WASHINGTON — Among the star-studded cast of "The Best Man: The Final Chapters," which premiered in December and made waves across social media, is a 9-year-old actress from D.C. making her acting debut.
With a smile that could thaw ice, Blake Hendricks shined in her recurring role of Mia, the daughter of Harper Stewart and his wife Robyn, who are played by Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan.
"The Best Man" franchise spans three decades, starting as a movie in 1999 with the first movie where Harper, an up-and-coming author at the time, ventured to New York City from Chicago to be the best man for an old college friend. Drama followed him when an advanced copy of his book was read by his inner circle, which the book was based on.
From there the friend group reunited in a second movie named The Best Man Holiday, which was released in 2013, and now the third installment, an eight-episode series, was released, ending an era that has been a staple in many Black households.
Even though Blake was no more than a thought in her parents' minds when the first movie hit theatre screens across the country, she has been preparing for this moment most of her short life.
"I started at the age of two, I started modeling, and then I was in a lot of commercials," Blake said about her journey to this point, which even included a viral meme at the young age of three. "Then I got audition after audition and then I finally got this role."
When preparing for her audition she took the time to dive into the series by watching "The Best Man Holiday" -- although she admitted she wasn't allowed to watch the whole film due to its "R" rating.
"I got to know what was happening and I felt different emotions on every scene," Blake said about the film.
Blake Hendricks, a DC actress that debuted in The Best Man: The Final Chapters
And with those emotions harnessed, Blake auditioned and landed the role of Mia; a role she described as being one she truly connected with.
During the process, she says her favorite part was meeting the different actors on the set along with the crew, whom the debuting actress said were all very welcoming. Blake was not the only young child on set, which made the off-screen experience enjoyable as well.
"The kids in the series, we were hanging out a lot," Blake said. "We made TikToks, we played games, and we hung out in the trailers."
Being a debut actresses came with learning lessons for Blake.
"I learned that if you have a dream, you have to keep going for it," she said. "You have to keep working and even sometimes that you want to play - you have to work, you have to sacrifice."
And when asked about tips she would give other children around her age that have similar dreams she said, "You always have to keep going."
"Even though sometimes it may be hard to have cameras watching you, you have to keep going, you may be scared but just know you have to have confidence," Blake said.
The wise actress has big dreams of working alongside Zendaya, her favorite actress, one day or even being on the TV series "Tyler Perry's House of Payne." But, in the meantime she plans to enjoy some of her favorite pastimes, which include cooking, baking, drawing, painting and sculpting.
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