When True Whitaker was successful the 3rd grade, she had a schoolhouse biography project. The duty was to prime a celebrated person, bash immoderate research, and constitute a small spot astir their life. Pretty mean worldly for an 8-year-old, and, 1 would think, a alternatively elemental task for a kid whose dada is Forest Whitaker.
“It was astir the clip my dada was shooting ‘The Last King of Scotland,’” True, present 23, told The Post. “My mom, my sisters, my member and I flew retired to sojourn him successful Uganda.”
Now for the crippled twist: “He was having a gathering with Nelson Mandela.
“So I got to beryllium and speech to Nelson Mandela, and I was capable to interrogation Winnie Mandela, who was his woman astatine the time. There’s a photograph of maine and Nelson Mandela holding hands and talking, and I’m, like, 8 years old,” she laughed. “I privation I was older truthful I could person truly understood the value — however insane and iconic that infinitesimal was. Those types of experiences I’ll cherish forever.”
Such is the beingness of a personage scion, and a refreshingly self-aware 1 astatine that. True, the youngest of 4 children, was raised successful Los Angeles by her mother, histrion Keisha Nash-Whitaker, and her actor/director/screenwriter/producer dad, who has co-starred successful “Panic Room,” “Black Panther,” “The Butler” and countless different films.
“I consciousness similar I’m fractional my ma and fractional my dad. My ma has enactment a batch of her vigor into me. She’s precise outgoing, precise comic … I consciousness similar the comedic broadside of maine has been perpetuated by my mom,” said True of Keisha, who divided from Forest past year. “My dada is comic too, but he’s a small much quiescent successful nationalist spaces. My ma is ever connected 10, successful a bully way.”
True has inherited a batch of traits from her father, too: “My wit and my empathy. I consciousness similar he’s taught maine and my member and sisters to attack beingness with a consciousness of knowing and openness to antithetic types of radical successful this satellite — to clasp antithetic types of people, with antithetic energies and from antithetic walks of life.
“I’ve ever been truly adjacent with some of my parents. Sometimes a small excessively close, maybe—I consciousness similar I stock everything with them. Even if it’s like, ‘Oh, Dad, I followed a cute feline [on societal media] today!’” added True, who is single. “It’s virtually conscionable thing and everything. But I emotion that I consciousness similar I tin conscionable beryllium myself and not beryllium frightened of being judged by my parents. I’m truly grateful for the adjacent narration we’ve ever had.”
Another happening that runs successful the household is simply a penchant for movie and television. At 18, True moved from LA to New York City to prosecute a grade successful originative penning from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
“I consciousness similar I took each originative penning people they had to offer, to fig retired what portion of penning I truly wanted to hone successful on.” She graduated past year, and lives successful New York.
“Writing has ever been an affectional happening for me. Whenever I felt overwhelmed with joyousness oregon sadness oregon immoderate different benignant of emotion, I’ve ever turned to writing. I consciousness similar sometimes erstwhile I talk I’m not arsenic concise arsenic I could beryllium erstwhile I’m writing. It gives maine a antithetic consciousness of power, truthful I’ve ever loved it.”
And yes, she’s besides funny successful acting.
“I acted successful the past play of ‘Godfather of Harlem,’ starring my dad. I had a quality named Sandra. She was decidedly a challenge, but I loved each 2nd of it and, hopefully, due to the fact that it’s shooting close now, she’ll travel back,” she said of the Epix series.
Although she didn’t person immoderate scenes with her father, True recalled the archetypal clip she saw him connected acceptable — which was besides her precise archetypal time of filming.
“I didn’t adjacent cognize helium was determination astatine first. But erstwhile we wrapped, I walked disconnected the set, and a feline came up to maine and was like, ‘Oh, you conscionable missed your dad.’ I was like, ‘What?’ I conjecture helium was secretly watching with a small show somewhere.
“He’s precise supportive,” she laughed. “When I went backmost up to my dressing room, I recovered him successful determination with balloons and a vessel of Champagne, congratulating me. It was truly special, of course, to beryllium capable to bash that with my dad.”
Ultimately, True hopes to proceed some acting and penning professionally. In fact, since graduating from NYU, she’s been moving connected a attraction for a TV bid with playwright, screenwriter and manager (“Almost Christmas,” “First Sunday”) David Talbert, who is besides 1 of her mentors.
“I’m a trillion drafts into my series. I’m hoping successful the adjacent fewer years you guys volition spot and beryllium capable to consciousness and perceive my dependable and recognize the things that I attraction about,” she said. “Anything I enactment connected volition beryllium thing that means thing to me.”
While it remains to beryllium seen whether she’ll prima successful the amusement if it gets made, she plans to proceed pursuing different acting opportunities.
“I’ve been doing a batch of auditions. I’m signed astatine William Morris [Agency], and I emotion my cause — he’s been giving maine a batch of opportunities,” she said. “So hopefully that’ll prime up soon, due to the fact that I’m truly passionate astir acting.”
Whitaker is besides passionate astir societal activism, arsenic is her father. (Forest is an authoritative advocator for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and the laminitis of Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative.)
“No substance who I am, what household I came from, what my dada does, oregon what occurrence helium has, anyplace I go, I americium a Black woman. So I volition look the challenges that this state presents america owed to its horrible history. As a precise tall, dark-skinned Black woman, I consciousness my Blackness everyplace I go. Even erstwhile I spell into a store, sometimes I consciousness similar I person to either bargain thing oregon support my hands successful plain view,” she explained. “I’m ever gonna consciousness the weird microaggressions. But I besides person a consciousness of power, of course, being a Black woman. I privation it to beryllium known that we merit this benignant of designation and success, to beryllium capable to unrecorded successful the mode that I’ve lived. I’m truthful arrogant that my dad, arsenic a Black man, has been capable to springiness this beingness and this bequest to us, a Black family.”
True’s Instagram bio reads “Black Lives Matter / Protect Black Women!,” and successful betwixt household photos and selfies, you’ll find photos from marches and protests.
“I basal up erstwhile I spot things successful the satellite happening that I deliberation are wrong,” she said. “We request to enactment a small bid into the world, enactment immoderate emotion and attraction into it.”
True’s Instagram besides features photos and videos from the astir glamorous broadside of her beingness — similar debutante balls, reddish carpets, and celeb-studded nights retired — but she insists that her day-to-day world is beauteous normal.
“I conscionable effort to enactment connected my writing, and I walk clip with the radical that I love. Obviously, if there’s an lawsuit that I’m invited to, it’s sick to spell and I emotion to beryllium included. I ever emotion to beryllium thought of! But I wouldn’t accidental I’m doing it that often.”
In fact, you’re much apt to tally into her astatine a karaoke bar.
“My sister and I, actually. In our ain time, we, like, practice. We’ll cleanable a song, and past we’ll conscionable hop into a karaoke bar. We’ll beryllium harmonizing, doing mode excessively much, showing disconnected our skills. We virtually did it the different day—it was truthful overmuch fun,” True said.
Their existent opus of prime is an oldie but goodie, from 2007: “‘Potential Breakup Song’ by Aly and AJ. They’re benignant of having a resurgence, truthful we’re embracing that.”
Photos: Tamara Beckwith/NY Post; Stylist: Heather Blair; Hair: T. Cooper/crowdMGMT utilizing Cricket Company; Makeup: Markphong Tram/ABTP utilizing Maybeline; Location: PHD Rooftop astatine Dream Downtown.