Russell Hornsby Lays Out How Life Prepared Him For 'The Hate U Give' On 'TRL'

"Being a black man... your life prepares you for it"

On a double-duty day for TRL, Nessa interviewed The Hate U Give star Russell Hornsby while Sway handled the morning's playlist.

In the newly-released film, Russell portrays Maverick Carter, the father of Amanda Stenberg’s Starr, as the two navigate an incident of police brutality that exposes the racial inequalities and injustices that impact our world. The Hate U Give required Russell to dive back into his childhood, explaining to Nessa how growing up in the Bay Area and learning about the Black Panther Party influenced his role as Maverick. Plus, already having seen the film, Nessa had to ask Russell about its special nods to Tupac.


Since Russell's character has the unfortunate task of teaching his children how to safely interact with police officers, he explained how his own experience growing up and living as a black man in America had a real impact on his portrayal. Being a father himself now, Russell at times broke down on set and needed to recompose himself, imagining the future moment where he'll have that same talk with his own young sons. Watch Russell and Nessa's full conversation below. TRL airs on weekdays at 8:00am ET.