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The fourth season premiere of This Is Us introduced three major new characters, and one will play an even bigger role than previously thought: Asante Blackk, who plays Philadelphia high schooler Malik, will be a series regular for the NBC show’s fourth season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
“My character, Malik, is a great young man. He’s connected to the Pearsons in a very, very [key way]. He gets close to them as as the season goes along,” Blackk told THR at the 2019 Emmy Performers Nominee reception in September. “I’ve been greeted with open arms by the cast. They’re all amazing, and it’s great to have such a such a great show and have such great writing.”
Blackk’s character met Deja (Lyric Ross), the adoptive daughter of Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), in the season premiere while at a barbecue before the new school year (the family’s first in their new Philly home).
The actor was nominated for an Emmy for his role in the Ava DuVernay limited series When They See Us, about a group of New York City teenagers wrongfully imprisoned for raping a woman in Central Park and who are now known as the Exonerated Five. He played the teenage Kevin Richardson in the series (Justin Cunningham portrayed Richardson as an adult).
Blackk is represented by UTA and Del Shaw.
This Is Us series regulars for season four include Griffin Dunne, who recurred last season as patriarch Jack Pearson’s long-lost younger brother, along with returning cast members Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Chris Sullivan, Watson, Jon Huertas, Hannah Zeile, Niles Fitch, Logan Shroyer, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Lonnie Chavis, Parker Bates, Faithe Herman, Eris Baker and Ross.
Executive producers of the 20th Century Fox TV series include creator Dan Fogelman, Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Ken Olin, Charlie Gogolak and Jess Rosenthal.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
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