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SIMPLY JESSICA: Diallo Thompson gets role in ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’

Ten-year-old Diallo Thompson was channel surfing when he saw a movie called “Barbershop” that caught his attention. When Thompson saw Ice Cube was in the movie he was excited to watch it.

He is convinced that “Barbershop” is a comedy classic.

The fifth grader was drawn to the movie. He liked how Ice Cube wore his hat backward in the movie. Ice Cube was wearing the same hat that his dad wears except his dad wears his hat frontward.

“Ice Cube dresses like my dad does,” Thompson said. “I liked that.”

Thompson has watched “Barbershop” and its sequel numerous times. He enjoys watching any movie that Ice Cube is in.

“Ice Cube always has a good reason to make a movie,” Thompson said. “That’s what I love about him as an actor and producer.”

Now 16, Thompson is no longer a 10-year-old boy watching “Barbershop” movies, he is now acting in the latest installment.

He plays Kenny Smith (son of Rashad, played by Common) in Ice Cube’s “Barbershop: The Next Cut.” Thompson’s character is a bad influence on Jalen (Ice Cube’s son in the movie.)

“‘The Next Cut’ is a movie about the gang violence in Chicago,” Thompson said. “It’s a movie about regular people in a barbershop having fun and talking about different issues going on in the world.”

The Atlanta native opens up about his role in the film.

“We go around in the streets and we are getting peer pressure from the gang leaders to join the gang,” he added. “It’s an internal struggle should we join them or not. We are trying to handle peer pressure.”

The 11th grader is thrilled that this film project is a family film.

“I’m super proud of this movie,” Thompson said. “There is a message behind it that resonates with people my age.”

Thompson’s favorite line from the movie is “They my size. That’s what size they are.”

He was able to play a tough guy in the movie.

“That line is funny because I’m not a tough guy in real life,” he said. “For me to buck up against someone in a movie is not me at all.”

It’s that reason that Thompson enjoyed saying those tough lines.

“I enjoyed saying it because I don’t get to say that in life,” he added.

Thompson enjoyed spending time with Common.

He thinks Common is one of the coolest guys that he has met in life.

“Common is so chill,” he said. ”He doesn’t think he is above anybody. He is so down to earth. He invited my dad and I to his hotel room to watch a Heat game.”

Common helped the young actor with his role.

“We didn’t have a bunch of scenes together but Common and I hung out so we would have the father and son relationship in the back of our minds as we were shooting,” Thompson added. “Common was such a great mentor. He gave me a lot of advice about the industry.”

The high school junior was thrilled that Common had offered him advice. He came across one challenge on the first day of shooting.

He had to shoot an intense scene in the movie on his first day.

“This was my first day on a movie set in my life,” Thompson said.”  “It was intimidating. I had to really bring it. The first day was hard.”

Thompson is quick to admit that although he acts and sings, he is just a normal guy who likes to do normal stuff. He likes to go the mall and hang out with friends. His favorite subject in school is history.

“I like history because it’s easy to me,” Thompson said. “You learn stuff and you just have to remember it. There is no problem solving.”

He likes how history can inspire a movie.

“You can make movies on stuff in history,” he added.

His favorite food was macaroni and cheese until he grew out of his shrimp allergy. His favorite food is now shrimp.

His favorite color is green.

“I love green because it’s the color of grass and trees and natural stuff,” he said.” It reminds me of being out in the woods.”

Diallo Thompson
Diallo Thompson

Thompson is a fan of action and fantasy books such as “Harry Potter,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “Hunger Games.” He read “Hunger Games” when he was in middle school.

He likes to read books that take him to different worlds because he has such a strong imagination.

“I like books with a lot of imagery of different places,” he said.

In a fantasy world of all animals, Thompson would love to be a fox.

“A fox is smooth, sly and sneaky,” he said. “I like that about the fox.”

He plans to make a short film to inspire people.

“I’m about to shoot a short film that I wrote,” he added.

One of the ways that he plans to inspire teens is with his music.

Thompson’s future plans are to put out a teen album about the issues and problems that his generation encounters. He wants to see music that explores today’s teens issues and lifestyle.

“I want to release music for people like me, a regular teenage boy who does teenage things,” Thompson said. “We have peer pressure, but we like to do things like sit at home and play games. We have our own little world that has not been explored when it comes to music.”

His three musical idols are: Stevie Wonder, his all time favorite artist; Kanye West, who inspired him to rap; and Kendrick Lamar, who inspired him to pursue music.

“Kendrick Lamar taught me no matter where you come from or how low you are, if you work hard, you have the ability to end up wherever you dream of being,” Thompson added.

His father introduced him to Stevie Wonder’s music. His father is a huge fan. The father and son team would listen to Stevie’s music as they drove in the car on a family vacation to Milwaukee.

Thompson’s dad has had the biggest influence on his life.

“My dad has taught me to be a great person,” he said. “He has taught me to work hard. He is the best dad that I could ask for.”

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.