When True Whitaker was in third grade, she had a school biographical project. The assignment was to pick a famous person, do some research, and write a little bit about their life. Pretty normal stuff for an 8-year-old, and, one would think, a simple task for a kid whose father is Forest Whitaker.
“It was around the time my dad was shooting ‘The Last King of Scotland,'” True, now 23, told The Post. “My mom, my sisters, my brother and I went to visit him in Uganda.”
Now for the twist of the plot: “He was meeting with Nelson Mandela.
“So I got to sit down and talk with Nelson Mandela, and I was able to interview Winnie Mandela, who was his wife at the time. There’s a picture of me and Nelson Mandela talking holding hands, and I, like I’m eight years old,” she laughed. “I wish I grew up I could really understand the significance – how crazy and iconic that moment was. I will always cherish experiences like these.”
Such is the life of a celebrity descendant, and so is the life of a freshly self-conscious individual at the time. True, the youngest of four children, he was raised in Los Angeles by his mother, actress Keisha Nash-Whitaker, and his actor/director/screenwriter/producer father, who co-starred in “Panic Room,” “Black Panther.” has acted. “The Butler” and countless other movies.
“I feel like I’m half my mom and half my dad. My mom has put a lot of her energy into me. She’s so outgoing, so funny… I feel like my mom took my comical side out.” Has persisted,” said True of Keisha, who split from One last year. “My dad is funny too, but he’s a little more quiet in public places. My mom is always at 10, in a good way.” “
True also inherited a lot of qualities from her father: “My intelligence and my empathy. I feel like he has taught me and my brothers and sisters to approach life with a sense of understanding and openness to the different types of people in this world – different types of people with different energies and lives. To embrace from different areas of.
“I’ve always been really close with both of my parents. Sometimes a little too close, maybe—I feel like I share everything with them. Even if it’s like ‘Oh, Dad, I followed a lovely man’ [on social media] Today!'” The couple is true, who are single. “It’s literally just anything and everything. But I love that I feel like I can just be myself and not be afraid to be judged by my parents. Thanks to the close relationship we’ve always had I’m really grateful.”
Another thing that runs in the family is the love for film and television. At age 18, True moved from LA to New York City to earn a degree in creative writing from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
“I feel like I took every creative writing course they had to offer to find out what part of writing I really wanted to improve on.” She graduated last year, and lives in New York.
“Writing has always been an emotional thing for me. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with joy or sadness or any other kind of emotion, I have always turned to writing. I find that sometimes when I speak I am not as concise as I could have been while writing. It gives me a different sense of power, which is why I’ve always loved it.”
And yes, she is also interested in acting.
“I starred in the last season of ‘Godfather of Harlem,’ starring my father. I had a character named Sandra. That was definitely a challenge, but I loved every second of it and I hope so, because it’s right now. Shooting, she will be back,” she said of the Epix series.
Although she had no scenes with her father, True saw her on set for the first time—which was also her first day of filming.
“I didn’t even know he was there before. But when we wrapped, I walked off the set, and a guy came up to me and was like, ‘Oh, you just missed your father.’ I was like, ‘What?’ I think he was sneaking somewhere with a small monitor.
“That’s very helpful,” she laughed. “When I went back to my dressing room, I greeted him there with balloons and a bottle of champagne. Of course, being able to do that with my dad was really special.”
Ultimately, True hopes to continue both acting and writing professionally. In fact, since graduating from NYU, she’s been working on a treatment for a TV series with playwright, screenwriter, and director (“Almost Christmas,” “First Sunday”) David Talbert, among his mentors. is one of
“I’m a trillion drafts in my series. I hope in the next few years you guys will see and feel and hear my voice and understand the things that I care about.” “Everything I do will be something that means something to me.”
While it remains to be seen whether she will star in the show if it turns out, she plans to continue pursuing other acting opportunities.
“I’m doing a lot of auditions. I’m signed to William Morris [Agency]and I love my agent – he’s giving me a lot of opportunities,” she said. “So hopefully it picks up momentum soon, because I’m really passionate about acting.”
Whitaker is also passionate about social activism, as is her father. (Forest is an official advocate for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and founder of the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative.)
“No matter who I am, what family I come from, what my dad does, or what success he’s had, wherever I go, I’m a black woman. So I’ll face the challenges it brings.” The country presents us because of its terrifying history. As a very tall, dark-skinned black woman, I feel my blackness wherever I go. Even when I walk into a store, So sometimes I feel like I either have to buy something or keep my hands clean,” she explained. “I’m always going to feel weird micro-aggressions. But I also have a sense of power, of course, being a black woman. I want it to be known that we deserve this type of recognition and success, to be able to live the way I have lived. I’m so proud that my father, as a black man, is able to pass on this life and this legacy to us, a black family.”
True’s Instagram bio reads, “Black Lives Matter / Protect Black Women!” And between family photos and selfies, you’ll find photos of marches and protests.
“I stand out when I see things in the world that I think are wrong,” she said. “We need to bring some peace to the world, put some love and care in it.”
True’s Instagram also includes photos and videos from the most glamorous side of her life — like debutante balls, red carpets, and celeb-studded night outs — but she insists that her day-to-day reality is pretty normal.
“I just try to work on my writing, and I spend time with the people I love. Obviously, if there’s an event I’m invited to, it’s sick and I’m in it. It’s nice to be involved. I always like to be thought of! But I wouldn’t say I’m doing that too often.”
In fact, you’re more likely to meet him at a karaoke bar.
“My sister and I, actually. In our own time, we, like, practice. We’ll perfect a song, and then we’ll enter a karaoke bar. We’ll harmonize, doing too much, Showcasing our skills. We literally did it the other day – it was so much fun,” Sach said.
His current song of choice is an oldie but good one, from 2007: “‘Sambhavna Golmaal Geet’ by Eli and AJ. They’re kind of resurgent, so we’re embracing that.”
Photos: Tamara Beckwith/NY Post; Stylist: Heather Blair; Ball: Using T. Cooper/CrowdMGMT Cricket Company; Makeup: Markfong using Tram/ABTP Maybelline; place: PhD Rooftop at Dream Downtown,