How Hollywood’s youngest-ever executive producer is creating cinematic magic.
On an overcast spring day in midtown Manhattan, the photo studio at OprahMag.com’s Hearst headquarters is buzzing with activity. Our photographer for the day, Tyler Joe, is making sure the lighting is right for his three subjects to shine, while makeup artists, hairstylists, and assistants shuffle back and forth. But when actresses Marsai Martin, Regina Hall, and Issa Rae arrive, everything comes to an eerily quiet halt. It’s exactly the type of reaction that should be expected when three women who are rewriting the rules of Hollywood walk onto a set.
The stylish trio breaks the silence with warm smiles and laughter. Soon—over the mellow disco notes of Luther Vandross’s “Never Too Much“—Martin is sandwiched between Hall and Rae. With every pose, she alternates between adorable and assertive, often requesting to walk over between shots to look at the screen displaying each photo. She’s the youngest of the group, but on this set, it’s clear that she’s the boss.
That self-assuredness is what led Martin to become the youngest executive producer in Hollywood history. At 14, Martin is not only starring in her first feature studio film, Little—in theaters April 12—but she’s also the person …