She set the bar sky high!
Born Caila Marsai Martin in Plano, Texas, the young actress started her career when she was just a child, Marsai.com reports. She landed her first national commercial when she was five, relocating to Los Angeles in 2013 and landing a national commercial campaign within her first 100 days in the new city. She would get her big break in Kenya Barris’ hit ABC comedy Black-ish for her role as Diane Johnson; the show ran for 8 seasons before its ending last year. She used her time wisely, spring boarding herself into the echelons of Black Hollywood and utilizing her platform to keep the Black excellence going. Here are 5 good reasons Marsai Martin deserves her flowers this Women’s History Month:
Martin made history as the youngest person to executive produce a studio film.
At the age of 14, Martin made history as the youngest person to executive produce a studio film. Little featured Martin alongside Hollywood heavyweights Regina Hall and Issa Rae. Not only did she hold her own, the film grossed nearly $49 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.
While grateful for the success, Martin spoke to reporters, saying that she hopes her accomplishments means there will be more equality and inclusion, thus eliminating the need for any more “firsts,” AfroTech reports.
“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 the first woman to do that. I hope that we always have diversity, that we have equality and representation every step of the way,” said Martin.
She also made history as the youngest person to sign a first-look production deal with a major studio.
Not one to slow down, she made history again that same year when she signed a first-look production deal with Universal, the youngest person in history to ever forge such a partnership with any major studio.
"I am so excited for the magic I'll be able to create and produce with Universal…[Their] commitment to investing in and uplifting diverse and young voices is both refreshing and important, and I'm happy to be a part of that legacy. My goal is to show young women and girls that our voices and ideas matter and you are never too young to dream BIG!," Martin said.
Martin is an award-winning actress.
Martin has been Emmy-nominated for her work in Black-ish and won nearly a dozen NAACP Image Awards, including one for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and another Young Artists Award for Best Performance in a TV Series. She’s also won a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BET Award, and been named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.
She’s a beauty entrepreneur.
“I'm an artist at heart, and expressing myself through nails has always been a huge source of creativity for me. Having a fresh set of nails makes me feel like I am empowered to take on anything, and I've created these designs to share that feeling with you,” a message from Martin on the site reads.
Martin is using her platform to create more inclusivity in television and film.
In 2019, Martin launched Genius Productions, a company focused on telling unique and innovative stories. The following year, she announced her first unscripted series, focusing on trailblazing Black women across sectors. Her newest series, Saturdays, is set to release March 24th on Disney. The comedy focuses on a teen girl named Paris who is a member of a competitive roller skating team. While enjoying her childhood, Paris also has to deal with the challenges of having sickle cell disease and navigating that reality. Martin’s commitment to diversity and joy in her work is incredible, and it's something she prides herself in.
“I have a couple of rules when you come into my office. When you come into my office, don’t give me this - I don’t do Black pain. If it’s Black pain, I don’t go for it because there’s so many films and projects about that, so that’s not who I am,” Martin told reporters.
In honor of Marsai’s brilliance and pioneering excellence, we honor her this Women’s History Month. Because of her, we can!
5 good reasons Marsai Martin deserves her flowers this Women’s History Month/Photo Courtesy of @MarsaiMartin/Instagram