Jason Weaver is a generational talent. Period.
From playing Marcus Henderson on the hit sitcom “Smart Guy” to the singing voice of Simba in the original “The Lion King,” to playing a young Michael Jackson and beyond, Weaver has been making boss moves within the industry since a very young age. Plus, he has no plans of letting up anytime soon as he continues to age gracefully.
As previously reported by AfroTech, the “ATL” actor revealed that his mother encouraged him to turn down an initial $2 million offer for voicing all of the singing done by the Simba character in Disney’s “The Lion King,” which debuted in theaters in 1994. Instead, his mother encouraged him to opt in for the royalties so that he would be able to see a true return on his investment.
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Early Business Lessons
“From the time that I was a kid, my mother, she instilled in me the importance of understanding that this is a business,” Weaver told AfroTech during a sit-down interview. “She instilled in me the importance of understanding that this is a business and understanding your work within it. Now, you know, you can have fun reciting lines and playing characters, but when it’s all said and done, if you’re going to do this, this is how you’re going to put food on the table for you and your family.”
He continued: “From the gate, business has always been at the forefront of what my family is about and how we navigate through this because I also have other family members in the music industry who are hugely successful, so that’s always been the foundation of how we move in the industry.”
The Chicago native has always carried the lessons of his mother and family members, who have helped him navigate the entertainment industry, with him since the start.
Doing so most likely played a part in the business and financial decisions that he’s made, including the one to not touch his first royalty check.
How He Spent His First Check
“It went into a trust,” Weaver recalled. “Because I couldn’t touch it until I was 18, a large chunk of the money that I made when I was a kid. I just didn’t touch it.”
He also shared details on how he spent it.
He added, “I think one of my first major purchases when I was able to touch it was like a Honda Passport, or something like that, as like one of my first cars. I’m not one of those people that need a lot of frills. I’m very low maintenance and I don’t like to attract a lot of attention.”
Even though Weaver did admit to splurging on a few chains to ice his neck with some of the money he’s earned over the years, he quickly added that it wasn’t long before he sold the pieces of jewelry because it attracted unwanted attention.
Embracing The Grown Man Era
As Weaver celebrates a 44th birthday on July 18, he notes that his overall view of life is different.
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“I’ll be 44 in the next few days,” he said at the time of the interview. “My son is 22. I’m a grown man now, so it’s different. My whole approach to not only acting but just creating content, in general, is all about having ownership in anything that I’m involved in.”
Today, Weaver is still committed to sharing his gifts and talents with the world. He even has aspirations of divulging into the technology sector to help other creatives like himself as they work to retain ownership of their ideas.
Additionally, he’s a guest star on Lena Waithe’s hit drama series, “The Chi.” Part one of season six will be available for streaming starting Friday, Aug. 4 on Paramount Plus with the SHOWTIME plan.