Dope, which received glowing reviews at Sundance earlier this year for presenting a unique take on the coming-of-age genre, is getting fresh buzz ahead of its theatrical release Friday.
Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa, Dope follows Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a Los Angeles teen who embarks on an adventure with his friends Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori) that “could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself,” according to the film’s website.
Critics have lauded Dope for putting people of color — who have historically been shoved to the side as supporting (and often stereotypical) characters — front and center. Previously relative unknowns, the film’s young leads are poised to be breakout stars in 2015.
Get acquainted with Shameik Moore, Kiersey Clemons and Tony Revolori, so you can say, “I liked them before they were cool…”
Moore, who plays protagonist Malcolm in Dope, is a multi-hyphenate talent. In addition to acting, the 20-year-old Atlanta native dances and sings under the alter ego King SAM. Here he is showcasing his moves, while performing the song “Back It Up”:
(His father, Errol Moore, is also a musician who sings and plays guitar in the reggae band Monyaka.)
Aside from a handful of one-off TV appearances, Moore‘s only notable credit before Dope was as a series regular on teen sketch-comedy show Incredible Crew. Created by Nick Cannon for the Cartoon Network, it only lasted for one season from 2012 to 2013.
Next up, Moore will play Shaolin Fantastic in Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down. The Netflix Original Series follows a group of teens as they run wild in the streets of South Bronx in the late 1970s. According to Netflix, Shaolin Fantastic is “a child of the streets, thrill-seeking, unpredictable, eccentric, but above all, enigmatic.”
Clemons, 21, plays lesbian tomboy Diggy in Dope.
Compared to Moore, she is a more familiar face to TV viewers, most notably playing Bianca on acclaimed Amazon series Transparent, Sophia in MTV’s Eye Candy and Kira Starr on the perky Disney Channel series Austin & Ally.
The Los Angeles native will also recur in Season 2 of CBS’ Extant, the Halle Berry-fronted sci-fi drama, as Lucy the robot.
Revolori, who portrays mixed-race Jib, is the most high profile of Dope‘s three leads, having starred in Wes Anderson’s Oscar-nominated film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Born Anthony Quinonez, the 19-year-old had small roles on various TV shows, including My Name Is Earl and Entourage, before landing his big break last year as Zero Moustafa, the Grand Budapest’s lobby boy and trusted friend to M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes).
Revolori, a native of Anaheim, California, is slated to appear in several upcoming movies, including sci-fi thriller The 5th Wave, the Duplass brothers comedy Table 19 and Indiegogo-funded independent film When We Were Pirates (alongside older brother Mario Revolori), among others.
Dope, which also stars Zoë Kravitz and Chanel Iman, will hit theaters on Friday. Check out the trailer, below: