2013 Holiday Movie Guide

Meet Jacob Latimore

The 17-year old singer/actor stars in the new holiday musical film, Black Nativity

December 16, 2013
COURTESY FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES

Jacob Latimore (far left) performs with Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, and Forest Whitaker in a scene from Black Nativity.

You may not know his name yet, but watch out for Jacob Latimore. The 17-year-old R&B/pop singer and actor is currently starring in Black Nativity, a modern-musical update of the 1961 play by Langston Hughes. The PG movie, directed by Kasi Lemmons, is in theaters now. Next year, Jacob can be seen in The Maze Runner, based on a best-selling book. He also has a recording contract with RCA Records and hopes to release his debut album soon.

TFK spoke to Jacob about his starring role in Black Nativity. The actor plays Langston, a teenager who lives with his single mom (played by Jennifer Hudson) in Baltimore, Maryland. Langston meets his grandparents, Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (played by Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett) for the first time when he travels to New York City to spend Christmas with them. “Langston has a really great relationship with his mother,” Jacob told TFK. “He is curious to know who [the rest of] his family is.” Keep reading to find out more about Jacob and his new movie.

TFK:

What does Langston experience when he meets his grandparents in the film?

JACOB LATIMORE:

He learns the value of family and how important they are. He finds out what happened in the past, why he never really knew them. Some family secrets get revealed. His grandfather starts to teach him how to have faith and that everything will be all right.

TFK:

How do you relate to Langston?

JACOB:

I relate to the relationship he has with his mother, and to his artistic side. If you pay attention, in Langston’s room, there are a bunch of celebrities on the wall. You see he is very creative, so I can relate to Langston that way too. But I've always had a great relationship with my family, so to relate to that was something I really had to dig for.

Jacob Latimore records a song in the studio for Black Nativity.

COURTESY FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Jacob Latimore records a song in the studio for Black Nativity.

TFK:

Why did you want to play this role?

JACOB:

First, the cast was incredible. Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett—when you have the opportunity to audition for them, you just don't pass it up. Also, the movie’s message is relatable for all races. I am just so happy to be a part of it.

TFK:

What was your favorite scene to film?

JACOB:

The last scene of the movie, with all of us in the church. All the family secrets get revealed, and we sing “Be Grateful.” We all have our solo moments in the rest of the movie, but when we all sing together, that's a memory for sure.

TFK:

What did you think of the process of making a musical film?

JACOB:

I never imagined doing a holiday musical. I started out doing music, and I still continue to do music, so to do a film with such great musicians and actors, I couldn't really ask for a better platform. I definitely gave it my all. The recording process was very natural, since I started being in the studio at a young age. It felt good. 

TFK:

You have a background in R&B. What inspired you to get into music?

JACOB:

My family is very musical. My dad and uncles formed a gospel quartet called The Latimore Brothers that is still going. So when I was younger, I was always looking up to them and watching them in rehearsals. At 9, I started getting into the studio. Everything developed from there.

TFK:

Is there an entertainer whose career you admire?

JACOB:

Right now, I would say Justin Timberlake. I feel like he is really balancing out the film and music very well. Also Will Smith. He's more of an actor first.

TFK:

When you are not acting or studying, what do you like to do during your downtime on set?

JACOB:

I love to eat craft [services] food on set. I was tearing up the chewy bars and granola bars [while filming Black Nativity]. I was eating so much, they were making special food packages for me.

TFK:

What other projects are you working on?

JACOB:

I have a mix tape out now called This is Me: Volume 2. I wanted to get content out to my fans because I've been doing movies this whole year, so I want to show them the growth and to make some relatable music. You can get that now for free on jacoblatimoremixtapes.com. I'm in a movie called The Maze Runner that comes out next September. It has great cast. And I have a cameo in Kevin Hart’s movie Ride Along, which is really fun. The scene we have is just hilarious. He's my favorite comedian.

TFK:

What message do you think people will take away from Black Nativity?

JACOB:

Everybody has flaws, and this family is so relatable because broken families are very common. This family comes together through the spirit of forgiveness and faith.


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