Terrence Little Gardenhigh on Dream Collabs, Making His Own Way, and Living that Superhero Life

By Andréa Butler| Photos By Caleb Shane| Styled By Patrick Lynere| Hair By Eliven Quiros

From his breakout role on Netflix’s Coffee and Kareem to his current gig on Nickelodeon’s Danger Force, 13-year-old Terrence Little Gardenhigh is living his dream. Here, he shares what it’s like to work with industry O.G.s, rise above obstacles, and play an unlikely superhero.

Sesi: Out the gate, you’ve already worked with big names, such as Taraji P. Henson and Ed Helms. Who else do you dream of collaborating with and what have these O.G.’s taught you?
Terrence: I would have loved to work with Mr. Chadwick Boseman! I miss him and I don’t even know him. I’d love to work with Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Denzel Washington, Samuel Jackson, Will Ferrell, Forest Whitaker, Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Zack Galifianakis, Robert Downey Jr., Regina King … I think I better stop here. LOL.  I learned about comedic timing, camera angles, how to trust my gut on some things, and improv. The one thing that stays with me that I learned from “Mama T” Taraji is sometimes less is more.  

Sesi: Thinking of Coffee and Kareem and Danger Force, what are some of the biggest differences between filming a movie and a TV show?
Terrence:  In the movie, we actually traveled to most of the places that we were filming, and on TV, you stay on set and they change it to make the scene.

Sesi: So, tell us all about your Danger Force character (Miles/AWOL) and how he felt when he discovered he suddenly had powers. How has he coped with the chaos of learning how to control his teleporting ability?
Terrence: I believe Miles instantly thought about all the people he could help and all of the cool places that he could travel to. Miles is very patient because he knows that the Universe is in control of everything he does, so he is constantly in total meditation mode — unless things get really crazy!

Sesi: That superhero outfit, tho! Your costume rocks a fist resembling the Black power fist, which has got to be significant. What does it mean to you?
Terrence: The Black power fist means peace, unity, power, and strength; it also means being proud of my Blackness no matter what the situation is. I feel powerful and strong. Chris Nowak the creator and writer of the show, and Miss Kristen Dangl, the amazing lady that keeps me looking fresh to death on set, had an amazing vision for Miles. Chris said when he saw me he immediately knew he wanted me to be a strong character like a young Malcolm X. I was honored to be part of that vision and that he even saw that in me. 

terrence little gardenhigh wearing denim jacket and yellow shirt, playfully sticking out his tongue

Sesi: What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in this business so far?
Terrence: I would have to say hearing, “No, not this time” or auditioning and not getting anything because of my look. Because my hair is different, I may not be what they are looking for, but I really don’t see it as an obstacle. I look at it as I’m establishing relationships and leaving an impression on some people that may want to work with me on future projects — or possibly change what they thought they wanted because they see something in me. 

Sesi: How do you hope to make an impact in your community/industry/world? 
Terrence: Wow, that’s a great question. I would love to share my knowledge and experience with other children that want to do what I’m doing but don’t have the confidence or ability to do it. [My mom] keeps saying there is so much talent in areas where parents just can’t afford to spend money to make things happen for their children, so I would like to create a community like the Boys and Girls Club for performing arts mixed with a little history and make it free. 

Catch up on season one of Danger Force here.


Quarterly print teen magazine for Black girls ages 13 to 19. Covering The Black Girl's Mainstream™