EXCLUSIVE: 5 things to know about ‘Lethal Weapon’ star Chandler Kinney

The 18-year-old actress has a very bright future.

Chandler Kinney

The season finale of Lethal Weapon airs Tuesday night and TheGrio caught up with Chandler Kinney, one of the series’ brightest stars, to find out what’s next for this rising talent.

“It has been incredible. I feel so blessed to be a part of such an incredible cast and I have really gained a family out of this experience. I have learned so much more than I ever thought I could. I spent some very pivotal teenage years working on the show and I have grown so much as an artist and as a person because we are all super close. It has been amazing,” she says before revealing she’s not sure if the show will be renewed for another season. 

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“We are still waiting to hear if there is going to be a fourth season. I’m not sure exactly when we will hear. You never know.” 

Here’s 5 things to know about the talented teen:

She’s college bound. 

“I am starting college in September at UCLA and I’m so excited. I decided to stay local so I can continue working as an actress and pursue my education simultaneously. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I’m going to do that. I’m sure it might be difficult but I am fully prepared to stay up all night and willing to work hard to make it work. I’m very ambitious and I know that if I’m passionate about something I will make it happen no matter what,” she reveals. 

“I’m planning on majoring in psychology and maybe minoring in film studies because I would definitely love to pursue directing one day. That’s the game plan as of now.” 

She treasures working with Black women. 

Chandler Kinney is well aware of the changing face of Hollywood and the important role Black women play in Tinseltown. “I’m so inspired by this movement of seeing so much more diversity behind the camera. That is critical in telling our stories properly and authentically. I hope one day I get to work with Ava DuVernay. I met her briefly and she is such a light,” she says. 

“When I’m working with a woman of color behind the scenes and talking through character developments, I always feel like I have an easier time doing that with someone I can relate to on a personal level. It’s a welcoming space in a different way. It’s nice to have a safe space to open up and be vulnerable.” 

She learned from the best.

“I loved dancing at Debbie Allen Dance Academy. i spent about five years there and it was amazing. Discipline is the biggest thing I learned and it’s what jumps out at me when I think about my time there. My time dancing there is what led to me becoming an actor. GAP was casting for a commercial and I was one of the kids they picked. It was then that I signed with a commercial agent and then a theatrical agent and started taking acting classes. I credit Debbie Allen and her wonderful husband for getting my start,” she says.

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“Debbie Allen is everything that everybody believes that she is. She’s such a well-rounded artist who has mastered acting, singing, dancing, and directing. He’s someone I look up to and I want to emulate my career after hers. She’s so intelligent and bold in her craft and she inspires me and so many others every day.”

She gives back in big ways. 

“From a very young age my parents wanted me to be involved in giving back to my community. We were always volunteering where we could and I started this organization with my mom about five years ago. It started very small and we made blankets for foster children. Since then it has grown so much and we have continued to bund relationships in different communities and now I’m at a point where I can take on bigger projects,” she explains.

“For the past three years we have held our annual toy drive and wrapping event where we donate toys to an elementary school in Carson, California. We wanted to find a school that was predominately African American and start there. Every single kid gets a brand new toy that’s beautifully wrapped and I hand each one out myself. I’m planning on tackling some other projects including a reading program that I want to launch very soon and I’m looking at building the school a STEM lab. It’s very close to my heart.” 

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She kicks ass. 

Not only is this beauty a talented dancer, but she’s also a black belt in tae kwon do and she has her sights set on starring in a superhero movie one day.

“I’m just waiting for the stars to align and the time to come when I can just do my marvel movie. I’m a huge fan of ‘Black Panther’. It was everything we needed and more. I’m so excited for ‘Captain Marvel’ to come out. I definitely want to use my skills one day,” she admits.

“Seeing more women of color playing superhero roles is so cool and so important. When I was younger I wanted to be a ninja every year for Halloween. I wanted to be someone who was smart and slick and athletic and saves the day. I think it’s really cool we actually get to see that kind of representation now. Seeing Black women being the heroes of their stories is so wonderful.”