Inspirational Quotes by Teyonah Parris

By | September 17, 2018

I think, no matter who you are, at some point in your life you’ve probably said, ‘OK, well, who am I, and where do I fit in?’

Teyonah Parris

It only takes one person to mobilize a community and inspire change. Even if you don’t feel like you have it in you, it’s in you. You have to believe in yourself. People will see your vision and passion and follow you.

Teyonah Parris

It feels good to be a role model for little girls who don’t often see natural hair on the red carpet.

Teyonah Parris

I want to continue to strive towards deepening my relationship with God and finding peace in whatever trials or circumstances I may be given.

Teyonah Parris

You have to be resilient to be a black person in America. The thing about being resilient is being able to fall apart and pick yourself up again. And putting yourself back together, that improves on what you were before.

Teyonah Parris

I’m looking through old things of mine, and there was this binder from when I was 14 years old. It is essentially a dream board. It is a school binder that I had put magazine clippings on. It said, ‘TV actress, fame, a picture of Halle Berry, a picture of Christina Aguilera.’ I was obsessed with both of them.

Teyonah Parris

A show like ‘Orange Is the New Black’ has every race and ethnicity – and you don’t even have to depend on four networks any more. You can go to Amazon or Netflix and be in an award-winning show.

Teyonah Parris

It’s no coincidence that the cities with the highest rates of violence also have the highest rates of unemployment. There are not many opportunities. We have to address that, starting from the government down and the grassroots up.

Teyonah Parris

I’ve wanted to be an actress my whole life, and the – none of the women I aspired to be like had natural hair.

Teyonah Parris

I got my first relaxer when I was nine years old. This was in the ’90s, and I convinced my mom to let me perm my hair so I could wear a French roll with the crimps in the front.

Teyonah Parris

I was a wild child tomboy.

Teyonah Parris

When you just come into a show that’s already established, you feel that they’re family, and they have a way of doing things and running things.

Teyonah Parris

When I look at material, I get excited by things that are telling the truth because that’s what you want to do: tell somebody else’s truth.

Teyonah Parris

When I looked at ‘Dear White People,’ you have four African-American students who are all very different and who are trying to figure out who they are. They’re dealing with identity issues and crises. That is exciting to me, to see African-American young people on a page, on a screen, who are so diverse and whose stories are all so different.

Teyonah Parris

I, for myself, have wanted to get more into producing because I want to be a part of the conversation and be one of the voices in the story we’re trying to tell.

Teyonah Parris

When I’m filming, I keep my hair in cornrows so that they can fit a wig on top of my hair.

Teyonah Parris

I try to be very particular about the roles I choose and what they say and put into the universe. I try to do my part.

Teyonah Parris

When you get into this industry and the restrictions placed on women, first, and then on women on color, next? Yeah, this business comes with its challenges. But I do not shy away from those challenges.

Teyonah Parris

When you get older, you start to doubt, and you put limitations on yourself. But little Teyonah had no fear.

Teyonah Parris

Ever since I was maybe nine or 10 years old, I’d say, ‘I’m gonna be an actor, and I’m gonna go to Julliard, and I’m gonna be in movies.’ My parents never said, ‘What’s your backup plan?’

Teyonah Parris

I always want to tell the truth. It doesn’t have to be a pretty truth, and it doesn’t have to be a life-changing and life-threatening truth like ‘Chi-Raq.’ But I want to tell someone’s truth in an effort to inspire people to see themselves reflected on the screen.

Teyonah Parris

Every time I get a role, or the opportunity to explore a role, I look at it, and I think, ‘What is the story we’re trying to tell here?’

Teyonah Parris

When you have filmmakers like Justin Simien, writers, producers, actresses like Lena Waithe, who are people of color, they’re creating their own content and saying, ‘You know what? We’re not going to wait on someone else to tell our story. We’re going to do it ourselves. You can be a part of it or not.’

Teyonah Parris

Why aren’t there films being made that tell ethnically diverse stories? Or why is it so impossible to allow a person of color to add their texture and their essence to a role that is not ethnically specific? I don’t know why it’s a novel or risky idea to consider making a film look like how our world actually looks today.

Teyonah Parris

The person that inspired me throughout most of my childhood was Angela Bassett.

Teyonah Parris

I went straight from filming the second season of ‘Survivor’s Remorse,’ and the creators over there were so supportive in letting me go early so I could film ‘Chi-Raq.’ And that was an amazing experience.

Teyonah Parris

In working with Nick Cannon, he’s such a generous guy, a generous actor, and he was very protective.

Teyonah Parris

I love my ‘Survivor’s Remorse’ cast. They are so funny and crazy, like a big dysfunctional family. It’s so much fun, and I love the issues that we talk about on that show. We deal with nuanced and controversial issues, and we do it in a way that’s funny. It’s comedy.

Teyonah Parris

I think people need to watch ‘Chi-Raq’ because you need to know what’s happening in your back yard.

Teyonah Parris

I think social media is a slippery slope because while you’re projecting something out to people, they also project back onto you what they want to see.

Teyonah Parris

My dad, bless his heart, always told me I was beautiful, so I was never self-conscious in that way. But when you look at the images on TV, you think you need to look like that in order to be sexy.

Teyonah Parris

As a girl, I remember looking up to pop singers, and they all had long, straight weaves and light skin. And I thought, ‘That’s what I have to look like if I’m going to be fierce and sexy and all those things.’

Teyonah Parris

It’s important, as a young person of color, to see yourself reflected in the media.

Teyonah Parris

I don’t even watch basketball. I can’t even pretend.

Teyonah Parris

I had been getting relaxers since I was eight or nine. I had no clue. It was a personal mission to really find out who am when I’m not altering myself to look like anybody else. Who am I when I wake up and I don’t do anything to my hair? Who is that woman? I want to meet her. And that was what catapulted my journey into going natural.

Teyonah Parris

Generally, when I’m going to a new project, I take my own makeup. I’ll explain to them what it is that I would like. If they are receptive, we figure it out together. If they’re not, I’ll be going to back to my trailer and doing my own makeup. And that’s the same for hair.

Teyonah Parris

Whatever it is you do, study it, learn the ins and outs of it, and really work on building your craft.

Teyonah Parris

For me, it’s always about the work and the stories I’m telling and the slices of life I feel should be illuminated.

Teyonah Parris

You have to really understand and appreciate who are you are and know who you are and what you have to offer people – not just a man but people! This helps you have something to stand on. Know your value and what makes you valuable so you can always go back to this.

Teyonah Parris

As black women, we’re miles behind our white counterparts in being offered the space to create and craft female characters in major blockbuster films.

Teyonah Parris

I went to this arts high school in Greenville, S.C. In speech class, the teacher, a white man, would say, ‘You’re talking ghetto. Don’t talk ghetto.’ I’m not only offended, but I’m confused because while there’s nothing wrong with people who come from the projects or the ghetto, that’s actually not my experience.

Teyonah Parris

When they asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I said, ‘I want to be a model and an actress.’ They said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Because I can look good and get paid to do it.’ That’s the kind of kid I was.

Teyonah Parris

Working with Spike Lee was a dream of mine. It was amazing to be able to collaborate with such a visionary.

Teyonah Parris

An actor hears ‘no’ more often than the average person. A black human and a black woman on top of that? That’s a lot of no’s.

Teyonah Parris

You look at ‘Survivor’s Remorse.’ Or ‘Blackish.’ Or Issa Rae’s brilliant, funny ‘Insecure,’ which started out on YouTube but is now on HBO. And you see multifaceted representations of the African-American experience. It’s insanely exciting.

Teyonah Parris

I’m influenced by many things. Simply turning on the television, I feel inundated with images and messages to be a certain way. So I try to limit my influences by being aware of what I allow into my environment. I’m always conscious of what’s trying to creep into my subconscious.

Teyonah Parris

I really feel like the stars have aligned many ways, many times for me. I have been blessed to play some awesome roles and nuanced and meaningful characters.

Teyonah Parris

When I choose a role, what I’m looking for is the ability is to tell our stories. Me being a black woman, that’s just a given. It’s going to be a part of any role I do, making sure I tell it truthfully and nuanced and in a way that many people can relate to.

Teyonah Parris

I’m like any other girl: I see the Instagram posts and the Tumblr stuff. I’m inspired by what my fellow girls are doing.

Teyonah Parris

It was not hard for me to find guidance and motivation. I’m very blessed, and my parents were always so supportive of myself and my brother. Whatever you wanted to do, you just had to give 110 percent. So whatever that was, they supported it.

Teyonah Parris

I went to middle school and high school, and my drama teacher, Ms. Cooper, basically nurtured me. It was always a part of my life, and my parents allowed it to be.

Teyonah Parris

In my junior year of high school, I went to a boarding school for the arts: a school called the Governor’s School for The Arts and Humanities. It was basically a mini-Juilliard – an intense training conservatory for the arts.

Teyonah Parris

Every time I see my friends on a billboard, I’m so excited. If God can do it for me or them, he can do it for everybody.

Teyonah Parris

It’s so important… to have a variety of representation on television.

Teyonah Parris

I love period dramas.

Teyonah Parris

I’ve had the struggling actor experience. At one point in New York, I was holding four jobs, including bottle service girl, while I was trying to break into acting.

Teyonah Parris

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