Keke Palmer, who is the first African-American to play the role on Broadway, graces the January cover of Essence and looking fierce! The actress-singer has admitted in the past that she didn’t celebrate the coup at first, but she’s opening up now about her time as the beloved Disney character who has been renamed “Ella.”
In an interview with Essence, the 21-year-old Just Keke host reveals the hardships she had to overcome in order to be “seen.”
“I know that the role of Cinderella is primarily for a Caucasian girl, but it didn’t stop me from going in and it didn’t stop them from seeing me,” she tells the magazine. “There is a bit of intimidation. You think about Denzel [Washington], Viola Davis, and you think, ‘Only great people can do Broadway.’ That was the scariest thing about it, but I’m the type who thrives on pressure…”
The star also reveals that she just recently went through a breakup but has been handling it well, and even learned a little bit more about herself.
“I realized that I’m a lot freer of a spirit. That was the beginning of me standing up for myself,” she says, adding, “I would love to have somebody but this is such a great time in my life, in my career. I really am liking myself.”
As she should! She is a triple threat, after all–she can dance, sing and act!
Real it is, Keke! The star debuted in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Sept. 9 along side Sherri Shepherd and NeNe Leakes, who play her evil stepmother, Madame.
You go Girl!!!