“All American’s” Kareem Grimes Remembers John Singleton, Talks Castmates & Season 3

“Working with him was like working with a friend. He was very focused and about the craft but it was fun, a lot of fun being on set with that guy. ” – Kareem Grimes, On John Singleton

At this point, we don’t think there’s anyone out there that hasn’t seen a single episode of “All American”. And more than likely if you have you’re now a fan, and impatiently waiting on season 3. “All American”  follows football star Spencer James from South Central who is navigating between two different worlds as he transfers to Beverly Hills.

 Luckily Hustle & Soul had the opportunity to connect with “All American’s” Kareem Grimes, know as Preach whos character is a gang affiliate in Crenshaw & not to mention somewhat of a big brother to Spencers best friend, Coop. Of course, we were dying to hear the scoop on season 3 (Returning Monday, October 5), but Grimes has been apart of John Singleton classics such as “Boys In The Hood” & “Baby Boy” both set in South Central. That being said’ we could not let the opportunity pass without learning more about his relationship with the late great John Singleton as well.

Myra C. Patrick:  April 28th was the one year anniversary of John Singleton’s passing. Being that you’ve worked with him can you describe what it was like being on set with him?

Kareem Grimes: I was this young kid he was this young director, fresh out of USC with this great script and cast. He was amazing to work with. Working with him was like working with a friend. He was very focused and about the craft but it was fun, a lot of fun being on set with that guy. 

MCP: What John Singleton film or show would you have loved to be a part of? 

Grimes: Higher learning, I remember going on set. This is when they were shooting a house party scene I believe, it was with Ice Cube & Buster Rhymes. I came up there and was like “Yo, John wasup?’ He was like “Man you’re too young, this is college you got to finish school” I took my boys up there because I thought John was going to put me in that movie. But it was cool just to be on set and meet Buster Rhymes.

MCP: What drove you to become an actor?

Grimes: I love to perform. As a kid, I watched a lot of TV. I saw characters and actors and thought I can do that. This is what I want to do so I performed in front of my mom, dad, cousins, and family at events. 

MCP: How did you land the role of Preach?

Grimes: Before I auditioned, I was already a fan of the show because I connected to it so fast and my story was the opposite. I went to a predominantly white school then transferred to a predominately black and Hispanic school and at the time they were a powerhouse. I connected fast, I was like oh yeah this is good. I went in there auditioned for Lee Daniels Butler, did my thing, and a week or two later I was on set with the “All American” Cast, being directed by Sally Richardson Whitfield. She’s a legend and it was the first time I’ve worked with her.

MCP: For those who haven’t watched All American yet, Preach & Coops have a very different relationship can you describe that for me?

Grimes: It’s kind of like big brother little sister, or big homie little homie. They both need each other but they don’t say it. It’s more in action than anything. Its a lot of pulling and tugging. It’s a dynamic relationship that we’ve all had. 

MCP: What other characters on “All American” would you love to have played? 

Grimes: Spencer, because I played football, I was good. I didn’t have my eye set on NFL or whatever, But I was good. 

MCP: Do you feel like because you played sports it transferred to your work life?

Grimes: Absolutely, it’s funny because being on this show I feel like I can still put the pads on, lace-up, put the helmet on, and play.  

MCP: I recently caught an Instagram live between you & Michael Behling, Jordan’s character, you guys seem to have a pretty good relationship outside of work, what is the funniest behind the scene moment you have with the cast or a moment that sticks out to you?

Grimes: To be honest, I think moments that stick out are when we’re not shooting scenes because most of my scenes are with Coop. So Micheal, Daniel, Samantha, Greta, or Cody they may be on set but it’s either when we’re on lunch or they’re setting up a shot. I remember one time we were at lunch sitting around just talking about life and the business. And that was the first time I was able to have a full-on conversation and get to know a bit about each individual. 

MCP: What can we expect from season 3?

Grimes: They’re writing it now but what I can tell is Spencer is going back to Crenshaw to play football, coach Baker is going to coach, and we might see more of Crenshaw. Tyron’s sister Mo is played by Erica Peoples, she’s in town to find out whos responsible for her brother’s death so that can unfold. I’m in jail, so we’ll see if Preach gets out and if he does what he’s going to do. But who knows? I wont to know until late June or July. 

‘Gimme 5’

  • Boys In The Hood or Baby Boy? Boys In The Hood
  • Snow Fall or All American? I’m biased, All American
  • OutKast or NWA? Born and raised in LA, but my favorite group of all time, Outkast
  • Whose better for Spencer Layla or Kia? Kia
  • Action Films or Drama? Action, I saw an action film yesterday called “Den of Thieves”, and thought to myself, yo I want to do one of those. 

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Myra Patrick

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