Photo: Getty
  /  07.25.2022

2022 Essence Festival was not only a weekend of receiving goodies and stellar performances from top artists like Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj and City Girls, the annual event also served as a weekend to give back and invest into the future of tomorrow’s leaders.

McDonald’s USA partnered up with Keke Palmer through its Black and Positively Golden campaign to surprise its “Future 22” class with $10,000 each for a total of $220,000. The celebratory event in their honor was held during 2o22 Essence Fest to help further the community-driven causes of 22 change leaders whom McDonald’s USA announced earlier this year.

“It’s an honor to join McDonald’s to recognize and celebrate these awesome leaders, while also supporting their work and mission,” Keke Palmer said via press release. “They are creating bright futures for themselves and the next generation – and, really, all of us – and the excitement on their faces during the McDonald’s surprise gave me joy.”

In an exclusive interview with REVOLT, the trailblazing actress talks goals that are still on her bucket list, NOPE costar Daniel Kaluuya, and more. Get into our quick but entertaining chat below.

You are consistently working and have been successful across television, film, as a spokesperson in commercials, and everything in between. Can you share the method to your madness, so to speak?

Man, I have to shout out my team. My team is number one! They help me with everything because I can’t do it all on my own. Since I’m in multiple things, there’s a lot of scheduling, a lot of missing pieces in there, so I have the pleasure to get out there and perform because they handle all the difficult stuff for me. I definitely don’t do it alone. 

Prior to NOPE hitting theaters this month, fans had very little information about the plot (in true Jordan Peele fashion). Without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen it just yet, what’s one message audiences will gain from the film?

One message audiences will gain after seeing the film … well, there’s a lot audiences will gain because the film touches on so much in terms of grief and the exploration of how we deal with it, as well as how it affects us. There’s a lot to say on how we’re searching to be seen in a lot of different ways and how sometimes our efforts in that regard can lead us to a dreary path. It also touches on family and how family is really something we will always have and should focus on, but sometimes we forget what that really means. It’s a bunch of different things, a lot of stuff — everyone will take something different from it.

One of your latest gigs is hosting ballroom competition series “Legendary.” In addition to yourself, which of your celebrity peers do you believe is on the trajectory of legendary status?

I would have to say Daniel Kaluuya is on legendary status — he’s so young and he’s an Oscar winner. He’s an icon in pop culture due to his performance in Get Out and what that story meant. He’s very much so legendary.

Are there any goals you have yet to reach that are still on your bucket list?

I think a goal for me would be doing a lot more behind-the-scenes [work] like producing, writing and directing. I’ve always loved to perform and be in front of the camera, but I definitely look forward to doing stuff behind the camera. 

You just wrapped up a fireside chat with the McDonald’s CEO. You tweeted a few weeks back that you enjoy watching food content, too. What’s your go-to meal that you can whip up in the kitchen?

Ooooooh, I can whip up some pancakes — I’m good with breakfast … like pancakes, eggs and bacon.

For your pancakes, do they have to be golden in the middle? 

I’ve gotten into the golden crust more because I got caught up on how it looked on the box. My daddy always did the crust on the edge and as I gotten older, I realized everyone wanted the crust on the edge — so now I have to follow his recipe. 

I need to try these pancakes with some syrup. 

And butter, too! 

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