March 10, 2021
Actress Teyonah Parris recently added the TV miniseries "WandaVision" to her impressive filmography. Find out all about the actress and her journey so far as a rising star.
With strong performances in movies like Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq," "Dear White People," and "If Beale Street Could Talk" and shows like "Survivor's Remorse" and "Mad Men," actress Teyonah Parris has proved that she is an actress worth the accolade that she gets.
Recently, she starred in the Disney+ miniseries "WandaVision" as the adult version of Captain Marvel's child character, Monica Rambeau. Parris has had a rather intriguing journey as an actress over the years.
BEFORE ACTING, THERE WERE PAGEANTS
From a young age, Parris has always had that star quality. Even as a little girl, the desire to appeal to an audience had been potent, and her first try at doing so was through pageants.
Young Parris spent most of her younger years competing in pageants in South Carolina, performing for an audience in one way or the other.
Teyonah Parris during an appearance on Screen Master | Photo: YouTube/Screen Master
Despite her family not having the funds to push a more glamorous pageantry career, they still made do with what they had, giving her the best chance at all times. In the captivating Teyonah Parris interview with Coveteur, the former pageant bee revealed:
"It was so expensive though. So my mom would do my makeup, and I would wear some of her clothes. [...] But it was fun, and I enjoyed the competition of it all."
Sadly, Parris soon realized that she had to find a way to connect with an audience besides pageantry. Being in a pageant seldom allowed her to speak.
The actress was elated that she tried jumping off a flight of stairs, already imagining herself as her character
After figuring out that simply looking incredible would not cut it for her, the South Carolina-born starlet found her way to her middle school drama club, and thus Teyonah, the actress, was born!
"CHI-RAQ" WAS A NOBLE MISSION
Teyona Parris's "Chi-Raq" performance was nothing short of breathtaking. Excellence, perfection, brilliance, and most importantly, passion — Parris brought more than enough sizzle to the screen in the Spike Lee-directed movie.
Still, beyond her excellent acting skills, there was a noble cause. Lee, a sensational filmmaker in the industry, reportedly met with Parris after choosing the movie and told her the importance of the film portrayed.
Their goal was to save lives with the powerful plot, and the life-saving artistry only drew Parris in more. Safe to say, the strong message they passed across did its job.
SHE ALMOST MISSED "MAD MEN"
Fate has a mysterious way of making things happen. Parris's breakout role was in the AMC drama series "Mad Men" from 2012 until 2015 as Dawn Chambers.
Interestingly, she almost never got it. Being an actor is hard. Trying to break out is hard and even when that is conquered, trying to stay on top of the game is even harder.
Before she landed her role on "Mad Men," Parris, who worked hard to hone her acting skills in Juilliard, was at her wit's ends with frustration. Audition after audition, she still could not get a single callback.
Finally done with the rejection and disappointments, she decided to say goodbye to her career before it even started. She booked a trip to India like her friends were doing with the last of her money.
When she got a call for the "Mad Men" audition, the actress was so close to boycotting it for India, uninterested in getting another rejection. Luckily, she didn't.
MORE IN STORE FOR PARRIS
Teyonah Parris's "WandaVision" journey is unchartered terrain for the actress, albeit exciting and promising, to say the least. It is even more exciting to see that the 33-year-old has plenty more of such exciting and promising projects waiting for her in the future.
Parris, who played Missy Vaughn in "Survivor's Remorse" and Detective Pamela Rose in Fox's" "Empire," will appear in the 2021 horror/thriller movie "Candyman."
AN EXCITING COLLABORATION AWAITS
Besides her upcoming role in "Candyman," Parris is also set to star in the Netflix sci-fi mystery "They Cloned Tyrone," alongside Hollywood great Jamie Foxx and British-Nigerian actor John Boyega.
HER PASSION FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
With roles in "Mad Men" and "Chi-Raq," it is not surprising that Parris has an unbridled passion for speaking out against racial injustice and its effects on lives.
GETTING A ROLE ON "WANDAVISION"
It is not every day an actor gets signed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so when Parris found out that she had been chosen to star in "WandaVision," her hilarious reaction was more or less understandable.
The actress was elated that she tried jumping off a flight of stairs, already imagining herself as her character whose superpower is flight. Thanks to her family, the brief moment of overexcitement was quickly reined into a more sane celebration.
"WandaVision" chronicles the super-powered characters Wanda and Vision living idealized suburban lives in a faux reality that is not quite what it should be. With that under her belt, the future certainly looks bright for Parris.