Online Exclusive Feature : Shawn Carter Peterson

SYMPHONY OF TALENTS. Shawn Carter Peterson continues to make waves on both the big and small screens, as well as behind the camera. DA MAN catches up with the multi-talented, up-and-coming artist.

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Jacket by G-Star RAW

As an award-winning classical pianist and a drama major with extensive experience in artistic direction, Shawn Carter Peterson seems to be destined for Hollywood. There, the budding artist quickly made a name for himself with multiple appearances on TV shows like “Entourage” and “How I Met Your Mother,” and hit movies including “Hannah Montana – The Movie” and the upcoming “Pitch Perfect 2.” And it would seem that the Baltimore native is also quite adept at standing behind the camera to direct. Bit by bit, Shawn Carter Peterson is growing into a force to be reckoned with.

DA MAN: You’re set to appear in several movies this year, including “Pitch Perfect 2.” What can we expect from this highly anticipated sequel?

Shawn Carter Peterson: You can expect more fantastic harmonies, much more drama and loads of laughs. We had so much fun while I was shooting, and I heard that the entire shoot was pretty spectacular. I’m excited to see the final product myself.

DA : Can you give us an intro for your character, Dax?

SCP: Without giving too much away, Dax works on a team at a record label. Let’s just say working at a label can get pretty intense.

DA : Besides “Pitch Perfect 2,” you’re also going to be in “Stevie D” and “Audible.” Can you tell us a bit about these two titles?

SCP: “Audible” is film written by a young new screenwriter named Raven Magwood. It is currently in development, and I can’t say too much about that just yet. “Stevie D” is a film that I shot last summer and it was a lot of fun. It’s a comedic crime drama about a construction magnate whose only son accidentally kills a “connected” man. It’s got the mob, switched identities and an exotic dancer or two! [Laughs]

DA : Besides movies, you’re also known for your appearances in TV shows like “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Castle” and so on. Are there any other TV projects that you’re currently involved with?

SCP: “NCIS: New Orleans” is my most recent guest appearance on network television and it was a blast. Getting to work with the likes of Scott Bakula, Lucas Black and Zoe McLellan on the streets of New Orleans was pretty incredible. We’re just finishing up pilot season here in Los Angeles, and it was a good one, so we’re waiting to hear what will or will not go to series. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

DA : You’ve also tried your hand at directing and producing. Between those two and acting, which one do you enjoy the most?

SCP: I enjoy directing and producing as well as acting but all for different reasons. I can’t say I have a preference. I’ve done them all simultaneously on several projects and that can get a little hectic. It’s kind of like apples and oranges: When I get tired of one, I like to switch over to one of the others. I think having experience in all three makes your work that much better because you better understand the entire process.

DA : In, say, five years from now, do you see yourself still going strong as an actor, or would you be spending more time behind the camera?

SCP: I’ll definitely be going strong as an actor as well as spending more time behind the camera. I’d like to have the career of a Forrest Whitaker, a Ben Affleck or a George Clooney.

DA : Are there any specific actors or directors that have influenced the way you work?

SCP: I’m a big fan of the late Robin Williams’ work. He made his work seem effortless and that is something I strive for. Whether it was his comedic work or his more dramatic roles, he always came across as an actor with a certain amount of ease, which isn’t easy. I saw Johnny Depp do an interview where he spoke about listening to specific music for his characters, and I’ve found that definitely helps in preparing for a role whether it be in rehearsal or listening to specific music right before you perform. I’m a musical person, so it helps me “drop in” to the character.

DA : Do you have any advice for budding actors and directors everywhere?

SCP: Don’t stop! Don’t stop believing in yourself! Don’t stop listening to your gut! Don’t stop learning your craft! Don’t stop creating new work, new characters, new stories! Just don’t stop.

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Shirt by G-Star RAW

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Shirt by Calvin Klein; Jacket, Trousers and Belt by G-Star RAW

“Don’t stop believing in yourself! Don’t stop listening to your gut! Don’t stop learning!”

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Outfit by G-Star RAW

Photography Austin Anderton
Styling Alexander Shera
Grooming Grace Phillips