Actor and humanitarian Nate Parker first received critical attention for his starring role in The Weinstein Company’s The Great Debaters opposite Director/Actor Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. Denzel handpicked him to play the troubled yet brilliant ‘Henry Lowe,’ who overcomes his selfish ways and becomes the team’s leader. Nate received an honorary Doctorate from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas – the school upon which the true story The Great Debaters was based.
Nate played the lead role in 20th Century Fox and George Lucas’ Red Tails, whose supporting cast included Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr. In addition to starring in the Spike Lee – directed Red Hook Summer, Nate generated critical acclaim for his performance in Arbitrage with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth.
Nate also starred opposite Alicia Keys in The Secret Life of Bees which featured an all-star cast including Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning and Paul Bettany. Other feature credits include Pride with Terrence Howard, Dirty with Cuba Gooding, Jr., Felon with Stephen Dorff and Sam Shepard and Tunnel Rats with Michael Pare. Onstage, Nate appeared opposite Dustin Hoffman, Annette Benning, Rosario Dawson and James Cromwell in American Voices at the Broad Street Theater.
Most recently, Nate played the lead opposite Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Gina Prince Bythewood’s critically-acclaimed Beyond the Lights. Nate also starred opposite Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore in Universal Pictures hit film Non-Stop. He also starred in the independent films Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with an impressive cast featuring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster as well as Jesse Zwick’s About Alex with Aubrey Plaza and Maggie Grace.
Nate is the writer, director and star of the historical period drama The Birth of a Nation. The film depicts the true story of a slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia that resulted in over 60 white deaths. The Birth of a Nation debuted at Sundance and was sold to Fox Searchlight for $17.8 million, a festival record. The film will be released in late 2016.
A Norfolk, VA native, Nate studied computer programming and trained his way to become an All-American wrestler at the University of Oklahoma. He mentors twenty-four children from schools in central Los Angeles and spearheads projects and events with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He sponsors a Peace for Kids scholarship fund and works in their after school program.