Amandla Stenberg On Why She Doesn't Have a Smart Phone

Actress Amandla Stenberg opens up in a candid interview with W Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg about why she doesn't have an iPhone anymore, the story behind her first kiss, and more.

Released on 9/14/2017

Transcript

00:00
My favorite emoji is the little angel emoji
00:02
but only if it's the little black one.
00:04
I'm not a huge emoji person I don't think.
00:07
Well this is the thing, I don't have an iPhone anymore.
00:10
I got rid of my iPhone because I was worried
00:12
about the mental health effects it was having on me.
00:15
I feel like it's very easy for your perception of reality
00:19
to get distorted when you have this device
00:22
in your pocket 24/7 that you can refresh,
00:25
like a hyper reality, doesn't actually exist.
00:28
Felt like my life was refreshing Instagram
00:30
as opposed to refreshing life.
00:34
I've been acting since I was really little,
00:37
since I was about four years old.
00:38
I was definitely the kind of kid
00:39
who had a really active imagination.
00:42
And so I would star like, in my own musicals and stuff.
00:45
I would write these very intricate stories in my head
00:49
with full ballads and dance numbers, and everything.
00:52
The parts weren't all me, they were definitely distributed
00:55
amongst a large group of kids in my head.
00:58
Which makes me sound like I was kinda of a messed up kid.
01:02
To have all of these imaginary friends.
01:04
I definitely went through a period of time
01:07
where I was very obsessed with young Leo,
01:10
and so Titanic reigned supreme in my heart.
01:14
I have seen Gilbert Grape, yeah, he's great in that.
01:17
He's great, I mean, he's great in everything.
01:19
I was just watching the YouTube clip,
01:21
that part of Djanjo, where he basically like,
01:24
he almost got an Oscar for that moment
01:27
where he slices his hand open, it's bleeding,
01:30
and he like, went with that acting choice.
01:33
That's so cool to me.
01:34
Favorite birthday.
01:36
When I turned 17, I got my nose pierced.
01:39
And that was a big event.
01:41
And I got my sister to be the one who was signing off on it.
01:46
Because my sister's a bit older than me.
01:47
And so sometimes it can, we can make it pass,
01:50
like she's my mom.
01:51
And I told my mom.
01:52
She was like, I don't want to be a part of it.
01:55
If I don't have to sign off on it, then go ahead.
01:58
I remember getting it and feeling like,
02:00
yeah, I got my nose pierced.
02:03
I'm a real teen now.
02:05
It hurt so bad.
02:06
'Cause I got s septum piercing.
02:08
And so it went right in here.
02:09
It's basically like a extremely painful sneeze.
02:12
My first kiss was when I was 14, at a party.
02:16
It was like the first time I'd ever made out with someone.
02:19
I remember like sitting on this boy's bed, and (laughs)
02:24
and I remember him leaning in, like panicking
02:27
and like, looking away.
02:28
Like, you don't know how to cope, so you just look away.
02:31
(laughs)
02:32
And I remember like, finally kind of getting
02:35
more comfortable with him
02:36
and making out and being like, this is weird.
02:39
(laughs)
02:40
Like, I don't like this.
02:41
I think he was probably just a bad kisser. (laughs)
02:43
I didn't really hit puberty until like, a year ago.
02:46
I was not content being small.
02:48
My mom had to listen to me so much.
02:52
Be like, mom, when am I gonna grow?
02:54
And all the other girls in middle school have boobs,
02:58
and I don't at all.
03:01
I think finally like, now I'm really comfortable in myself.
03:05
'Cause that's something I don't have to deal with anymore,
03:07
is feeling really behind or feeling like a tadpole.
03:12
(laughs)