Keke Palmer Is All Grown Up: Rolling Out Spread
Highlights and the full spread, shot by photographer DeWayne Rogers, below:
KeKe on growing up
“When people think of me initially, they remember me as ‘Akeelah [and the Bee].’ Sometimes it can be frustrating to be remembered at an age that you’ve outgrown. But at the same time, it’s never frustrated me to the point that I’ve wanted to lash out. I just take it one step at a time. I’ve been patient in letting people adapt to me and my growth.
On proving that she’s an adult
If anything, it makes you look even more like a kid! As an adult, you don’t have to go around saying, ‘Hey, I’m an adult!’ That would be like saying, ‘Guess what — I’m black!’ You know it already. I just [try to] constantly be a professional by asking for what I need in the right way. I feel like you have to tell people who you are, but you don’t have to be disrespectful about it. But you also don’t have to be a shrinking violet. For a long time, when I was younger, I would always act like a little kid and I would just [bow] down because I would never want to feel like I’m being disrespectful to someone. But at the same time, I was like, ‘I’m 18-years-old and I’m not a kid anymore.’ I don’t have to wait for people to do things for me. I started saying, ‘No, that’s not OK. This is what I want. This is what I need from you. Please and thank you.’ At the end of the day, you’re going to have to speak up for yourself — and I learned that after always being, for lack of a better word, crapped on.
[But] I don’t think that’s a lesson that comes from the industry, I think that’s a lesson that comes from life. I think no matter what you do as a young kid — you can [even] take it from your family. You may go off to college, you’re becoming independent and you go back home and your parents treat you like a kids again. To a certain extent, everybody has their place in their family, but you have to say, ‘Mom and Dad, I actually have things to do.’ And I think that’s a lesson that happens to everyone and everyone has to learn that place in their life.”
On balancing her personal and professional life
Sometimes my personal life takes a backseat. My job never takes a backseat. Sometimes I feel like my life is in shambles and I’ll still be doing my job. It’s unintentional.
On following her dreams
“I didn’t come from a lot. I had a lot of love and support from my family, but as far as money and that type of thing, I didn’t really have any of that. All I did was follow my dreams. If my fans take anything from me, I hope it would be that. It’s not just me being so special — they are too. They just haven’t realized it yet.