Actress Adriyan Rae Talks Upcoming Film 'Super Fly' & Her Experience Attending a STEM-Driven University (Exclusive Q&A)

As far as up-and-coming actresses go, Adriyan Rae is the one to watch. Having made her film debut in Burning Sands at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, she hasn't stopped since, and went on to land roles in FX's AtlantaStar on FOX and IFC's Brockmire

Her Campus chatted with Adriyan about her amazing role in the upcoming flick Super Fly, her transition from studying science and medicine to pursuing the Hollywood dream, her future goals as an actress and a singer, and more.

Her Campus: You’ve been extremely busy with new TV and film projects, including Sony Pictures film Super Fly, premiering on June 13. Can you tell us about both your character and the film?

Adriyan Rae: My character's name is Candace, and Candace is your typical girl. She's out celebrating her birthday, and she's in the wrong place at the wrong time. I guess she's caught in the crossfire, which is a key element to the actual film of showing how the things that go on with Super Fly and gang-related violence can affect a community. It was really cool to be a part of. Super Fly is a remake of the 1972 film, and even though an older film is being remade today, it's still very much a part of our culture and what we're going through today. It's going to be great and beautiful, and I'm excited for everyone to see it.  

HC: What was it like working alongside Jennifer Morrison? Is there anything you learned about acting from working with her?

AR: I personally didn't have any scenes with her, but I think she's really great. I just learned to completely submerge myself in the character by just watching her submerge herself into characters, being the detective or whatever. She's so ridiculously talented.

HC: You’ve had the chance to learn from actors including AIfre Woodard, Janet Hubert and Carl Payne. Is there anyone else you’re dying to work with in the future?

AR: I am dying to work with Viola Davis, and I absolutely, positively love—because I got to work with Queen Latifah—Denzel Washington, as well.

HC: You originally went to University of the Sciences in Philadelphia to pursue a degree in the medical field. Was there a point in college when you realized that you wanted to be in the entertainment industry, or did that come after graduation?

AR: It was in the middle of college actually. I was presented the opportunity to sign with a record label to sing, and I was like, "Okay Mom, I'm out of here! School is not for me anymore!" She was like, "No you're not. You're going to finish, thank you very much." I finished and as soon I as took the boards to become a scientist and pressed the button that said "pass," I was like, "Okay Mom, I have the degree. I'm moving. I'm moving to Atlanta to be a singer." I still got a job in science, and I'm glad I did it. At my professional school, our majors are what we're going to grow up to be. It's not like we can major in journalism or anything. You can't do that. You have to major in physician's assistant or occupational therapy. Those are your majors. It's very professionally driven. There weren't any theater classes offered, so it was in the universe for me to do it because I definitely wasn't supposed to in school.

HC: Do you regret pursuing a field you may not ever have a job in?

AR: I'm glad I went. It gave me a lot of life lessons, and it makes so much sense now that I'm doing what I'm doing. It also allowed me to take the things that I've been through and put them in my acting—like the times where I just felt completely alone. There's a time in your freshman year of college where you just feel like, "Holy crap, I'm by myself. My family's gone. These people are asking all this stuff of me. I don't know what the heck class is about. I feel like I'm going to fail." You just want to cry in the corner, right? There are times in scenes where you have to feel completely by yourself and need to cry. I have all these memories and all these experiences to pull from. I feel like there was a reason I had to go through it. I don't regret it at all.

HC: What advice would you give a young woman who is hesitant to change career paths?

AR: My advice would be to follow your heart because the world is going to tell you one thing, but the thing we should strive for in life should be to follow our passion and pursue that. Within our passion is what we're supposed to do while we're here. I think everyone should follow their heart.

HC: Are there any goals as an actress or a singer that you hope to achieve in the future?

AR: I would like to be a household name and be an action hero, so anything Star Wars-related would be amazing. I want to be able to help my family financially and be able to support myself financially just from acting.


[ mood ] thank you all for EVERY DM, Instastory, text, call, FaceTime! Literally y’all make my heart full. So grateful and appreciative for all the love, support, and motivational words. #Atlanta is dear to my heart, these #MelaninGoddesses are dear to my heart, the cast, crew- PHENOMENAL! As big as the show is, it’s crazy and heart warming how tight knit everyone is and soooo humble and dope! So thank you. John, Donald, Amy, Ibra, Alex, Zazie, Danielle, Gail, Brian, LaKeith, Jermey, Shunika, Tiff, Ari, Shantel, Rasheena, Z, Niecy, Denise, Grace, EVERYONE! WE DID THAT! #ForTheCulture ________________________________________________________ #LoveandLight #AdriyanRae #ARae #BlackGirlMagic #AtlantaFx #ChampagnePapi

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