grown-ish will begin airing its sixth and final season on June 28. A chapter comes to a close regarding Black representation on screen and for the beloved hit TV show created by Kenya Barris and Larry Wilmore.
For Marcus Scribner, who has played Andre Jr. these past 10 years, this marks the end of an era. Now 23, Scribner was cast when he was 13 years old as a recurring character on black-ish, the popular sitcom that ended last year.
“A big chunk of my life is now packed up, and it’s time to figure out what’s next, which is very exciting,” he told Blavity U in a recent interview. “It definitely feels like the end of an era. It feels like I’m graduating high school all over again, so it’s really cool.”
grown-ish is one of black-ish’s spinoffs and caters to college-age young adults. It follows the Johnson family’s oldest daughter, Zoey (played by Yara Shahidi), as she goes off to college and endures the ups and downs of figuring out who she is as a freshly graduated high school student. Over the years, grown-ish featured a stacked cast of young Black talent, including Chloe and Halle Bailey, Luka Sabbat and Diggy Simmons.
Marcus Scribner takes Shahidi’s succession as the lead for the show’s final chapter, allowing him to approach his character in a different light.
“He comes into this season a lot more confident, a lot more sure of himself,” Scribner said of Andre Jr. “He’s gotten a good pep talk from his sister Zoey. He knows what he wants, and he’s going after it this season. It was very exciting for me, and it was a different side of Andre that we got to see, which is always a great time when you learn more about a character and see the layers behind a very forward character.”
View this post on Instagram
This ascension was also Scribner’s first time narrating, giving viewers a peek into Andre Jr.’s thought process.
“I’ve always seen Anthony do it. I’ve seen Yara do it,” Scribner shared. “They add their little perspective into each scene, and I was trying to figure out how to approach each narration from Junior’s perspective.”
“It was like a fun little dance and a line to play, and I’ve never gotten to narrate anything,” he added. “I often narrate my own life, as we all do in our heads, and it was cool to get to do that from the perspective of someone else. It was a lot of fun.”
So what can fans expect from this sixth and final season?
First up, back-to-back celebrity cameos: Kelly Rowland, Latto, NLE Choppa, Omarion, Anderson. Paak, The Free Nationals and Lil Yachty are featured. Some play new characters, while others appear as themselves. Scribner said he was particularly excited to work with Rowland, whom he had previously met at an event.
“Just legendary. I was quaking when I met her,” Scribner said. “She’s always the sweetest, kindest person. That was really exciting.”
The actor also pointed to Lil Yachty and NLE Choppa, who “were a blast to work with,” and added, “Their characters are hilarious in this season.”
Regarding storylines, Scribner said Andre Jr. has a lot on his plate this season. He’s figuring out his relationship with Annika (played by Justine Skye) while also getting serious about his career and mental health.
“He is settling into entrepreneurship, and he’s dealing with his crippling anxiety still and trying to shake that and all the pressures of life and school and family and friends,” Scribner said before stopping himself from revealing what may be a spoiler:
Andre will be “navigating having a business relationship with somebody that he’s close to in a more familial slash maybe… you know, other type of relationship.”
Scribner hopes the audience takes away the same lessons he’s learned from Andre Jr.
“I want people to take away from Junior that it’s okay to do what you love and to be the person that you are and to love how you love,” he said. “I think that’s one of the best lessons that I’ve taken away from Junior is to just go for what you want and just be who you are.”
When thinking about the legacy left behind by both grown-ish and black-ish, Scribner also hopes the audience could see themselves, their relatives or their friends represented on screen.
“I really enjoy that the show illustrates a large diaspora of Black people and shows all of our different facets and opinions and points of view — which is really cool because I feel like we oftentimes get all lumped together as having one perspective,” he said. “I think the -ish universe did a good job of illustrating that it’s not like that.”
Creating stories with more Black voices is one of Scribner” goals as he enters his next career stage. It prompted him to start his production company, Scribner Productions, with his father. Scribner wants to help carve a space for Black actors in science-fiction and fantasy — genres he enjoys. He aims to “create that space for us to share our stories.”
As Scribner says a final goodbye to Andre Jr., the actor looks forward to reading new scripts, finding new characters and working with filmmakers. Scribner recently played Shawn in the 2022 award-winning thriller How to Blow Up a Pipeline, which takes a dramatic look at environmental activism.
“It was a lot of fun to be a part of,” Scribner said about the project. “The character of Shawn was a really interesting guy, and it was so fun to dive into his psyche and figure out where he comes from and where he stands in life.”
The final season of grown-ish will start airing on June 28 on Freeform. The first half premieres this summer, with the second in early 2024.