Karimah Westbrook is a multi-talented Chicago native, currently playing Grace James on the teen drama, All American. The show tackles many thought-provoking subject matters and is based on the life story of former Carolina Panthers football star Spencer Paysinger. After airing on The CW, Season 1 becomes available on Netflix starting March 31. A second season is yet to be confirmed.
Recently, Westbrook took the time to answer our “5 Questions.”
What motivates you as you move forward in your career?
Now I understand that what’s for me is really for me, and I don’t have to wait to be working, and I can create my own step. Acting and having a career, and really being fulfilled in that way isn’t contingent on someone just hiring me anymore. That feels good.
Have you ever been starstruck?
I have definitely been starstruck. I still get starstruck today. I worked with Alfre Woodard on a film called American Violet years ago. I was definitely starstruck by her, because [she] was on my vision board as somebody I wanted to work with, so when that opportunity came about — she didn’t know this, but I was like, “Oh my God.” You know, I was really having a moment. The same with Johnny Depp.
Describe your ideal vacation.
I love being around water, so an ideal vacation for me is to be staying somewhere right on the water, where it’s peaceful, it’s beautiful. One of my dreams is to go to the motherland, and that’s going to happen this year. I love animals and nature, so I would love to be surrounded by nature. Maybe the animals are a little further away. I don’t want tigers to be walking past where I’m sleeping. But I want to be able to get to them and look. You know?
What is something you can’t live without?
I like ChapStick. I have all these little ChapStick things in my drawer, and in my purse. I always try to keep my lips moist
How did you get into painting?
I actually started in church. I was taking this class at church, and we had to do a project of expression. They gave us a couple different options of what we could choose, and painting was one of them. That was the beginning of me painting, but it was just so therapeutic; it was the best feeling. I started to buy more canvasses, and I bought a bunch of paint brushes and paint, and then I had my first showcase at an art gallery. I sold 12 pieces. I love it; it’s another way of expressing, releasing emotions.
All American Season 1 will be available on Netflix beginning March 31