Michael Epps and Bobb’e J. Thompson in ‘School Dance’.

Kicking off an impressive career in front of the camera at the tender age of five, Bobb’e J. Thompson rose to fame as a child actor well before his teens, initially with a small but colorful and energetic supporting role as the pint-sized Tupac in My Baby’s Daddy (2003). He subsequently appeared in television and film efforts such as “The Tracy Morgan Show” (2004), Shark Tale (2004), “That’s So Raven” (2004), and “Joey” (2005).

Bobb’e contributed to OutKast mainstay Bryan Barber’s offbeat, inventive musical drama Idlewild (2006) before teaming up with Vince Vaughn in the holiday comedy Fred Claus (2007). He then starred in the acerbic farce hit comedy Role Models as the hilarious, wisecracking Ronnie Shields, for which he earned an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Breakthrough Performance in 2009.

Tyler Perry jumped at the opportunity to work with Bobb’e, casting him as M.J. Williams in the television series “For Better or Worse.” But the role of “Cal Devereaux” in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs showed a sweeter side closer to his real-life personality.

Here, Bobb’e reflects upon his starring role as Jason, the main character in Nick Cannon’s directorial debut, School Dance.
Kam Williams: Hi Bobb’e, thanks so much for the
BJT: Thanks for having me, Kam.

KW: What interested you in School Dance?
BJT: Honestly, I liked the fact that I would have the chance to play a character that’s the
opposite of what I’m used to playing. Jason isn’t as outspoken and foul-mouthed. I liked having
an opportunity to channel my abilities in a different direction.

KW: Did you feel any pressure to do a good job and carry the movie as the main character,
given that it’s Nick Cannon’s directorial debut?
BJT: I don’t know what pressure feels like. I went in with my head clear ready to do my job,
because I knew everybody else was coming to do theirs. I was working with a team, so as long
as I was ready to do my part, I was confident that the pieces were going to fit together as they

KW: What was it like working with a cast with so many great comedians? Kevin Hart…
George Lopez… Katt Williams… Mike Epps…
BJT: And Lil Duval and Luenell. We had some heavy hitters. We had fun on set. Everybody
was upbeat and in good spirits. We cracked jokes and laughed but, by the end of the day,
everybody got their work done. We were all about business when it was time to get on camera.
And when the camera’s rolled, it was crazy! Everybody was cracking jokes and having fun,

KW: The movie reminded me of a musical, comical version of Romeo and Juliet.
BJT: Yeah, that’s kinda what Nick was going for when he pitched it to me. Like a West Side
Story with a modern twist to it. I went, “Yeah, that’s dope!” And we made it happen. That’s how
we wanted it to be perceived, so I’m glad you saw it that way.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?
BJT: Reporters never ask me about my real passion, my music.

KW: Okay, then tell me about your music.
BJT: I just finished a mixtape that’s available at . And I also have a video
out on Youtube entitled “OMG.”

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
BJT: I see an ambitious young man who will one day have it all.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
BJT: Follow your dreams, stay in school, and honor your mother and your father. That’s
pretty much it.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Bobb’e, and best of luck with School Dance.
BJT: Appreciate it, Kam.

To see a trailer for School Dance, visit:

Kam Williams

Special to the AFRO