The Hate U Give, opening October 19, is set to be one of the most powerful movies of the year. Directed by George Tillman Jr. (Notorious, The Longest Ride) based on the novel by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr Carter, a back teen caught between her days at a rich, predominantly white school, and her largely impoverished home life.
Late one night, while driving home from a party, Starr witnesses the murder of her unarmed friend Khalil at the hands of a white police officer. Enraged at the way Khalil is portrayed in the media after his death, Starr takes a stand against racism alongside her friends and family.
Tickets are now on sale for The Hate U Give, which has one of the year’s best casts. Here are the people bringing this intense story to life.
Starr Carter is played by Amandla Stenberg, a promising young actress who can already boast an impressive list of credits. Stenberg first jumped into the spotlight playing Rue in 2012’s The Hunger Games. She followed that up with roles in Rio 2 and As You Are, and later gained recognition for her appearance in Beyoncé’s Lemonade, a companion film to the singer’s album of the same name.
This year has been huge for Stenberg, with starring roles in Everything, Everything and The Darkest Minds. We’ll next see her in Where Hands Touch, a war drama centered on the struggles of a bi-racial girl living in Nazi Germany.
Algee Smith plays Khalil, Starr’s best friend, who is killed by a police officer after being racially profiled. Smith started out on television with small parts in shows like How To Rock and Army Wives. He later landed his first major role as real-life singer Ralph Tresvant in The New Edition Story, a biographical series based on the popular R&B group.
Smith went on to featured roles in shows like Here We Go Again and Saints & Sinners before earning widespread acclaim for his portrayal of singer Larry Reed in Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit. He’ll next be seen in The Bobby Brown Story, in which he’ll step back into the shoes of of Ralph Tresvant.
Issa Rae plays an activist named April Ofrah, who inspires Starr to stand against the injustices committed against African Americans. Rae has had a fascinating career. She rose to prominence in 2011 through her YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl, in which she starred as J, a young woman dealing with difficult day-to-day situations in her life.
The show became a success, and led to HBO’s Insecure, which stars Rae and explores a similar premise on a much larger scale. The series was met with critical acclaim and led to Rae getting a Primetime Emmy nomination for best lead actress in a comedy series.
KJ Apa plays Chris, Starr’s boyfriend. He’s kept away from Starr’s family by Starr herself, as she prefers to keep her school and home lives separate. A relative newcomer to Hollywood, Apa is best-known for playing Archie Andrews in The CW’s Riverdale. Outside of Riverdale, he was a series regular on New Zealand shows Shortland Street and The Cul De Sac.
The actor made his feature film debut in 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, playing the younger version of Dennis Quaid’s character. Apa can next be seen in Netflix’s The Last Summer, which follows a group of friends who get together one last time before starting college.
Regina Hall plays Lisa Carter, Starr’s mother. Lisa is supportive of her daughter’s courageous pursuit of justice, but she’s also concerned about her safety. Hall gained mainstream success playing the morally-ambiguous Brenda Meeks in Scary Movie, a role she reprised for the franchise’s next three installments. Her big screen career continued with films like Danika, Superhero Movie, Law Abiding Citizen and Death At A Funeral.
Hall also anchored the last two seasons of television’s Ally McBeal, playing Corretta Lipp for 25 episodes. Her popularity has been on the rise lately, following her performances in the critically-acclaimed comedies Girls Trip and Support The Girls. The actress will next be seen opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft, scheduled to open on June 14, 2019.
Russell Hornsby portrays Maverick Carter, Starr’s father. Much like his wife, Maverick approves of Starr’s motivations and looks to help her in any way he can. Originally a stage actor, Hornsby has also done a lot of work on television. He made small appearances in shows like Bill Nye The Science Guy and Law & Order before landing starring roles in UPN’s supernatural procedural, Haunted, and ESPN’s sports drama, Playmakers.
Hornsby later went on to headline ABC’s Lincoln Heights for two seasons. His big break came in 2011, when he debuted as Hank Griffin in Grimm. He continued to play the character for six seasons. While largely a television actor, Hornsby has also found success on the big screen in recent years, having appeared in Fences and the upcoming Creed II, opening on November 21.
Common plays Carlos, Lisa’s brother and Starr’s devoted uncle. He rose to prominence as a rapper before turning his attention to acting. Common’s first non-cameo role in a feature film came in Smokin’ Aces as the violence-prone Sir Ivy. He followed that up with supporting parts in Street Kings, Wanted, Terminator Salvation and Date Night.
Common continued to find success as an actor in the years that followed, appearing in movies like Now You See Me, Selma, Suicide Squad and John Wick: Chapter 2. On television, he starred as Elam Ferguson in Hell On Wheels for four seasons. 2019 is expected to be a big year for the actor. He’ll appear in Three Seconds, The Kitchen, Eve and will also reprise his role of Cassian in John Wick: Parabellum.
Anthony Mackie plays a gang leader named King. Mackie received praise early on in his career for playing Perry, a young man dealing with the struggles of being a gay black man, in Brother To Brother. He continued to build a reputation as a dramatic actor through his roles in Million Dollar Baby, Half Nelson, Heavens Fall and We Are Marshall. In 2009, Mackie gained widespread acclaim for playing Sergeant J.T. Sanborn in The Hurt Locker.
On television, Mackie starred in the HBO made-for-TV-film All The Way as Martin Luther King Jr. and in Netflix’s Altered Carbon. In recent years, the actor has become a household name for his role as Sam Wilson (a.k.a. The Falcon) in the MCU. His upcoming projects include Netflix’s IO, The Woman In The Window, and Against All Enemies.
Sabrina Carpenter plays Hailey, one of Starr’s friends. Hailey’s racist attitude creates a rift in her friendship with Starr. Carpenter has found great success as an actress and singer. Her acting career began in 2011 with a guest role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She made her feature film debut in the 2012 comedy Noobz, which she followed up with a minor part in Alexandre Aja’s Horns.
She went on to build an eclectic TV résumé with credits in Phineas & Ferb, Sofia The First, Orange Is The New Black and The Goodwin Games. Carpenter’s breakout role came in Disney’s Girl Meets World (a successor to Boy Meets World) in which she played one of the protagonists, Maya Hart. She then went on to star in various Disney-owned projects, including Adventures In Babysitting and the animated series Milo Murphy’s Law.
Get tickets for The Hate U Give, in theaters on October 19!