Kiki Layne is from Cincinnati,Ohio. She attended DePaul University. Her next film is a screen adaptation of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel Native Son.
Her first acting role was with Lena Waithe in the pilot for the show The Chi, which was shot in 2015. Speaking to Vanity Fair, says she was always acting growing up and that her favourite movie as a child was, The Lion King. I used to watch it every day and create these extravagant stories with my Barbies and stuffed animals.”
Layne began her career attending a performing-arts school in Cincinnati, where she took the flute, then French horn and the trumpet. She later attended DePaul University in Chicago to study acting. After graduating she moved to LA where she landed her breakout role in the Barry Jenkins movie If Beale Street Could Talk.
Layne is outspoken about the injustices African American people face in the USA and the issue of representation of black people in films. Speaking to Vanity Fair, she says, “The black community faced [injustices] in the early 70s and still face them today, issues of wrongful incarceration and what the justice system looks like for black people growing up in poverty. But at the core of it is a really beautiful love story between Tish and Fonny. I don’t feel like I’ve seen this for young black actors—there’s this tenderness that I just don’t see.” She’s really making a big splash in the industry.