Actor and humanitarian Nate Parker first received critical
attention for his starring role in The Great Debaters opposite
and Forest Whitaker. Denzel handpicked him to play the troubled yet brilliant
Henry Lowe who overcomes his selfish ways to become the team’s leader. Nate
received an honorary Doctorate from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, the school
on which The Great Debaters was based.
More recently, he appeared in the action thriller Non-Stop, opposite Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. Last year, he starred in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, opposite Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster.
In 2012, he was the toast of the Sundance Film Festival when he appeared in Arbitrage opposite Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth. That year, he also starred as the lead in Red Tails, supported by Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr. It told the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps and were some of the finest pilots in World War II. George Lucas funded, produced and co-directed this feature.
Earlier in his career, Nate starred opposite Alicia Keys in The Secret Life of Bees, which featured an all-star cast of Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning and Paul Bettany. Additionally, he’s been seen in Pride alongside Terrence Howard, in Dirty opposite Cuba Gooding Jr., in Felon with Stephen Dorff and Sam Shepard, and in Tunnel Rats with Michael Pare. And onstage, Nate appeared opposite Dustin Hoffman, Annette Bening, Rosario Dawson and James Cromwell in “American Voices” at the Broad Street Theater.
A Norfolk, VA native, Nate studied computer programming and trained his way to become an All-American wrestler at the University of Oklahoma. He mentors twenty-four children from schools in central Los Angeles and spearheads projects and events with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He sponsors a Peace for Kids scholarship fund and works in their afterschool program.
Read our Interview with Nate Parker