BSCkids recently got the chance to sit down with rising young actor, Jaden Martin. At only 12 years old, this incredibly talented young man has already made his mark on the movie industry. In 2013 alone he has three movies in production including the highly anticipated sci-fi flick After Earth. Jaden spoke with us about his movies, working with his talented co-stars, as well as being a kid and an actor.
Premiering on May 31st, Jaden Martin will appear in the film, After Earth. The film follows real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith as Cypher and Kitai Raige, with the elder also acting as producer and co-writer, and will be distributed by Columbia Pictures and available on IMAX. He also booked the role after only one audition! Later this year, he can be seen in the independent film called, Reach Me, from Seraphim Films which stars Ryan Kwanten, Kelsey Grammer, Thomas Jane, Nelly, and Sylvester Stallone. Jaden also recently finished filming the action horror film called Mr. Monster which will be released in 2014. In that film he played the role of “Spindle,” a young boy with a king heart that all the other kids look up to when monsters attack. Jaden is definitely on the rise as he has caught the eye of several movie industry heavyweights and will definitely be an actor you will want to keep your eye on!
BSCkids: Jaden Martin
When did you first decide you wanted to be an actor?
When I was 4 I told my mom I wanted to be an actor and about 2 years later I started taking acting classes at AGI Performing Arts School in Atlanta, Georgia.
How supportive were your family about the decision?
My family was really supportive and helped me a lot. My aunts and mom’s friends in LA are really the reason I am still here because at first, my mom had to fly back and forth between LA and Atlanta for her job. My Auntie Angela came out to stay with me when my mom was away.
Tell us about your role in the film, “After Earth.”
I play 9-year-old Kitai Raige, the younger (Jaden Smith) in the movie. I am with my sister Senshi (Zoe Kravitz) a lot as my dad Cypher (Will Smith) is away working. I am afraid of the Ursa, so my sister has to protect me. But my dad Cypher always called and to say he loves us.
Do you share any similarities with your character?
We both are brave. I wouldn’t be afraid of trying something new, and Young Kitai would do the same.
Did you get along with Will Smith’s real life son and your co-star Jaden?
Yes we got along really well, my first day on set he asked to meet me, which was really cool because I would think it would be the other way around. That was awesome that he actually wanted to meet me and he taught me a cool handshake, but I don’t think he would remember it now.
What was it like working with Will Smith?
It was a dream come true for me because Will Smith is someone I look up to. I think he is a very wise man and I love how positive he is when giving advice or speaking in public. He was really funny, just like he was just on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Did you learn anything from working with such talented actors?
I learned that it’s okay to do a little adlib, and just go along with it. Always be in character and ready to react to what’s being said to you in the scene, because sometimes they might go beyond the scene.
What was the most memorable moment on set?
When my set teacher showed us around set and I saw all the cool things that made up the movie, “After Earth.” There were costumes, spaceships, futuristic homes, weapons and other cool things.
You are also starring in the film “Reach Me.” Tell us about your role in that
There are a lot of stars in this movie, like Kelsey Grammer, Terry Crews, Thomas Jane, Nelly, Omari Hardwick, and Sylvester Stallone [to name a few]. I play Lil Dominic (the younger Omari Hardwick), who witnesses a very memorable day of his father’s life. So I would have to say Omari was the star and I was supporting his story as his younger self.
Do you have any stories from the set of “Reach Me?”
It was so cold on set that my set teacher’s eyes where watering like she was crying, so we really stayed inside my trailer the entire time until it was time to film. I didn’t get a chance to really just hang around set. When I met Omari Hardwick I learned that he was from Atlanta just like me. I thought that was cool.
Your third film of 2013, “Mr. Monster” is an action horror film, was it difficult transitioning to the different genre of film after the other two films?
“After Earth” is an Action Sci-Fi just like “Mr. Monster”, the storyline of course was way different as “Mr. Monster” is horror as well. But no, it was not difficult. I had a little time to adjust to my new role. I just studied my character, Spindle, and really had fun on set. My scenes where with other children, so it made being on set fun, and we got to wear crazy costumes.
What can you tell us about your character in “Mr. Monster?”
Well I play Spindle; I’m a cool brave kid that all the other kids look up to. I was not afraid of the monsters, so I am the kid leader. The costumes where crazy because we were in an abandoned junkyard, so our wardrobe are things put together from the junkyard.
What do you do to do get into character before working on a project?
First I study the lines and see how the character is feeling. Then I go through the scene with the feeling in it. After, I get into character. Then I am ready
Was it difficult working on three films in one year?
No, not really because they weren’t filmed during the same time.
How do you manage to juggle school and acting?
Well I get all A’s and B’s and my school is pretty flexible. Whenever I’m going to be out my mom usually emails my teachers for my class work. Also, when I’m out longer than one week I do independent study.
Do your friends treat you differently since you started acting?
No not really, we still hang out on a regular basis and they are cool.
What has been the biggest adjustment you have had to make to accommodate your acting schedule?
Time management, I can’t watch as much TV and I do a lot of homework in the backseat of the car as well.