By Bill Vaughan
As Andre “Junior” Johnson Jr. on the long-running sitcoms “black-ish” and its spin-off “Grown-ish,” Marcus Scribner has been like that welcome family member we have watched mature before our very eyes.
Now the actor has graduated to the new role of producer for the poignant drama “How I Learned To Fly” opening Dec. 1 in theaters in which he also shares the screen with Lonnie Chavis (“This Is Us”), Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Michele Selene Ang (“13 Reasons Why”) and Cedric The Entertainer.
“When they say it’s a stressful job, they’re not kidding,” the Los Angeles native told Tasty Clips from his new residence in Brooklyn. “Of course, being able to put together any kind of squad, being able to assist creatively and making sure we’re on schedule is going to be stressful, but it was a lot of fun to learn how to do.”
In the quietly powerful debut feature film from writer/director Simon Steuri, Scribner portrays the eldest of two African-American teenage brothers who suddenly find themselves on their own after being mysteriously abandoned by their parents.
“What I love so much about it is while it is such a gut-wrenching situation and so full of heartbreak and heartache, it also is an uplifting story,” he explained about his attraction to the project. “It shows the despair and the direness of these boys’ situation, and all of the people who are trying to take advantage of them, but at the same time it also shows all of these speckles of hope in this very dark and difficult and gloomy world. It reminds you to have hope and to hold out.”
Despite now being a producer, Scribner was in full support of writers and actors during the recently ended strikes. “AI is no joke,” he said. “Fair pay when it comes to these streaming services is no joke. There were a lot of things that were just not handled properly. Obviously, it’s the turn of a new era. There are machines creating stories. Machines copying people’s likenesses and they’re not getting paid for it. I definitely was on the right side of history, I would say.”
When asked who he would like to play in a biopic, he offered some intriguing possibilities.
“People I know have said I look like Lionel Richie,” shared Scribner. “I could rock with that for sure. I’ve heard Drake. I’d try that. If there’s anybody I would really want to play it would be Muhammad Ali. He has been a great inspiration to me. That would be a dream come true.”
THAT’S THE TICKET: The smooth vocalist you may have heard on the radio with that song reminiscent of the late Marvin Gaye is going on the road. Seats go on sale Dec. 1 at BPCTickets.com for October London’s aptly titled The Rebirth of Marvin Tour with special guests J. Brown & The Shindellas stopping at the Fonda Theatre on Jan. 28.
In support of his new album “Blockbusta,” Busta Rhymes is headed on a nationwide tour with a March 15 date at the Hollywood Palladium and one the following night at Anaheim’s House of Blues. Tickets also go on sale Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. via LiveNation.com. FYI: Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Bell Biv Devoe, Eminem and more guest on the release.
TASTY QUIP: “History isn’t history anymore. Truth is not truth. Even facts are being replaced by alternative facts, and driven by conspiracy theories and ugliness. In Florida, young students are taught that slaves developed skills that could be applied for their personal benefit. The entertainment industry isn’t immune to this festering disease. The Duke, John Wayne, famously said of Native Americans, ‘I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.’” – ROBERT DE NIRO at The Gotham Awards
CLIPPETTES: Dec. 1 is the global opening day of “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” chronicling her astonishing world tour with concert footage and behind the scenes insights. To celebrate, Regal Cinemas is producing commemorative souvenir concessions for the run …
Tariq Trotter, the actor/rapper better known as Black Thought of The Roots, discusses his new book “The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are” at USC’s Bovard Auditorium on Dec. 2. Admission is free with required reservations in advance at visionsandvoices.usc.edu …
In addition, Audra McDonald is in concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Donell Jones & Dave Hollister sing at The Saban, and it is Holidays with Jennifer Holliday at Thousand Oaks’ Civic Arts Plaza Theatres (with a show the following evening at Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center) …
Fall Back In Love Comedy & Music Jam with Monica, Trey Songz, Rip Michaels, Jacquees, Bobby V, Brandon T. Jackson, and others hits Toyota Arena on Dec. 3; while Leslie Jones brings hilarity to the Kavli Theater; and South London-raised producer, composer and drummer Yussef Dayes performs selections from his album “Black Classical Music” at The Fonda …
To celebrate the success of the documentary “Love To Love You, Donna Summer,” and what would have been the singer’s 75th birthday on New Year’s Eve, the Grammy Museum hosts her daughter and film’s co-director Brooklyn Sudano, husband Bruce Sudano, and disco and electronic music trailblazer Giorgio Moroder for an intimate Q&A session Dec. 4 at the Clive Davis Theater …
Back by popular demand, the Inglewood Playhouse hosts “Gil Scott-Heron Bluesology” starring the legendary poet’s daughter Gia Scott-Heron Dec. 5–7, 11 & 13 …
Samara Joy: A Joyful Holiday featuring The McClendon Family comes to The Soraya Dec. 6 and 7 …
Tis the season for Debbie Allen’s “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.” It runs Dec. 7-10 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.
TASTY QUIP: “To go from being enslaved to empowered in the way he was, and to then have a career — a 32-year career in law enforcement in literally one of the most dangerous territories in those times — to be law enforcement in this country’s history. To have the record he had. You know, if he was white there would be monuments, there would be multiple movies, there would be graphic novels, everyone would be dressed up as him for Halloween.” – DAVID OYELOWO (producer and star of the biographical Paramount+ series “Lawmen: Bass Reeves”) to the Hollywood Reporter
TC ON TV: Dec. 1 – “Candy Cane Lane” (Prime Video): Eddie Murphy stars in his first holiday movie as a man who inadvertently makes a deal with a mischievous elf (Jillian Bell) that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life. With Tracee Ellis Ross, Chris Redd, Robin Thede, Nick Offerman, D.C. Young Fly, and David Alan Grier as Santa Claus. “May December” (Netflix): Todd Haynes latest film is a psychological drama featuring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton. “The Exorcist: Believer” (Peacock): A new sequel to the horror classic with original cast member Ellen Burstyn and Leslie Odom Jr. “The World According To Football” (SHO): A five-part documentary series narrated and executive produced by Trevor Noah that focuses on how different countries face global issues through sport. “The UnBelievable with Dan Aykroyd” (History): A one-hour nonfiction series executive produced and hosted by the award-winning actor, writer. Bizarre true stories like Boston’s Great Molasses Flood of 1919 and the killer dancing plague of 1518 are explored.
Dec. 2 – “Thriller 40” (SHO/Paramount+): Forty years after the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the best-selling album of all-time, director Nelson George takes fans back in time to the making of a pop masterpiece, featuring never-before-seen footage and candid interviews, allowing viewers to fully experience the creation of a cultural phenomenon that continues to influence the worlds of music, television, dance, fashion and more.
Dec. 5 – “Nick Cannon Presents: Future Superstars” (VH1): JD McCrary, DW Flame
Dec. 7 – “Coach Prime” (Prime Video): This season will take viewers inside the first year of Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders leading the Colorado Buffaloes with two of his transferring player sons on the field. “Never Alone For Christmas” (BET+): Mignon (“Sistas”) and Allen Maldonado (“The Wonder Years“) star in this holiday romantic comedy. “Carl Weber’s The Black Hamptons” (BET+): A second season of the drama with Lamman Rucker, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Angela “Blac Chyna” White, Brian White, Elise Neal, and new additions Richard Lawson and Flex Alexander. “Christmas at the Opry” (NBC): Wynonna hosts with performances by Kelly Clarkson, Breland, Mickey Guyton and more.
END QUOTE: “No matter what, people are going to like you or not like you. So be authentic and let them like you or not for who you actually are.” – KOBE BRYANT
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at email@example.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.