Jahleel Kamara is Making Moves

Barring unforeseen curve balls life can always hurl our way, six-year-old Jahleel Kamara’s acting future is secure. The youngster, repped by Adunni Rose Talent Agency, has already made a positive impact by appearing in Disney+’s recent Rise, Amazon Prime’s Harlem, and feature film Nanny, a popular Sundance Film Festival entry. It’s a torrid pace for young Kamara since breaking into the business two short years ago during the pandemic’s darkest days, but he’s responded to the challenge with professionalism and poise far beyond his years.

His latest project is set to test his talents in new ways. Lionsgate recently announced Kamara’s participation in their upcoming thriller Shadow Force, and he’s set to work alongside some of television and the film world’s best modern talents. Kerry Washington, Omar Sy, and Cliff “Method Man” Smith all star, among many others. The plot centers on the illicit romance between Washington and Sy’s characters, members of a multinational special forces unit, and the ensuing pursuit that results when the aforementioned characters refuse to renounce their relationship.

It is the sort of story that’s proven perennially popular over film history. Forbidden lovers warring against faceless forces intent on keeping them apart is a narrative as old as literature, as old as theatre, and it is an excellent proving ground for promising young talents such as Kamara. He’s living in a period of his life when rehearsals are more important than recesses, but the kid remains grounded in ways that will keep surprising everyone he meets.

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He is a kid, at the end of the day, however. It’s that quality, however, providing the finishing touch for Kamara as a performer. He knows what adults see in children, how to play into that, and how to give it variation and layers within the context of a film or television script. His surprising maturity and his natural child-like tendencies are working in near-perfect concert with one another at this point and producing fantastic results.

Anyone watching Jahleel Kamara can expect that trend to continue. You can tell from the quality of the film and television work he’s landing that there is solid adult direction helping him make the right choices and the cliches of child actors from days of yore don’t apply here. Instead, we see a young film and television performer, growing bolder by the day, and yet experiencing as much of childhood as possible along the way.

It’s a winning combination. He’s already racking up a diverse assortment of roles, as well, rather than always slotting into some sort of preordained Hollywood stereotype. It’s a reflection of how our culture and arts have advanced in the right ways rather than providing yet another object lesson for naysayers. Jahleel Kamara enjoys opportunities his predecessors did not, and they are earned and well-deserved. This six-year old is far from garden variety. He has a long career of achievement in front of him, there’s no doubt of that, but it is equally certain his life is bright with promise. 

Michael Rand

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