You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amandla Stenberg: Hungry star plays ‘Games’

Youth Impact Report 2011: Up Next

Amandla (which means “power” in Zulu) Stenberg was well named. The tyro, who turns 13 this month, was just 3 when she announced to her surprised parents that she wanted to act and needed an agent.

“The daughter of one of my mom’s friends was doing commercials, and when I heard about it, I said, ‘You’ll see me on TV.’?”

True to her word, Stenberg landed her first Disney catalog modeling shoot at 4 and went on to score numerous national spots for McDonald’s, KFC and Walmart. Last year she shot her first feature, “Colombiana,” playing Zoe Saldana as a child, and got to do some of her own stunts.

“I really got into the role with all the jumping and running and copying all Zoe’s mannerisms,” she recalls.

Stenberg then changed gears, playing the “fun, outgoing Taylor” in the Hallmark Channel movie “Taste of Romance,” before landing the coveted role of Rue in Lionsgate’s upcoming “The Hunger Games.”

“Rue’s the emotional heart of the film, very sweet, and I loved playing her,” reports Stenberg who admits there’s “a lot of her in me. She’s like a bird — quick and very independent.”

More Voices

  • Ellen Sitcom Original TV Show

    GLAAD Chief: Hollywood Needs to Continue Playing a Role in LGBTQ Progress

    This Pride Month is not only about celebrating — it’s also about reflecting how far LGBTQ acceptance has come since the Stonewall riots catalyzed the LGBTQ movement 50 years ago, and about honoring the trailblazers and leaders who propelled LGBTQ visibility and issues forward in what many social justice experts describe as relatively lightning speed.   [...]

  • Matthew Shepard MOth Judy LGBT Activist

    Matthew Shepard's Mother: Why Hate Crime Is Only Conquered When We Speak Up

    In January, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett reported a violent attack at the hands of two men outside his Chicago apartment building. Local police and prosecutors said Smollett fabricated the event, which the actor still vehemently denies. More than a dozen criminal charges, including falsifying a police report, were filed and later dropped by state attorneys. [...]

  • Stonewall Riots 50 Years Later

    What the Stonewall Riots Mean 50 Years Later

    For one to fully understand the impact of the Stonewall riots, it is important to comprehend the darkness that LGBTQ Americans faced every day of their lives in the years leading up to Stonewall. Allow me to take you back to the 1950s and ’60s, when I was coming of age as a closeted gay [...]

  • Marc Malkin Aids Life Cycle

    How I Learned to Let Go of My Shame and Embrace Being HIV-Positive (Column)

    I knew better. At least I was supposed to know better. I was just coming out of the closet in the late ’80s when both of my mother’s brothers died of AIDS. It was the darkest days of the epidemic. Uncle David wasn’t even 40 when he passed away in my grandmother’s arms in 1989. Two [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content