Martin is being featured in Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 class of 2018, highlighting the little lady’s big moves in Hollywood.
Coming up in April 2019, Martin plans to release the movie ‘Little’ in theaters.
“I hope that [in 21 years] we won’t even have to be a first anymore: first black woman to do this, or first black male, or first woman to do that,” Martin tells Teen Vogue. “I hope that we always have diversity, that we have equality and representation every step of the way.”
Martin started her own production company, an idea, she says, that bubbled up when she was just two years old.
“My parents and I always look at movies and just think, what’s missing? from the plot to the people of color or diversity in general,” she says.
The Dallas native moved to LA when she was five to tackle her acting dreams. In just a little over three months, Martin had achieved more than most struggling actors do in a lifetime – secure a pivotal TV role is now one of the most decorated TV sitcoms to hit the ABC network.
Martin secured the role as the twin Diane Johnson and she even landed a national commercial campaign with Meineke — before she even turned 10.
Little is said to be a comedy about a woman who receives the chance to relive the life of her younger self, at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear. Issa Rae signed on as a co-star and the movie is being produced by Will Packer (Girls Trip and Think Like a Man).
“There were a lot of movies [where someone goes] from younger to older, older to younger, or they switch into some other body, but there weren’t any with a black perspective,” Marsai explains. “You never see our story. So we thought how about we do it this way?”
With the help of Packer and Kenya Barris, the creator of Black-ish, Martin’s idea was brought to the attention of Universal Pictures.
“It’s such a blessing and I’m so thankful that they were willing to listen to a little black girl from Texas,” Marsai says. “I was 9 or 10 when I pitched the film. I’m so grateful they trusted me with this idea and that as an executive producer I have so much input into the making of the film.”
“People look at this 10-year-old girl or 14-year-old girl and seem to think, She’s so small, what does she know?” Marsai says. “My peers are still growing and they have so many ideas, too. Sure, we can’t drink or drive, but we can do the same things adults can. When they recognize us for what we’re actually doing, they’ll see us in a different light. That actually motivates me to keep going.”