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Legends: Who They Are – Sonequa Martin-Green | The University of Alabama

Legends: Who They Are – Sonequa Martin-Green | The University of Alabama

(upbeat music) – Well, I grew up in
Russellville, Alabama. I decided to go to the
University of Alabama because I had decided
pretty late in the game, when I was about 16, that
I wanted to be an actor, that, that was the calling of my life. And I realized that the
University of Alabama had one of the best theater departments. I said, “Well, that’s where I need to go.” That’s how it came to
be, me on the computer, trying to find the best place to go. And I found this gem. When I found out that
the University of Alabama was the best choice for me, I
was excited to make that move. I was excited to, sort of, fly away, and be on my own and come into my own. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect going into it as an actor. I didn’t have much understanding of the sort of general
education that you have to get. So I remember when I first
started, I remember thinking, “Why am I not learning
how to be an actor yet?” ‘Cause I didn’t understand the value of everything that you
have to learn beforehand. The sort of groundwork
that has to be laid, the foundation that has to be laid. There were so many people
that I am so grateful for, I will be forever grateful for, who shaped me, who believed
in me, who inspired me, who taught me, and changed
me in a major, permanent way. Every professor that
I had did that for me, they were so passionate,
they were so involved, they were in there. My favorite role that I played was, Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet”. And that was, Seth Panitch, who decided to put me in and make Mercutio a woman. And it, still to this day,
is one of my favorite roles. I talk about it to this day. I look back on it so fondly. It was quite a revolution
for me at the time. And it was a sort of springboard for me. I had decided to move to
Los Angeles to pursue acting and I was not gonna
change my mind about that. Everybody said, because of who I am, because of the actor that I am, because of how I see
myself, how I see the craft, and because of my training, that I would be more received in New York. And it was in New York still, that I decided, that I realized God was pushing me in a different direction. And he was using all these
amazing people around me, to persuade me to do that. Because it ended up
being the tipping point. It was the beginning of
everything that came after it. Because I was able to establish myself in such a major way in New York City. My first big break was most
definitely, “Toe to toe”. It was a film that I did by writer, director, producer, Emily Abt. It was this amazing coming-of-age story. We ended up at Sundance,
in the competition, and we’re Grand Jury Prize nominee. And that was everything, that
was the beginning of it all. Getting that start in New
York City as a young artist, coming right out of college, struggling, and growing further and expanding further because New York City does that to you. It was just everything, and I owe it all to those voices that were in my ear, and that reached my heart back then. So I’m just so grateful for everyone who believed in me and took the time on me and spoke to me and
uplifted me and taught me, I owe it to them. I owe it to God and I owe it to them. (upbeat music)

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