Starring in White Men Can’t Jump and The Blackening this summer with another in time for the holidays, Sinqua Walls wants to deliver performances that shake you up and always keep you guessing. He’s never the same character twice, and it makes his projects thrilling to watch.

I first encountered Sinqua Walls as the young Vernon Boyd III on MTV’s Teen Wolf. He was handsome, and he was Black on a show that inhabited an extremely white genre. As a gigantic nerd for the show, I had the opportunity to meet Sinqua Walls at the fan-run Howlercon. I was stepping up for a photo op and had my hands full of a tea set I’d brought for a prop. I stumbled a bit coming in, and Walls lunged forward to make sure I didn’t spill anything. ....

After Teen Wolf and Power, Walls went on to play in a variety of roles. He was the first major Black character on Once Upon a Time as Lancelot, and he also appeared in The Breaks. In 2019 he secured his first series starring role as Don Cornelius in American Soul.

The series was short lived, likely due to the pandemic, but without the delay he wouldn’t have received critical acclaim for his role as Kwame in Nikyatu Jusu’s Nanny or had a chance to play alongside Succession’s Brian Cox in Mending the Line. I ask Walls what his ratio of hard work to raw talent was. He chuckles a little before his answer, then sighs a sigh of relief because a good actor knows it’s a combination of both, with a little luck thrown in.

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