The Executive Tea Sits Down With Elijah Boothe
By: Stephen Hladik
Elijah Boothe rose to prominence for his role on Netflix's Marvel's "Luke Cage", where he starred as a Young Cottonmouth, who's older incarnation was played by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. Since then, he's starred in movies with prominent actors such as Molly Ringwald and Timothee Chalamet, as well as working on an upcoming EP. The Executive Tea recently caught up with actor Elijah Boothe to discuss his work on Marvel's Luke Cage, career ups and downs, and his other upcoming projects.
1. Where did you grow up? Did you always want to be in the entertainment industry?
I grew up in Jackson, New Jersey. At a young age I knew I had a passion for the arts, but I kind of just fell into it all.
2. When did you start performing?
I’ve honestly been performing all my life but professional, I started when I was just 10 years old.
3. Was your family/community always supportive of your aspirations?
Absolutely! I come from a very creative family. We all grew up singing gospel in the church so I think that may have sparked something.
4. What was your first professional gig?
My first gig was actually a pharmaceutical commercial! I was very into commercial and print when I was younger. Then I realized that I really wanted to transition into telling real stories that would evoke change, and make people feel something.
5. Tell me a bit about your interest in fashion and the clothing you design/model? What do you look for in clothes or a designer?
I’ve always been drawn to fashion, and the sense of individuality it brings. When I’m looking at various collections I always look for unique pieces. I’m drawn to originality.
6. Tell me a bit about your musical interests? Are you currently working on any material?
Yes I am and I can’t wait to release it. I’m currently working on my EP produced by Grammy Winner Knxwledge.
7. Considering your primarily an actor, I'd love to know about some of your favorite projects that you've worked on?
One of my favorites was definitely Luke Cage. I’ve always been a fan of the Marvel Universe, and it was a blast getting to work with Mahershala Ali, and so many other greats.
8. Who is the person you've learned from the most in the industry and outside it? Who inspires you?
There’s so many! Mahershala Ali, Tasha Smith, Latanya Jackson, and the list goes on. But I think the most influential person in my career has been my mother Clara Boothe. Since I started very young, she was like my momager coming up in the industry. And one of the biggest lessons she’s taught me, and continues to tell me is to know my worth and never settle for less than I deserve in this business.
9. How has New York played a role in your career. You do lots of filming and fashion work in the city. Talk a bit about your relationship to NY and how it inspires/plays a part in your career.
I’ll always have a great deal of respect for New York just because that’s where I got my start. The one thing I’ve always appreciated about the city is the drive. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere!
10. What are some things you are currently working on?
I actually just joined the cast of a new series coming to TIDAL called The Line Up alongside so amazing actors and actresses. The Line Up is a story about various women who use their street smarts, wit, and sexual energy to dominate men. The women in this story know how to use what they have to get them what they want, and that's money, power, and respect. I play Crit on the show.