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2015 is definitely Keke Palmer’s year. Hot on the heels of playing Cinderella on Broadway, and starring in Queen Latifah’s coming of age flick Brotherly Love, Palmer has nabbed two new roles; playing ZayDay Bubblegum in Ryan Murphy’s new horror comedy series Scream Queens (premiering this fall) and Marty Maraschino in Grease: Live (airing in 2016).

HipHollywood caught up with the 21-year-old to talk about her amazing year and how she’s handled the success. “I try not to get caught up on societies idea of my success,” explained Palmer. “There’s always going to be year thats more popular or what have you than another. I just try focus on how happy I am about the work that I’m doing.”

And that work has definitely proven to be exciting and groundbreaking. Palmer became the first African American woman to play Cinderella on Broadway, and will be the first black actress to play Marty (originally Italian in the film) in Grease:Live.

“I’m very excited to play the character Marty because she was in the movie a little bit, but not a lot, so I feel like I won’t be so influenced by the character and still be able to add my own twist to it, said Palmer. “And it’s exciting because she wasn’t originally African American so I’m excited about being able to bring something different to the classic.”

But when Palmer isn’t working, she’s inspiring young kids, most recently appearing at Warren Lane Elementary School in Inglewood to help unveil their new mural dedicated to Olympic champion Jesse Owens.

“When I got to maybe 13 (years old) it became big for my parents to make sure that aside from doing acting and the entertainment industry that I also made time for my peers,” explained the Chicago native.  “If its a word or anything that I can say to remind them of how special they are I want to be that person to do it.”

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EXCLUSIVES

Watch: Julia Roberts And Owen Wilson Give Advice To Their 10-Year-Old Selves

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To say Wonder is a must see movie is an understatement! Not only will the film touch you and inspire you to be a better person, it will also entertain you from start to finish.

But don’t take our word for it. HipHollywood sat down with the film’s stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson who shared their excitement to bring this heartwarming story to life and how they channeled their real-life parenting skills into the role.

“I think we felt a responsibility to be authentically parents and authentically parents to these two kids, said the 50 year old mother of three. “And I think that’s why you really believe these four people are family and are really having this experience together.”

In the film based on the NY times best seller, Roberts and Wilson play the parents of a teenage daughter (Izabela Vidovic) and 10-year-old boy (Jacob Tremblay) with facial differences entering mainstream elementary school for the first time.

When asked if they had any advice for their ten year old selves, Roberts said: “I have a ten year old son and I tell him to run.”

Meanwhile Wilson says he remembers 5th grade vividly, and enjoyed having his brother Andrew Wilson at the same school to protect him. “It helped so much having an older brother who was already at the school, so that would be the advice I’d give, have a cool older brother.”

Wonder hits theaters November 17, just one day before Wilson’s 49th birthday. 

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