Here’s Why Malik on ‘This Is Us’ Looks Familiar
If you’ve been watching This Is Us season four, then you’ve definitely noticed there are new faces in the Pearsons’ vicinity this year. Chances are one of them, Deja’s (Lyric Ross) new love interest Malik (Asante Blackk), looks pretty familiar, though. Here, three reasons why you might recognize the 17-year-old actor.
His Previous Role
In addition to his new part on This Is Us, Blackk starred in the groundbreaking Netflix series When They See Us as teenage Kevin Richardson. Based on a true story that divided our nation, When They See Us centers on the notorious case of five teenagers of color, dubbed the Central Park Five, who were wrongly convicted of a rape they did not commit. The gripping series spans from 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned, to 2002, when they were finally exonerated and reached a settlement with the city of New York in 2014.
When They See Us was created, co-written and directed by Ava DuVernay (12 Years a Slave) and is one of the most powerful stories available on the streaming platform. Surprisingly, it was also Blackk’s debut role.
Blackk’s performance in When They See Us was so resonant that it not only made this editor cry, but it also snagged him his first Emmy nomination. The young actor received a nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his performance. The award ultimately went to A Very English Scandal star Ben Whishaw, but Blackk still has plenty of time to rack up a win.
His Family Resemblance
Do his high cheekbones and face shape look kind of familiar? Well, if you’re a fan of Orange Is the New Black or The Handmaid’s Tale then you might see the resemblance between Blackk and his aunt, actress Samira Wiley.
Wiley gave her nephew a shout-out on Instagram after his Emmys nomination and captioned side-by-side photos of them, “Ain’t even had my @televisionacad Emmy for 1 whole year yet, and the boy already coming for his auntie’s crown! Haha.”
She went on to write, “Congratulations to my stupidly talented nephew, @asanteblackk on his first Emmy nom for his breathtakingly beautiful portrayal of young Kevin Richardson in @netflix’s @whentheyseeus! Love you so much, ASANTE!!!!!!!! Congrats to you, @ava, and the rest of the cast, crew and creative team of @whentheyseeus! #sowelldeserved.”
That’s one talented family.