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Carlmont grad making it in the movies: Justin Hall will be in the upcoming James Brown biopic
June 14, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Justin Hall

From average San Carlos high school student to Hollywood actor, it’s been a quick ride to success for 21-year-old Justin Hall, whose first studio film will be released this summer.

Hall, who graduated from Carlmont High School in 2010, took the leap and moved to Los Angeles in 2011 after saving up money for a year. Now, this August, he will play the role of Bootsy Collins in the James Brown biopic entitled “Get on Up” with Chadwick Boseman of the movie “42.” His acting journey began when he got scouted during high school at Hillsdale Shopping Center.

“It (the scouting) was a scam,” he said. “But that’s what drew my interest in acting.”

Hall was in drama class in high school and told everyone he wanted to be an actor.

“While I was out here (in the Bay Area) that one year, I worked three jobs and tried to save up to move to Los Angeles,” said Hall, who is the middle child of three boys. “I actually didn’t save up enough, but my uncle who is an actor let me stay with him. I went out there and I got my first job in two weeks as a server.”

Hall began producing short films at the age of 16. When he first told his mom he wanted to act, she was very supportive.

“She didn’t even want me to do the free gigs because she knew one day I would do more professional stuff,” he said. “I told her doing the free gigs is what builds your resume. My dad wanted me to be a basketball player. He didn’t really get it until I moved to Los Angeles and started getting to work. Both of them have been on my side.”

Now, he even has his own production company called UPrising Artists that he runs with his friend Eric Watson. He flew to Oregon for his first feature film at age 16 called “American Disciplines.” Drama and comedy are his favorite acting genres.

“The way I got that was through Craigslist,” he said. “I was a go-getter. I really didn’t listen to nobody and that’s why I’m here today. If you feel like it’s the right thing, sometimes you’ve just got to do it.”

A year after moving to Los Angeles, Hall got his own place.

“Moving to L.A. was an experience,” he said. “The people are so different out there. A lot of people out there are so focused on the image that they forget about real friendship and being real. The culture out there is very different. ... The majority of people are stuck in their own world.”

Hall encourages aspiring actors be different and to think outside of the box.

“When you know you can’t live without something, that’s when you know it’s your purpose,” he said. “A lot of people move to L.A. and it’s all about being famous and they forget about the art and craft.”

He is currently getting ready to do a couple of films, while auditioning for new projects. He’s also acted in the horror film “Victoria’s Exorcism” and “Teacher of the Year” with Keegan-Michael Key.

“I’m so glad I took that route,” Hall said. “I’m so happy for myself and for my parents for helping me. It was hard for a minute out in L.A. — it’s a lot of sharks and I’m just a little fish going out there and it’s a lot of competition. I’m super proud of where I am today.”

In five to 10 years, he said he sees himself as a successful actor working a lot.

“I see my production company blowing up,” he said. “We want Uprising to be like a Google.”

For more on Hall’s actor career go to

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: there, actor, didn, first, school, people,

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