'Charm City Kings': Meet Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Meek Mill and the rest of the cast of this Sundance darling
Coming to HBO Max on October 8, and skipping its theatrical release is the Sundance darling 'Charm City Kings'. In the film, Mouse desperately wants to join The Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt bike riders who rule the summertime streets. When Midnight’s leader, Blax, takes 14-year-old Mouse under his wing, Mouse soon finds himself torn between the straight-and-narrow and a road filled with fast money and violence.
Directed by Angel Manuel Soto, the film is inspired by the critically-acclaimed 2013 documentary called '12 O’Clock Boys' and produced by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Classics. The film's biggest selling point is its cast, which won the 'US Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting' at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Its cast includes Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Meek Mill, Will Catlett and Teyonah Parris. Here's what you need to know about them and their characters.
Jahi Di’Allo Winston as Mouse
Fourteen-year-old Mouse, played by Jahi Di’Allo Winston, desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets. His older brother, Stro, was their top rider before his tragic death — a loss that consumes Mouse as much as his passion for bikes. Winston is known for his lead role in the Sony Pictures & Screen Gems film 'Proud Mary'. Winston also played Young Ralph Tresvant in BET’s 'The New Edition Story'. He has appeared in 'The Upside' and 'Queen and Slim'. Winston’s performance as the young social activist, Junior, in 'Queen and Slim' has been regarded as a standout performance. Winston also starred in Netflix’s thirty-minute dramedy 'Everything Sucks'.
Meek Mill as Blax
Ex-con Blax is played by Grammy-Nominated artist Meek Mill. Blax is the Midnight Clique’s leader, who takes Mouse under his wing, and presents the temptation of leaving the straight and narrow behind toward a more dangerous future. Mill is a recording artist, criminal justice reform advocate and entrepreneur who hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Meek evolved from Philadelphia's hottest underground rapper to one of the world's preeminent musical artists, having released a slew of smash studio albums and singles. His latest studio album, 'Championships', debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums, marking his second chart-topper following his 2015 album 'Dreams Worth More Than Money'. In addition to serving as the president of Dreamchasers Records, Mill is the co-chair of the REFORM Alliance, which launched in January 2019 and aims to advance criminal justice reform.
Will Catlett as Detective Rivers
Detective Rivers is played by William Catlett and is the good mentor figure as opposed to Blax. He works overtime, along with Mouse's mother to help the charismatic Mouse reach his full potential. Actor, writer, director and producer, Will Catlett was most recently cast to play the role of Griffin in 'Force of Nature' alongside Mel Gibson, Emile Hirsch and Kate Bosworth. He also played the lead role of Yasir on OWN’s 'Love Is_', and is a multi-season guest star on 'Black Lightning' for The CW Network. Catlett is set to play Verton Freeman in HBO's 'Lovecraft Country'. He has also appeared in CBS’s 'The Mentalist', HBO’s 'Insecure' and 'Brothers in Atlanta'.
Teyonah Parris as Terri
Teyonah Parris plays Mouse's mom, Terri, who has already lost one son and is desperately trying to protect Mouse, with some help from Detective Rivers. Teyonah Parris will star next opposite John Boyega and Jamie Foxx in the Netflix sci-fi feature film, 'They Cloned Tyrone'. She is also slated to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the iconic character "Monica Rambeau" in the highly anticipated Disney+ original series 'WandaVision'. Other upcoming projects include a contemporary take on the cult horror classic, 'Candyman', written by Oscar winner Jordan Peele, which will be released in 2021. Parris is known for her performances in 'If Beale Street Could Talk', 'Dear White People', Spike Lee’s 'Chi-Raq'. Her breakout role was on 'Mad Men'. She has won a Black Reel Award in the category of Outstanding Breakthrough Performance for 'Dear White People' and the Black Reel and African-American Film Critics Association Awards for Best Actress, and also an NAACP Image Award nomination for 'Chi-Raq'.
'Charm City Kings' will be released on October 8 on HBO Max.