Magazine article Variety

Shamon Brown Jr

Magazine article Variety

Shamon Brown Jr

Article excerpt

Shamon brown jr. started in the industry at age 5, racking up credits that range from commercials to local plays to guest spots on network dramas including "Chicago Fire." Now, at just 13 years old, he is getting buzz as Papa, the smart and funny sidekick on Lena Waithe's "The Chi." On the show he has provided much needed levity - starting with the third episode, "Quaking Grass," in which he led a dance party - to an otherwise often dark look at South Side Chicago.

BROWN: "My agent in Chicago sent me an audition for Papa, and I went and they loved the way I did it. It was a couple more callbacks, which first I was like, 'Oh God, OK, I actually have a shot, so let me do this right.' I kept memorizing my lines, I kept listening to the feedback my mom and family members had about how to do the part. And in one of the last auditions Lena and [executive producer] Common were in the room and they loved how I did it. They said 'Keep up the good work, we'll talk to you soon,' and sooner or later I got the part as Papa.

"Since this is my first breakout speaking role, it was definitely a good experience to see how filming would go - how the whole process is like - table reads and being on set with the cast and everything. It was just amazing.

"We're definitely like family. When everyone was in Chicago to film we hung out after, so that's why our chemistry is good - they say our chemistry is good on the show. We definitely hung out after, and our whole bond with each other is just incredible. …

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