Southwest suburban boy, 9, nominated for NAACP Image Award for role in 'Origin'

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
9-year-old from SW suburbs nominated for NAACP Image Award
Lennox Simms, a 9-year-old from the southwest suburbs, is nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his role in Ava DuVernay's new movie "Origin."

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Lennox Simms, a standout actor from the southwest suburbs, is already nominated for an NAACP Image Award at just nine years old.

Simms is nominated for his role in "Origin," one of the most compelling films of the season.

Simms has been in show business most of his life, saying his mother told him he started modeling when he was just nine months old.

Simms has a key scene in the film "Origin," by acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay, which explores the afflictions of racism and class. Simms' scene is inspired by the true story of a little boy who wasn't allowed to join his friends at a pool party because of his color.

"I'm glad that the story is being told because people need to know that stuff so history doesn't repeat itself, but luckily this has never happened to me before and I hope it never happens to me when I get older," he said.

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Seeing himself on the screen was an incredible experience for the young actor.

"I was so proud of myself, I was so amazed, I was like, I'm in a movie, I'm in a movie in a theater!" he said.

But show business is a difficult industry, and his family has worked to prepare Simms for rejection.

"You just have to be a support system for your kids if this is what they want to do. It builds character and tough skin," said his mom Dorothee Simms.

And it turns out she had the wrong answer when DuVernay asked her about her son's water preparedness just before shooting the emotional scene at the pool.

"'Mama, does he know how to swim' And I said, no, and she said 'Mama, what do you mean, he doesn't know how to swim?!'" Dorothee Simms recalled. "Some people were crying, some people were biting their fingernails because it was very intense and I'm staring and saying "please don't fall in, please don't fall in."

Simms wants to continue to act and is very excited to be nominated for his role in "Orign," a film that taught him about more than how to do his job.

"I will always remember to treat people how they would like to be treated, and just be kind," he said.

You can vote for Lennox Simms by going to the NAACP Image Awards voting website and selecting "Outstanding Youth Performance - Motion Picture."