Nate Parker learns survival and leadership in 'Eden'

Nate Parker stars in ‘Eden’ about an American soccer team stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes.

Fun facts about Nate Parker (Source: Wikipedia)

Parker's first profession was as a computer programmer, which he described as being "in a cubicle writing code". Then, he attended an event in Dallas with a model he was in a relationship with. Los Angeles talent manager Jon Simmons noticed Parker at the convention and talent search while Parker was waiting for his friend to finish her audition. Simmons felt Parker had "the look" and inquired about whether Parker was an actor or a model. After Parker denied both, he asked Parker to read a monologue from The Fast and The Furious. He then asked Parker to videotape himself doing lines from Antwone Fisher and Parker delivered a video within a week. Simmons told him to move to Los Angeles, California right away. Parker packed his clothes and computer and moved to sleep on another aspiring actor's couch. He quickly landed a part in a television commercial. Bit parts and guest appearances followed. He has been working with acting coach Cary Anderson since arriving in Los Angeles. As of early 2008, Parker continued to live in North Hollywood, California with his wife, mother and three of his sisters in a 650-square-foot (60 m2) one-bedroom apartment.

Parker played the male lead in Rome and Jewel, a hip-hop take on Romeo and Juliet in 2006. He had a smaller role in Pride, about an African American swim team, but one that allowed him to display his athletic physique.

Denzel Washington directed The Great Debaters and selected Parker for the role of Henry Lowe. Parker heard Washington requires biographies of the characters that he directs. He wrote a 100-page biography of the Henry Lowe character. To prepare for his role and write a character biography, he read the works of James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, W.B. Yeats, Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes. The character was based on the real-life debater, Henry Heights. Parker's character is the love interest of Jurnee Smollett's character and has a bad-boy streak. Parker also performed on the soundtrack. Parker, and co-stars Forest Whitaker, and Denzel Washington were nominated for the 2008 NAACP Image Awards in the best supporting actor category, which Denzel Washington won.

In The Secret Life of Bees he played the love interest of Alicia Keys' character. The movie co-starred Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and Sophie Okonedo and was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood based on the book of the same name by Sue Monk Kidd.

In 2014 he reunited with his The Secret Life of Bees director Gina Prince-Bythewood playing the male lead in her film Beyond the Lights. His performance was nominated for a Black Reel Award for Best Actor and a Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture.

'Eden' opens in theaters Friday, September 18th.

Follow Nate Parker on Twitter: @NateParker

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