Justice Smith is an American actor, best known for his performances as 'Franklin Webb' in the film 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' and as 'Tim Goodman' in the film 'Detective Pikachu.' Born to a singer couple, Smith grew up learning singing and eventually mastered the art. However, he could not really connect with the craft, as he was more interested in acting. Smith ventured into acting at kindergarten. By the time he was a teenager, Smith had been part of a commercial and a TV show. Smith began his professional TV journey with a 'Nickelodeon' show and then transitioned to films. To date, he has only two TV credits to his name. One of those roles, 'Ezekiel Figuero' in 'The Get Down,' is a prominent one. Smith has a few upcoming projects that are bound to establish him in the industry.
Childhood & Early Life
Smith was born Justice Elio Smith, on August 9, 1995, in Los Angeles, US, to Wayne Smith and Duilia Setacci. He grew up with his three brothers, Wayne Smith Jr., Mark Cruz Smith, and Richard Smith, and his four sisters, Victoria, Camero, Felicia, and Adrienne.
Smith attended the 'Orange County School of the Arts' and graduated in 2013. Back then, he performed at events around Orange County. The 'National Young Arts Foundation' had ranked Smith among the top one percent young artists in the US, when he was in his senior year of high school. He was also nominated for the 'U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts.'
Smith’s parents are singers. Hence, he grew up learning singing. He once stated he would often sing in the car, along with his mother, while she would constantly rectify him whenever he would go off-tune. He would sometimes compete with his brothers and sisters. However, despite being so talented, Smith struggled to showcase his skills, since he was one of the eight children in the family.
Smith quickly mastered singing but never thought of pursuing it as a career. He was more drawn toward acting. His first acting project was a kindergarten play named 'Three Billy Goats Gruff.'
At the age of 15, Smith did an 'Apple' commercial. He played a middle-school news reporter, discussing the utility and advantages of wind turbines.
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Smith began his professional acting career in 2012, with a brief role in the short film 'Trigger Finger.' Two years later, he appeared in an episode of the 'HBO' documentary 'Masterclass.'
He also appeared as 'Angus' in two episodes of the 'Nickelodeon' superhero comedy 'The Thundermans' and featured in a few of ‘VlogBrothers’ 'YouTube' videos.
Smith was 19 when he appeared in 'The Thundermans,' and it was not a great experience for him. Smith thought he was still not skilled enough to work in such a hyped sitcom.
In 2015, Smith appeared in the supporting role of 'Marcus "Radar" Lincoln,' one of the best friends of the lead character 'Quentin' (played by Nat Wolff), in the romantic mystery comedy–drama film 'Paper Towns.' He earned his breakthrough role in the 'Netflix' musical drama 'The Get Down,' which premiered in 2016 but was canceled in 2017. The series featured him in the lead role of 'Ezekiel Figuero,' a smart and sensitive poet-turned-rapper.
Smith attended rap classes to prepare for the role of 'Ezekiel Figuero,' as the character was shown rapping in a South Bronx accent. He was taught the differences between early rap and modern rap.
Smith was listed on the 2017 '30 Under 30 List' of 'Forbes.’ He was cast opposite Lucas Hedges in playwright Anna Jordan’s ‘off-Broadway’ stage production of 'Yen' in New York, which ran at the 'Lucille Lortel Theater' from January 2017 to March 4, 2017.
In 2018, Smith was seen as 'Justin,' the neglectful boyfriend of the lead character 'Rhiannon' (played by Angourie Rice), in the romantic fantasy–drama 'Every Day.' A few months later, he was seen as former 'Jurassic World’ IT technician 'Franklin Webb,' working as the systems analyst and hacker for the 'Dinosaur Protection Group,' in the science-fiction adventure 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.'
Even though 'Franklin Webb' was a significant role in his career, Smith received a 'Golden Raspberry Award' nomination for the ‘Worst Supporting Performance’ for his portrayal.
Smith’s next substantial role that was of the former ‘Pokémon’ trainer 'Tim Goodman,' searching for his missing father, in the 2019 blockbuster urban fantasy–mystery feature 'Pokémon Detective Pikachu.'
Smith’s upcoming projects include the film adaptation of Jennifer Niven’s novel 'All the Bright Places,' in which he will be seen sharing the screen with Elle Fanning.
Family & Personal Life
Smith’s father is of African–American ethnicity, while his mother is of Italian and French–Canadian ethnicities.
There is no confirmed news of Smith being in a relationship, but an 'Instagram' picture of him with a girl named Raffaella led to a rumor a few years back. The photo was clicked when the two were vacationing and was published on June 25, 2017, with a caption suggesting their first anniversary.
Some sources suggest that Smith and Raffaella might have been dating since 2016. The two have not confirmed their relationship yet.
In October 2017, Smith was spotted at an event with Raffaella. He even thanked 'Getty Images' for clicking their adorable photos.
Smith and Raffaella were clicked together again, while on a romantic getaway in France, to celebrate their second dating anniversary.