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Spotlight: Skylan Brooks

Landing a big job at 14 is exciting. But learning that Jennifer Hudson is your c0-worker is surreal.

“The audition experience was crazy,” recalls Skylan Brooks, who co-stars alongside the Oscar winner in “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.” “I still can’t believe I got the part.”

Check out these exclusive outtakes from the interview to find out what else the teenage actor had to say about working on the film:

ON MEETING JORDIN SPARKS

“It was crazy. I still didn’t believe it myself. I actually saw Jordin Sparks at the audition and I was like that’s Jordin Sparks, what is she doing right here?”

ON SKATEBOARD TRAINING

“A lot of training and rehearsing. It was a lot of skateboarding training, actually, because I had to go down hills and make certain turns. It was definitely rigorous, but worth it.”

ON NOT BEING ALLOWED TO TALK TO ALICIA KEYS

“It was definitely a special moment [meeting Alicia Keys]. She’s amazing. It’s truly a blessing to meet her and she’s a very nice person. She was on-set when I was really in character as Mister and I heard that she was there and I was like ‘oh man, I have to go meet her. Are you serious, that’s Alicia Keys?’ My coach was like no, you have to stay in character right now. Can I just say hi or something, but you have to stay in character. I didn’t have a chance to talk to her, but she said we would meet again and we did and we really got to talking. She’s down to earth.”

ON WILL SMITH

“When I first thought of acting, I looked at The Pursuit of Happyness with his son. I looked at Will Smith as a role model. I didn’t know that he did Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or any of that yet until I got older. I thought of him as a role model, to be like him in a way…my goal was to be better than Will Smith, to aim higher.  He’s an amazing actor.”

TO READ OUR ORIGINAL STORY, PICK UP THE LATEST ISSUE OF JET MAGAZINE, ON STANDS NOW.