Kendall Kyndall has come a long way from bringing us laughs from his couch. Giving us his two cents about the drama on Love & Hip Hop led to him now being the one in front of the camera. The Detroit native is a series regular on BET’s Games People Play, which is now in its second season, and he’s basking in the moment that he’s been waiting for.
The sophomore season of Games People Play called for him to be on set more than the first time around due to his character MJ having a bigger role.
“MJ is back in full effect,” he said. “You can expect to see him a lot. He will be leaving from up under Nia’s shadow as he always wanted to. You can expect to see a little bit more into his life. I won’t tell you too much. You’ll see some other things. Maybe you’ll see a little bit of love. Maybe you see a little bit of lust.”
Transitioning from influencer to actor came with a heavy load of pressure. The assumption was that Kendall Kyndall was just an influencer dabbling in acting when he was actually using social media to get to where he wanted to be. No opportunities were given to him because of his Instagram presence. He spent a year going to acting classes and meeting with an acting coach to prepare him for his big debut.
“I really auditioned and I was in the mud,” he told me over Zoom. “It’s totally different when you go on a casting call. They don’t care who you are on Instagram. Honestly, they are harder on you because of it because [they think you have a big head]…The rise of influencers pissed Hollywood off for a second.”
Being on social media was the key that opened the door to him pursuing his dreams.
“A lot of people will feel like, because we’re influencers we have like one up on other actors,” he said. “Then you will see it in the comments like these Instagram influencers swear they want to be actors. How do you know that’s not always what I wanted to be? I just took to this platform because I was just like, okay, this is my way in.”
Though he took acting classes and studied his craft, he said being on set with seasoned actors like Jackie Long and Karen Obilom gave him something he couldn’t get from the classroom.
“Being on set is the best teacher, especially with people who’ve been in the game because they’re gonna get you together and they don’t care about your feelings,” he said. “And I’m a person that can take criticism very well. So get me together because it’s going to make me shake things up.”
Kendall Kyndall is a born entertainer. During his high school years he was in the marching band as a drum major, played the saxophone and was also on the step team. Acting was always a dream of his but he tucked it away because of the lack of drama programs as well as his father not being a fan of his Hollywood dreams. His passion took a backseat when he went on to take the practical route of going to college and getting a typical 9 to 5. He transferred schools twice and after landing at Wayne State University, he began his career in human resources and quietly left school. While working in human resources in 2015, Kyndall began giving his commentary on Love & Hip Hop for fun. His minute-long reaction clips to each episode were filled with witty, humorous clap backs that led to him becoming a viral sensation. It wasn’t until he enrolled at Ashford University and studied a more fitting major of mass communications that he had his full circle moment.
“I needed to finish what I started, because I was unhappy,” he said about going back to school. “As soon as I finished what I started, all this stuff started happening for me. As soon as we got close to graduation, my Instagram grew then boom BET reached out, then boom Claws. It was a ripple effect. Then I moved to Los Angeles.”
He’s also been summoned to be a co-host for Love & Hip Hop reunions and be a correspondent for the BET Awards.
Fast forward and he is now a triple threat. Besides being an actor and Instagram influencer, he also hosts his own show on the streaming service ALLBLK called Social Society, a talk show that tackles hot topics and also brings the funny with comedy sketches.
He vowed to never put his dreams aside again and hopes to have his own show where he’s the one supplying the funny in the near future.
“Don’t wait for nobody to pick you,” he said. “Don’t wait, create. So I would like to have my own show. Whether it be a series or a sitcom. I really love what Will Smith and Martin did. The Cosby Show was also a statement. I would love to have something like that for people to watch and just be able to really dig into.”
Games People Play airs on BET every Tuesday at 10 P.M EST.
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