The world better watch out for Amandla Stenberg. She made a huge impression as Rue in The Hunger Games back in 2012 and ever since, she’s been building a reputation as one of the best of her generation – both on screen and off. Stenberg has made a very noticeable effort to use her star power for good by doing what she can to spread acceptance and respect, and now you can see both of those qualities – her talent on screen and activism off screen – come together in the rousing drama The Hate U Give.
The movie is based on the book by Angie Thomas and stars Stenberg as Starr Carter, a young girl who calls a predominantly black neighborhood called Garden Heights home, but attends a mostly white high school. She juggles the two well enough by making sure she behaves a certain way at each place, but when her childhood friend Khalil (Algee Smith) is senselessly murdered by a white cop during a traffic stop, Starr knows she can’t keep her two lives separate anymore. She’s got to find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Stenberg and Smith (another young star well worth keeping an eye on) and we discussed an especially powerful line of dialogue in The Hate You Give, and they also shared a part of their daily routines that may have a positive influence on anyone looking for something to brighten his or her day. You can catch that in the video interview at the top of this article and, in case you missed it, click here for my interview with Thomas and The Hate U Give director George Tillman Jr.
The Hate U Give is currently in select theaters and due to expand on October 12th before its nationwide release on October 19th. Be sure to check out Adam Chitwood’s rave review right here.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Hate U Give:
Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. THE HATE U GIVE is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.