No one could be more ecstatic about participating in the Studio 11 Films’ The Promise, than Ni’Erica Brooks. Hailing from West Palm Beach, Fla., she’s a dynamic performer who’s spent a significant amount of time in Atlanta, where she’s been fortunate to continue polishing her craft as an actress. Brooks was tapped to play the role of Crackhead Keke in the groundbreaking film, which is also sponsored by Blue Print Studios.
As the first African American transgender actress, she has met challenges along the journey to the big screen, but she’s resilient and undaunted. She credits her success to God’s blessing and working with many A-list actors and actresses. Brooks’ determination has opened a door that garnered her the privilege of working with LisaRaye McCoy in The Promise. McCoy served as a mentor for the film.
Zodiac sign: Leo — I’m a lioness who not only rules my jungle, but one day I will rule the screen.
Why did you take this role?
As a great actress, I challenge myself to play different roles. I took [this role] as a challenge to myself and my skills as an actress.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actress?
As a young actress, I looked up to the works of Kim Fields, Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Richard Pryor, Regina King, Martin Lawrence and Lucille Ball. These incredible individuals, plus other actors and actresses, have been my source of inspiration in choosing acting as my career.
The one movie you attended that you will never forget:
Ghostbusters. I know, I know, you’re thinking “Why Ghostbusters?” It may have not been the best movie, but it is the one movie that is attached to a precious moment. Ghostbusters was the first movie that my father and I went to see together.
Your personal acting idol(s):
Last good movie you saw:
Something Borrowed. For me, the movie displayed a forbidden love that persevered in the end.
Some films you consider classics:
Little Shop of Horrors, The Oz, Cinderella, What’s Love Got to Do with It, Waiting to Exhale, and Sound of Music
Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Pooch Hall, Tyler Perry, Morris Chestnut and many more.
Performers I’d like to work with:
Tyler Perry, Angela Bassett, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Janet Jackson, Tichina Arnold, Morris Chestnut, Queen Latifah, Michael Ealy, and many, many, many more actors, directors, and producers
Previous, Current, and Upcoming Works:
I was casted as Pinky in my first independent short film called The Black Book. In this film, I had the opportunity to work with Brad James, Al G (director), and Demi Chanel (writer). More recently, I appeared in a television show as a church member for “The Game.” On set, I worked with Pooch Hall, Tia Mowry-Hardict, and Ray Davis. In addition to “The Game,” I’ve had a role in “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” This summer, you will be able to catch me in “Love Atlanta Style” (season 2), and “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.” I will also be appearing in other summer attraction titled The Neighborhood Watch starring Ben Steeler; Coming Correct starring Tommy Ford and Cole Pain; and A Time to Love directed by Q.
Atlanta, New York City, Hollywood, Palm Beach and Miami Beach
First CD, tape or LP you owned:
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
My passion to perform started as a child. My performing experiences started with signing and developed into singing and acting. As a child in preschool, I wanted to be known for singing “The Alphabet Song” the best. In the first grade, I had the privilege of performing the song “FAME.” It wasn’t “The Alphabet Song,” but it did aid me in winning second place in my school’s talent show.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
At the present time, I’ve been blessed not to have any mishaps. I study and review my scripts thorough to make sure I won’t have any mishaps. Hopefully, the blessings keep falling and it will remain that I don’t have any missed cues or mishaps.
Most challenging role you have played:
As of now, I haven’t had the chance to play a challenging role. I will say, when the opportunity of a challenging role presents itself, I will be ready and willing to execute the challenge head on.
Worst job you ever had:
My motto is “If it’s not performing, I’m not doing it.”
Career you would want if not a performer:
I honestly cannot see myself doing anything but performing.
Three things you can’t live without:
Performing, money and family