LOS ANGELES — How do you become the youngest executive producer behind a major studio film?
It helps to successfully sell a movie idea when you’re only ten years old.
That was the age of “Black-ish” actress Marsai Martin when she— accompanied by her parents— pitched a film about an adult woman who wakes up a kid version of herself. (Think Tom Hanks’ “Big,” but the opposite.)
Now that Martin is 14 and with that pitch almost half a lifetime ago, she only recalls one thing about the meeting.
“I remember just being so cool and chillax (sic), even though everyone else was nervous in the room,” she told USA TODAY on the red carpet. “I was like ‘Nah, we got this.’
Imagine pitching a movie idea. Imagine pitching that movie idea at age 10. Imagine feeling “cool and chillax” at that pitch meeting. Imagine Universal making that movie. You are imagining life as @marsaimartin, star and executive producer of “Little.” #LittlePremierepic.twitter.com/36mPbDQDyT
She was right.
On Monday night, “Little” premiered at Regency Theatre, starring Regina Hall as mean tech boss Jordan who magically turns into her younger self overnight. The little Jordan is played by Martin, who, of all the cast, got the biggest applause for her entrance, and the loudest cheers for her name, when it appeared under “Executive Producer” in the film’s credits.
“I want to thank, of course, Universal and the people next to me for trusting in my vision at such a small age,” Martin said on the theater microphone before the movie started, motioning to producers and co-star Issa Rae, who plays Jordan’s assistant.
“You didn’t see me for what I looked like, but as my creative mind,” Martin said.
Indeed, Universal values Martin’s ideas: The studio has already signed a deal with the young star’s new production company to develop scripted projects.
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