You must you be living under a rock if you have not seen Keith Powers. In BET’s The New Edition Story, Keith will take on the role of Ronnie DeVoe.
The biopic will chronicle the ups and downs of the legendary boy band, New Edition. The talented, young cast is rounded out with Bryshere Y. Grey and Elijah Kelley also starring as leads. The series is set to premiere as a three day special on January 24th, 25th and 26th.
Keith can also soon be found in Freeform’s drama Famous in Love, Keith will play bad boy Jordan Wilder who has a troubled past and will be seen as a love interest to Bella Thorne’s character, Paige Townsen. Famous in Love is being developed by Pretty Little Liars‘ Marlene King and is being positioned to be the network’s latest guilty pleasure hit when it premieres April 18, 2017.
Hey Keith, how are you?
Keith Powers: I’m great, how are you?
Good thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
Keith: Oh man thanks for having me.
Of course congrats on all your success, we all first fell in love with you when you did Straight Outta Compton. Take me back a little bit and tell us how you got involved with that project first.
Keith: I got involved with Straight Outta Compton just straight up auditioning I was auditioning for that for almost like 2 years…and I went out for Dre twice I went out for Warren G didn’t get those and then they brought me back they was like we wanna bring you back for Tyree I didn’t know who Tyree was nobody did and you know I did my research and they told me, I saw the character description and basically I’m like “oh he had a little brother” and I’m like “oh snap his little brother passed,” so I went out for the brother.
Yeah I don’t think any of us knew that.
Keith: Yeah definite nobody really knows about Tyree so I was able to introduce him to the world.
The movie was such a big hit. Were you surprised about the success of the film?
Keith: Not really, I was surprised that it got as big as it did. I knew it was going to be big though that’s the weird thing but I didn’t know it was going to be 200 million dollars big or 60 million in one weekend big like that was crazy.
Now your following up with The New Edition Story tell us about your character and who you play for those that don’t know.
Keith: I play Ronnie DeVoe in The New Edition Story. Ronnie was the smoothest dancer & he was the last member to join the group. He was the tallest in the groups he was one of the breakoffs when B.B.D. (Bell Biv DeVoe) formed and I’m just honored to play him.
Tell us a little bit about the storyline in which you guys go through so we see you from formation until what point?
Keith: We have younger New Edition cast that plays us you see us and the first night which is crazy cause it’s three different nights and you see us go from like 12 ,13, 14 all the way up till they were like 30
Oh wow so up to like what year is that?
Keith: Like 2005, so you see us go from 1982 to about 2005.
How do they make you guys look older, is it just the outfits?
Keith: Well the thing about New Edition they never really looked different like that except for styles so to make us look older you see the styles like our clothes the way we dress the way our hair is the facial hair that shows the age and the time.
Keith: Yup that really helped like show their age.
Did you have to learn all the choreography and all that stuff how was that?
Keith: Yeah we definitely had to learn all the choreography, we had to learn like 6 different routines and I’m not a dancer so that was definitely one of the hardest things I had to do. That was not easy.
You have a new project with Bella Thorne. Tell us a little about that and when is that coming out?
Keith: That comes out of April 18th that’s going be out on Freeform which is formerly known as ABC Family and yeah I’m excited about that that’s going to be huge.
Tell us a little bit about the show and what it’s about?
Keith: The show is based around a girl named Paige Townsen who is played by Bella Thorne. She’s in LA going to college and is an actress. She gets this audition to be in this movie that’s supposed to be like the next Harry Potter it’s called Locked and when she goes out for this movie she’s one of those ones that goes for the cattle call and is like a diamond in the rough they find her and discover and they book her for the film and she goes and she hits the fame even before the film drops and what happens is you could see her life switch as far as like it’s so realistic because you see her still trying to balance college but balance life as being an actress. So like you’ll see her go to set late like “Oh I haven’t finished this paper,” and they’re like “oh we don’t care” and you see her go to school like “can I please turn this in” so it’s like little things like that show the dynamics of her dealing with both worlds and then also my character Jordan Wilder is one of the main leads in the film called Locked. She falls in love with him but then she also falls in love with her best friend back home so this crazy love triangle that shows how scandalous it could be behind doors of Hollywood. Like it’s crazy … it’s like Entourage meets Gossip Girl but then it takes this Pretty Little Liars turn which is crazy because it’s very mysterious and dark.
OJ: How was working with Bella?
Keith: Oh I love working with Bella. Bella is crazy she’s like a free spirit she speaks her mind I respect her so much because cause she’s very hard working and I think she’s also underrated when it comes to talking about her acting, I feel like she has so much stuff going on in the media that sometimes her acting is overlooked. You know? And I feel like she deserves more props about her acting but you know nowadays with the social media people focus so much on the personal life it can take away from what you do on screen. So that’s why it’s a big responsibility for us to really you know pay attention to what we do in the public’s eye off screen.
So you mentioned social media. Talk about social media and helping to launch you.
Keith: Well I mean it was crazy cause I’ve had Instagram and when I first had it, I really got a lot of my following because fans were putting my pictures on Tumblr randomly. I think it’s very helpful. It’s very helpful in this new day and age because it keeps you in the public’s eye so they won’t forget about you. You know? You don’t need to just work to stay in there … they could just go right to your page, which is a gift and a curse. You got to know how to balance it because I don’t like the idea of saturating your brain especially as an actor, social media can kind of taint who you are on screen and affect your work. But I love it, I think it’s amazing and I think it’s going to go more next year hopefully and you know just more fans.
You’re also a successful model you were in the Calvin Klein campaign talk about modeling and is that still something you are working on and pursuing?
Keith: Aw man I did a lot. I did so many jobs with modeling. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was doing a lot. I like modeling, but it’s not something I love you know acting is what I love. I didn’t realize how much I was doing until afterwards but I was just like man I got to pay these bills, but looking man I did so much. I actually used to work so much and I’ll never lose it I guess it’s always going to stay with me because it kind of goes hand in hand with acting but I would love to do more campaigns.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Keith: I got a movie called Reality High, a Netflix comedy next summer Rocky High School comedy and I got some films that I’m trying to get rolling I’m trying to do more films so we’ll see.
Congratulations on all your success I appreciate you talking to me.
I appreciate you thank you man.
Keith: All right man you have a good one.