Saturday, August 18, 2018 | Updated at 12:27 PM ET


KeKe Palmer Happy to Be in Control, Making Her Own Decisions

First Posted: May 09, 2015 02:36 PM EDT
Keke Palmer Talks 'Scream Queens' and 'Just Keke'

Photo : Pascal Le Segretain / Getty

KeKe Palmer is growing up in more ways than one.

In recent times, the former child star actress has starred in her own talk show and made her debut on Broadway. While much of her stage work has played to rave reviews, some haven't always been quite so accepting when it comes to the idea of her growing into young adulthood.

"People like to hold on to whatever they initially know you as," the former "Akeelah and the Bee" star told The Grio of all the criticisms she's faced about her "sexy new look."

She later added, "They aren't accepting to change. It's something I have to take in stride. I can't force anybody to accept me. But the honest truth is -- I'm not a kid anymore. I had to grow up at some point."

With that growth and aging has come a maturity that's left Palmer far more selective about what works for her and what roles she actually relishes playing.

Palmer pointed out she now focuses on roles that allow her to grow up and spread her wings right on camera. One of those castings has been her Broadway portrayal as the first black Cinderella alongside reality TV star NeNe Leakes.

"Nene is actually very down to earth," she added. "She has that extra sass in the way she carries herself that makes you want to come out of your shell too."

Enough so, that she might someday consider starring in a reality show of her own? Palmer doesn't think so, hinting right now that's not the direction she wants to go in. One project that does excite her to no end is the work she's now doing with Playtex Sport to encourage more young girls to continue competing is sports even after they've hit their teens.

"The funny thing is being active and being involved in sports are some of the major things that can actually help you with your self-confidence," she said. "Not just because of how you look on the outside, but because of how good it makes you feel on the inside. Fitness to me has always been about feeling good."

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