Hop.

Reviews & Dunn – You’ve had a prominent recurring role on All American for the past two seasons. Are there any plans to make your character as Preach full time?

Kareem Grimes – I am not sure. It was a blessing to be in 60% of the episodes in the second season. Between the fanfare of my character Preach and the story-line with Coop & Tyrone’s sister Mo…..who knows? I pray it gets bumped up to a series regular, but in any case, I’m just happy to be a part of such a great show with an amazing cast & crew.

Reviews & Dunn -What was the inspiration behind wanting to become an actor?

Kareem Grimes – As a child, I watched a lot of TV, which I would say was a huge influence on me wanting to become an actor. Plus, I loved to entertain my mom & dad’s guests. I’d put on a show, and that’s when I knew early on what I wanted to do. I truly love what I DO

Reviews & Dunn – Before working on author Carl Weber adaptations (television series The Family Business for BET & the film The Choir Director for Netflix), had you read any of his books?

Kareem Grimes – No, I had not. What’s crazy is that I didn’t even know about him and what he’s accomplished as a New York Times bestselling author and being independent at that. But I quickly learned and read his books.

Reviews & Dunn – The first time I remember seeing you on screen was in 1991’s Boyz N The Hood. Ten years later, you worked with the iconic John Singleton again in Baby Boy. What do you remember about working on those two films?

Kareem Grimes – Being excited to be on set. Working with such a Creative Genius who was ahead of his time. He opened so many doors. To be on set with the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Nia Long, Ice Cube, and the list goes on & on. I was just soaking up as much information as I could from the sidelines. John became like a big brother to me. He stressed that I should finish college and learn more about behind the scenes. So, when Baby Boy came around, he told me, “You are going to work with me.” I’m going to show how a movie is made from Pre-Production to Production to Post-Production. I did everything! Production Assistant, Director Assistant, Casting Cameraman, and reader. I touched damn near every department in the making of Baby Boy. I’m very grateful for that experience.

Reviews & Dunn – Were you surprised to find out your All American co-star Daniel Ezra who portrays Spencer on the show, was British?

Kareem Grimes – Naw, not really. The British Invasion has been heavy in our Industry. Daniel listened to a lot of Nipsey Hussle, which helped him get his accent down. He put in the work, and it shows. He is an amazing actor, hands down.

Reviews & Dunn – You worked in television, film, and stage. Which one would you say is your favorite?

Kareem Grimes – That’s a good question. I love them all equally. Stage helps with the live element and projection, and also, you’ve got to be on point. There are no cuts or retakes. TV moves quickly, so you have to be prepared and hit your marks. Film teaches you that the smallest facial expression or the least reaction shows up big on screen. They all lend themselves and work together.

Reviews & Dunn – Is there any particular genre that you haven’t acted in yet, that you want to dabble in?

Kareem Grimes – Sci-Fi. I would love to be in outer space fighting aliens, HA! Or better yet, I’d like to be a superhero or villain.

Reviews & Dunn – I’m a big fan of the musical biopic. Who is one artist story you would love to see told on the big screen?

Kareem Grimes – Phife from A Tribe Called Quest. His story seems pretty interesting, being in one of the most Iconic groups in Hip Hop, A Tribe Called Quest. He said he was the Funky Diabetic. I am sure he went through a lot, dealing with his ailment and being in a group.

Reviews & Dunn – Who are some of the musical artists you’re listening to right now?

Kareem Grimes – Jay Electronica, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Travis Scott, J.Cole and Big Sean I could go on & on, but those are some of the artists I rock with.

Reviews & Dunn – Is there anything you would like to add, and where can your fans find you on social media?

Kareem Grimes – I am really blessed & grateful for the journey, and I am just only scratching the surface. I have a film that’s out now on the Digital Platform, on both Amazon & Apple. It’s called Shepard. It’s a thriller, and it’s really good. It was written by Philip Landa & directed by Jourdan McClure, and has a really great cast. Kurt Krause plays Ray, a troubled teen who crosses paths with a really charismatic, dangerous stranger, played by Will Beinbrink, and it becomes the worst decision in both of their lives. I play Dwyer, Ray’s teacher, who sees something in Ray and wants to help him. Check it out!  You can find me on Instagram @KareemGrimes and on all platforms as well

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