By Nadine Matthews, Special to the AFRO
The new film “Kin” is actor Myles Truitt’s first feature length film and he is really, really excited about it. “The directors Josh and Jonathan Baker, they really set out to make this movie not like any other sci-fi movie. I really do respect them for that. It’s not like, you know, the ‘Transformer’ movies, etc. I can tell you this, this movie is not going to be like any other sci-fi movie,” he tells the AFRO.
In “Kin” Truitt plays Eli, a young man adopted by a White family. Also stars include: Dennis Quaid (“Any Given Sunday”), James Franco (“The Deuce”), Jack Reynor (“Detroit”), and Zoe Kravitz (“Big Little Lies”). As the action unfolds, Eli gets caught up in the troubles of his older brother Jimmy, who has recently been released from prison. Explains Truitt, “Well, Eli was a foster kid and the whole movie is about the connection he’s trying to have with himself, his adopted father and with his brother that’s just coming out of jail and that he really doesn’t know.”
Filmed over several months in Detroit, Las Vegas, and Toronto, Kin has elements of a road trip flick and a family drama in an action packed sci-fi story. Eli and his brother end up not only being chased by underworld types, but also otherworldly types. Truitt says, “Eli finds this futuristic weapon while on one of his side hustles for Josh and he realizes it’s not from this world. When his brother comes out of jail, a lot of things happen when his father and his brother and they get into a confrontation and just allows him and his brother to go on this journey of exploration and across the country. They also end up getting chased by two alien type of beings.”
The middle child of five siblings from Atlanta, Truitt shares that playing Eli in “Kin” wasn’t too far from not only Devin, the tragic character he played in the critically acclaimed “FUBU” episode of “Atlanta,” but also close to his own real life experiences. “It really wasn’t hard for me to develop that character,” he says. “Because I felt like I was already that character. When I was in school I went through a lot of bullying and I was my only friend at that time. And that is how Eli was. He was an independent soul and I was an independent soul. So from different things that happened to me in school and being bullied, it really helped me bring that to the screen.”
Most people know Truitt from his depiction of young Ronnie in BET’s hit mini-series “The New Edition Story.” The show’s popularity took the young actor by surprise. He recalls, “It was actually just a bit overwhelming. It was my first time ever been in front of the actual cinema camera. There was so much going on in my head and there was a lot happening that I had to take in. I actually had a lot of fun because there were kids close to my age [on set] and I got the film with Caleb Mclaughlin, one of the stars of “Stranger Things.” I also had fun filming with Bryshere Gray from ‘Empire.’ It was a good experience for me just seeing how they acted and just taking different tips from them and applying those things to myself for my acting career.”
Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Lisa Bonet (“A Different World,” “Ray Donovan”) and rocker Lenny Kravitz co-stars with Truitt in “Kin.” Part of the fun of filming that movie came from his being able to hang out with her on set, where she took on the role of quasi-mentor. “She was like my big sister/Mom. She was just a really cool person and gave me advice about family and different things like that. She was really down to earth and that’s what I love about her; she never had a cocky vibe about her and was really humble. She’s one of the main reasons why I’m humble today. I learned so much from her.”
Truitt will also be recurring on the upcoming season of the comic book based superhero series “Black Lightning.” He wasn’t really able to say much at this time about the role other than, “It’s a really good role in this season. I’m not just a pop-up character or anything like that. I actually got a good role, a good amount of screen time.”
“Kin” opens in theaters August 31.