Myles Truitt is a name you might want to know. In the past few years, the 16-year-old Atlanta native has landed roles in Atlanta, Queen Sugar, and Black Lightning, making him a prime candidate for Variety’s 2018 Young Hollywood Impact Report alongside the likes of Timothée Chalamet, Millie Bobby Brown, Elsie Fisher, and more.
Bulking up his portfolio further, Truitt now stars in Kin, the family drama with a sci-fi twist executive produced by Michael B. Jordan and produced by Stranger Things’s Shawn Levy. “It’s a different kind of sci-fi movie,” Truitt told MTV News. “Not every movie comes with family, action, and drama.”
He makes his feature-film debut as Eli, a young teen getting used to life with his adopted father (Dennis Quaid) after his adopted mother passed. But his world completely shifts when his older brother, Jimmy (Jack Reynor), comes home from prison and takes Eli on the run from his violent prison protectors-turned-debt collectors, led by James Franco’s menacing Taylor. Little does everyone else know, Eli has all the protection he needs, thanks to a mysterious, futuristic weapon he salvaged from an abandoned warehouse.
Still fairly new to acting at the time of filming, Truitt was fully aware that this role came with an elevated importance. “There’s not really a lot of black young men that are main roles, so that was a big responsibility on my part, but it wasn’t a negative responsibility. I was ready to hold that responsibility and take advantage of it,” he said.
However, that responsibility was not without its perks — all thanks to Zoe Kravitz, whose real-life nurturing of her younger co-star mirrored that of her character, Milly, who joins Eli and Jimmy’s journey partway through the movie. “She was really there for me, knowing that I was the only kid on set … not having anybody there that was really my age,” Truitt raved. “She was really cool.”
The Big Little Lies actress was especially cool when, weeks after Truitt casually named Drake as his favorite artist, she casually walked up to him with a FaceTime call from “a fan,” giving him a moment he will never forget (with the cameras rolling, just in case). “I just see Drake’s face on the phone and I’m crying and just really surprised that she actually called him and remembered what I said.”
As seen in the exclusive video above, the then-14-year-old’s emotions took control from there, the shock on his face dissolving into tears and rendering him speechless. “I really didn’t say anything to him because I was so shell-shocked,” he said of his perfectly understandable reaction.
Truitt hasn’t been in touch with Drake since, but did receive a 2 a.m. delivery of OVO gear from the Toronto rapper after the call. “He really didn’t have to do that,” Truitt said, a hint of disbelief still lingering. “That was really cool that he did that for me.”
Here’s more from Truitt on Kin, his unexpected stuntwork, and MBJ’s sage advice:
MTV News: How did you get into acting?
Myles Truitt: I initially wanted to play basketball professionally, like I really was going deep into basketball. I was around 11 years old and I was trying to be placed into a basketball summer camp and the slots were filled up, so the only thing that was left was theater camp. My mom was like, “Would you rather go to theater camp or go to work with your grandmother all summer?” I didn’t really want any of that, so I went to theater camp.
MTV News: Did you feel like there was any stigma you had to overcome going from athletics into something more emotional?
Truitt: Not really, and I don’t know why. I felt really comfortable on stage and around people. You know, when it comes to a group of people I’m always the happy part of the crowd. It really wasn’t really hard transitioning into that. It just came naturally.
MTV News: What attracted you to Kin?
Truitt: The short film, Bag Man. I could really connect with the character and there’s a lot of similarities with that, just how he carried himself. And there weren’t really a lot of lines in that short film, it was just acting with his eyes and the connection he had with the weapon itself.
MTV News: What were your first reactions when you read the feature script?
Truitt: Eli, my character, is really going through a lot of emotional things. He’s really going on an emotional roller coaster with things, so I was excited to act that out, just putting it on screen and working with the cast, as well.
MTV News: How closely did you get to work with Michael B. Jordan?
Truitt: Very close! His scenes are very emotional. He’s a really down-to-earth person and caring and charismatic. He just has that energy that the cast and everybody that was working with us needed.
MTV News: What did you learn from him?
Truitt: He had a humbling vibe to him that I just took from him and invited into myself. I really appreciate him for that. I told him, “I really want to be you when I grow up.” He was like, “Don’t be me; be the best version of yourself and I’ll be the person to help provide the blueprint.” From that point on, I’ve just been thinking about that every day.
MTV News: Did you have bonding moments with the whole cast?
Truitt: Yeah, we did have a lot of bonding moments. Especially me, Zoe, Jack, just in the car. When the camera wasn’t on us, we would just have a lot of funny moments, especially when we were in Las Vegas, in the casinos and go to the circuses and just chill out with each other and bond.
MTV News: Did you actually get to drive the car?
Truitt: Yeah, I did! I actually did get to drive the car. At the age of 14, I got to do donuts. It’s not most people who get to do that, but it was really fun. I actually drove the car. There were no gimmicks or wiring or anything — just turn the steering wheel and gas it. So that was really fun doing that. My first-ever stunt in a movie.
MTV News: Were you scared?
Truitt: No, I wasn’t! I was ready to get in there. I’d always wanted to drive a car. As soon as they said that I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’
MTV News: Was that your first time driving?
Truitt: I mean, I’d sat on my dad’s lap and driven in the parking lot, but not really driving a car like I did in the movie. So yeah, I would say that was my first time.
MTV News: Looking into the future, do you have any dream roles?
Truitt: Yeah, I want to be a part of Black-ish, I want to do something with Yara Shahidi, maybe something with Will Smith, Kevin Hart. I want to do comedic roles and stuff like that. There’re a lot of things I would like to do.
MTV News: You could revive Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Truitt: Yeah, I love Fresh Prince! That’s my guy right there.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.