You know the face because, lets be honest, how can we forget the best friend who stole our hearts in ‘Matilda’? Growth and positivity have been the focus for Actress, Kiami Davael, who is still enjoying her craft, evolving with new upcoming projects as well as directing her own films. We recently caught up with the 30 year old who shared so much about her career. Get to know her below!
Hi! Thanks so much for chatting with us! First off, we have to catch up! What has life been like for you since we last saw you on screen?!
KD: “Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be chatting with you! Life has been amazing. Of course, just like anyone else, I can definitely say that life has had it’s challenges, but God is good and I’m still here. I’ve grown so much as a person and I’m just so grateful for life lessons. Over the years, I spent my time creating (writing music, writing and producing plays, as well as my own films). As much as I love writing and producing, the ability to breathe life into characters on screen is a natural high that can be found in no other place, so I’m excited to be back in that creative space.”
NR: If I’m are correct, you left the business to complete your education. Was it hard for you to jump back into auditions as an adult?
KD : “Yes, I actually attended the University of Kentucky and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Minor in Theater. Many of the most important lessons life taught me where taught to me in college (also shortly after), and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. The transition from childhood actress to adult actress has been a tricky one, however, it’s been a challenge I’ve willingly accepted and faced head on. Sometimes it is difficult for people to see me as the adult that I am today and embrace that fact that I’m not the same 9 year old that I was..that I’ve matured, I’ve evolved, and I’m not afraid to speak my mind. With that being said, it has been an extremely exciting time in my life, developing myself more daily into the artist and woman I want to become, and I’m loving it. Auditions are fun for me, it’s never feels like work, never did. So that’s not been difficult at all to handle.”
NR: We have to talk about the massive amount of the “Then & Now” posts that have been flooding your social media accounts. How do you feel about still being recognized as Lavender?
KD: “I have no problem with it at all. I am honestly so flattered by it. And to be honest, I was one of very few little Black girls represented in film. I didn’t and still do not take that for granted. It’s an honor that I accept proudly. I am grateful for those who have seen my work and still support me. To see individuals dress up as me for Halloween last year brought about feelings and emotions that I can’t even describe. Sisters, friends and parents of very young little Black girls send me comparison photos and it serves as a constant reminder of why I work so hard. It serves as a reminder that, even more so in the society of today, my representation matters.”
NR: You are currently doing a lot! For those who don’t know, talk about what you have in the works !
KD: “I definitely do have a lot going on (smile). I am currently in the pre-production phase of my show. I can’t say too much about it at the moment, but it is coming. I am extremely excited about this project and sharing this with everyone. It’s very near and dear to my heart. I am also working on my foundation, which was founded in honor and memory of my maternal grandmother and father. It was founded to help support single parents and the children of those single parent households and to aid in their mental, physical and spiritual well-being. I am also working on my own line of accessories and my music.”
NR: What has been the most difficult part of your career thus far?
KD: “Well, I must say that being in the entertainment industry, especially at a young age, can come with it’s challenges. Often difficult sacrifices must be made for greater gains, and that isn’t always an easy pill to swallow. The sacrifices I’ve had to make have been the most difficult. Sometimes that means times away from my family and my dearest friends. I’m blessed to have such a strong support system that understands what I’m building and why I’m building it, so that makes it a bit easier to deal with.”
NR: Unfortunately, so many “Child Stars” fall victim to the harsh realities of this industry. How have you avoided that side of fame?
KD: “I definitely have God to thank for that. Without Him I can guarantee you that I would have lost my mind a long time ago. As I said earlier, I have an amazing support system that keeps me grounded. This industry comes with a plethora of rejection, and it takes an immense amount of self-work to perfect not taking that rejection personally. I think that many child stars start trying to fit a pre-conceived idea or notion of who their fan base thinks they should be, and they lose themselves in the process. The fight to hold onto some label or classification that has been placed on them by the entertainment industry and try so hard not to rock the perfect peddle stool that individuals have placed them on. I realize that I am good enough, every flaw and imperfection is good enough Regardless of if anyone else thinks so or not. I love who I am and am confident in what God has blessed me with. I don’t look to seek from anyone else the approval that I am required to give myself. It wasn’t always easy. I read my affirmations daily, focus on my vision boards, positive thoughts and surround myself with positive energy, praying during the ups and downs, and smiling through it all. As you get older, you realize that everyone isn’t going to like you, everyone isn’t going to support you, everyone isn’t going to have your best interest at heart and everyone is going to want to see you succeed. You must be sure to be secure in who you are and drown out all the outside noise.”
NR: Tell us about your transition into writing your own film!
KD: “What an experience. (smile) I’ve been writing for a very long time. I would always create lyrics and melodies for my own songs, but I actually never thought about creating my own project. I think anytime you embark on a new journey, it’s important to keep an open mind. Know what you know and be ok with knowing what you don’t know, and learn. That’s exactly what I did. I totally immersed myself in every creative aspect. Creating and building complex characters from the ground up gave me a greater appreciation and a deeper understanding of my artistry. This definitely aided in my process for breathing life into characters in front of the screen.”
NR: With all of this black girl magic taking over Hollywood, what would be your dream role & who would love to work with?
KD: “Yes, Black girl magic all up and through and I couldn’t be happier (smile). My dream role would be to play Eartha Kitt in a biopic. I get quite often that I resemble her and that I sound like her. I have several legends I’d love to work with, one being Cicely Tyson and Denzel Washington. Viola Davis and Phylicia Rashad are also amazing artists that I’d be very honored to work with.”
NR: What would you say is the key to longevity in this business?
KD: “Staying humble and putting God first. Staying grounded and surrounding yourself with constant positivity. Not feeding into the negative darts that the entertainment industry will throw at you. Belief in yourself, constant faith, and knowing that God will never give you a gift that He won’t make room for you to use.”
NR: Like everyone else, you were tuned into the presidential election and the following events. What are your thoughts on everything that is currently happening ?
“It’s scary. I can do nothing but pray and draw even closer to God and lean even harder on my faith. We are much more powerful together than we are separately, so we must be the change that we wish to see. Praying for peace, love, understanding, direction, guidance, forgiveness and joy. I don’t thrive off of or live a life designed by hate, bigotry, alternative facts, prejudices or injustices.”
“I can be a huge goof ball. I try not to take myself to seriously all the time”
NR:Your favorite Music artist:
KD: “I have several: Whitney Houston, Monica, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder to name a few.”
NR: Favorite Actress
KD: “So many, but to name a few: I had the honor of working with the late great Mrs. Ruby Dee, definitely one of my favorites. A few others include Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts. “