Actress and singer Keke Palmer has gone on to become a household figure since her acting debut in “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” (2004), diving into many aspects of the entertainment business such as film, theater, music, books, and some spells on Broadway.
Palmer’s undeniable abilities, work ethic, and versatility have made her the envy of many aspiring actors who wish they could follow in her footsteps in the profession.
Not one to hoard praises for herself, the actress has now stated that her rise to the top is not self-motivated; rather, she believes she is modeling her path through the careers of numerous well-known entertainment business figures.
Keke Palmer Wants It All
Speaking with People in an exclusive interview, the actress, who has received a Primetime Emmy Award, five NAACP Image Awards, and several other nominations, called out big names whom she looks up to as she continues to etch her place in the internment business.
“We got a dash of Oprah in there. We got a dash of Queen Latifah. We got a dash of Ron Howard. We got a dash of Jordan Peele. I’m trying to just hodgepodge it all. A little Dick Clark too. Maybe a little Desi Arnaz,” she says. “Tyler Perry for sure. A little Walt Disney as well.”
While Palmer has had several encounters and collaborations with the people she noted, Perry might have had the most impact on her life, given that they first collaborated when she was still a child actor.
Perry cast Palmer as Nikki Grady, a girl who Madea takes in, in his 2006 comedy-drama “Madea’s Family Reunion,” and had only words of praise to say about the actress when he spoke with People, particularly about her drive and dedication.
“I’m a machine when I’m working,” says Perry, 52, “and she was a kid and stayed in lockstep.”
Keke Palmer’s Parents’ Role In Her Career
In her interview, Palmer also discussed the role her parents played in putting her on a path to Hollywood, as she grew up as a very active and gifted kid who needed the means to express her pent-up energy.
“I was one of those kids that were always bouncing off the walls, and I think my parents were like, ‘She’s a little crazy, but she’s gifted. Let’s try to figure out how to help her channel this.’ For me, that was the entertainment industry,” added Palmer. “In this space, my crazy is welcome.
Additionally, her mother’s phrase “Closed mouths don’t get fed,” which constantly rang in Palmer’s head, helped the actress learn early on how to shoot shots for her goals, a move Palmer has confessed to having adopted in pushing her career.
Keke Palmer Loves Shooting Her Shot For Roles
One such instance was Palmer writing to Peele about her desire to collaborate with him on another project, having first done that a decade ago on an episode of “Key & Peele.”
“I definitely did slide into his DMs, but Jordan is, like much to be expected, not on Instagram all day and during the night. So he never even saw that direct message,” said Palmer.
Though Peele did not see the note, the universe aligned for Palmer as the Oscar-award-winning director reached out himself to the actress for a collaboration in his upcoming horror movie “Nope.” Palmer will play Emerald Haywood alongside renowned British actor Daniel Kaluuya in the film, which is set for release sometime next month.
On a different occasion, she also reached out to “Insecure” creator Issa Rae, hoping to work with her in the hit series. Eventually, Palmer was cast in season five to play Kyra and took to Twitter to share the achievement at the time.
Palmer To Star In Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’
Palmer turns 29 this year and has no plans on slowing down in the entertainment industry. In addition to her upcoming role in Jordan Peele’s “Nope,” the actress recently voiced Izzy Hawthorne, an ambitious space ranger, in the “Toy Story” spinoff film “Lightyear.”
The role starred Palmer alongside Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear, a young test pilot and Galactic Ranger. Other actors include Peter Sohn, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. in supporting roles.
The plot story centered on Evans’ character being marooned on a treacherous planet with his captain and crew and their struggle to find a route back home while facing a threat in the shape of Emperor Zurg.
Most of the production process, including the animation and visual parts, was done during the COVID-19 epidemic remotely. On June 17, 2022, Lightyear was released in the United States in RealD 3D, 4DX, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX formats. It is the first Pixar movie to be shot in IMAX format.