Khalif Boyd's got an upbeat energy to him that you won't find in most people. He's undeniably easy and fun to be around, but when it comes to his passion, acting is where he gives his 110%. His fearless characteristic of longing to explore the unknown while pushing his own boundaries testifies to his determination and hard work. Read on about the Khalifornian native...
What did you want to do when you were young? What was your earliest ambition?
When the Lakers drafted Nick Van Exel in ’93, there was something about his tenacity and the way he would celebrate after scoring a bucket that made my 6-year-old heart want to make it into the NBA. My earliest ambition was ridiculous and that was to buy my parents a house but then also purchase a fully decked out Lincoln Navigator or Cadillac Escalade with gigantic rims for my dad to drive me in because it seemed like the cool thing then, am I right?
Where did you grow up and what was daily life like?
I grew up in Lakewood, CA (named “SportsTown” by Sports Illustrated in 2004), but to avoid explaining to people where that is, I tell them that I’m from Long Beach. I feel like my generation just got the tail end of the what it really was like to play outdoors. My apartment complex was a huge melting pot in itself, mixed with all different races and religions from whom I loved learning from. My eclectic group of friends consisted of Josh, the White kid, Mauricio, the Mexican kid, Matt, the Black kid, and Mark, the Filipino kid and then me, the Mutt. We played video games, jumped around on two story buildings, walked a mile out to the community swimming pool to flirt with the girls and then hit up Thrifty for some ice cream and then usually ended the night with a movie or with our own illegal bonfire in the apartment’s sand playground.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I went to Whittier College where I studied Kinesiology in hopes that if I didn’t make it to the NBA, I would still be around sports and maybe become a physical therapist but then… I dropped out my last year because I was completely overtaken by the acting bug and headed up to Hollywood to learn and work on my new craft.
How and when did you discover your passion for acting?
After coming back from playing basketball in Costa Rica, a friend of mine told me that he was taking this acting class at the nearby junior college and that I should join him. The thought of “acting” NEVER crossed my mind but I was burned out from basketball and was already open and curious to explore something new. While being in that acting class, I went to watch “Biutiful” by Alejandro Iñarritu by myself and I remember waking up the next day knowing that I wanted to go towards those deeper questions about myself and the human condition.
Does acting allow you to go on a journey of discovering more about yourself? If so, what’s been the most important one?
Acting is a very vulnerable medium and it always allows me to go on a journey to discover more about myself. That’s why I do it. The most important discovery is that there is a reason for why the human condition is the way it is, and when you dig deep, it can be terrifying.
What type of movie genre would you want to partake in most?
That’s a real difficult question! I love all the genres but if I absolutely had to choose, I'd partake in comedy because I agree with what Victor Borge said, "laughter is the shortest distance between two people”.
What’s the most thrilling part of acting in film for you?
Plunging into the unknown and surprising yourself. Those moments don’t come as often as I would like them to but that’s why I love staying in class - to try and train myself to have that constant allowance to be spontaneous.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being an actor?
To accept that if I don’t book a gig even after feeling that I did a great job in my audition, it's NOT ME.
What is your dream for your career?
I want to be on a crazy successful television show where it has a story that has never been told before, like “Transparent”. I’m working on my own feature film right now that's somewhat based on my unique upbringing as a Vietnamese and African-American man who is just weird because the world is weird. Think “Everybody Hates Chris” meets “Master of None”.
Is there a best piece of advice from someone that you go back to all the time?
“Take a deep breath. You’re enough.”
If you could move to any city in the world: London
Favorite director: Spike Lee
You’re an animal lover, what’s your favorite animal: Beluga Whale
Describe yourself in three words: Zen, Athletic, Philomath