In this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with the multi-talented actor, writer, and entrepreneur, Allen Maldonado. During this all-encompassing interview, the trio discusses Allen’s upbringing in Compton (CA) until he was 7, and his move to Rialto after a neighbor was killed. He tells the story of a marathon he competed in with no prior training — including breaking his foot before crossing the finish line in last place. Allen reflects on his recent visit to Spain, and having an awakening there, returning home with a new perspective on balancing work and personal life. Later the conversation touches on Allen’s love of short films, the influence producer Kenya Barris is having on American culture, and how ‘Black-ish’ has been so successful in tackling difficult social topics.
Allen also talks about visiting his family in Alabama and having eye-opening conversations about his aunt’s and uncle’s experiences with extreme racism while growing up in the deep south during the ’50s and ’60s. He goes on to talk about working with Tracy Morgan in ‘The Last O.G.’, his early acting stint in the soap opera, ‘The Young & The Restless’, and having a near-death experience after getting hit by a car while he was walking away from acting class. Allen also speaks on lessons learned from Denzel Washington on ‘The Equalizer‘ and touches on his foundation “Demo Nerds” — teaching acting to at-risk youth. Finally, the multi-talented star speaks on the honor of getting his chance to be a part of the Marvel Universe, acting in the short film ‘All Hail the King’, alongside Ben Kingsley.