Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Black-ish star Marcus Scribner said he is particularly drawn to acting projects that "create positive images" to which people, especially young children, can relate.
Scribner, 19, who plays Marcus Johnson Jr. on the ABC sitcom, as well as voicing the heroic Bow in Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, told UPI in a recent interview that he is "definitely drawn to projects that have that aspect" of inspiring positive change in the community.
"I feel like it's our job as actors to create positive images, and I feel like it really affects people as kids. Growing up, I used to watch Everybody Hates Chris, The Proud Family, things like that. So being able to see those characters who looked like me on the screen always made me feel good," he said.
Scribner's character, known as Junior to his family, is the eccentric and free-spirited second-born child of Dre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross) on the family sitcom.
The actor said one of his "favorite things" is when Black-ish fans tell him how Junior reminds them of a family member, or even themselves.
"And I feel like I have a little bit of Junior in myself, as well, so it's nice to see a character like that on TV that you don't get to see too often," he said.
"I hope to do that with my work, whether it's She-Ra or Black-ish ... making sure that I'm doing positive things for the community, but also people who look like me," Scribner said.
He said he believes people connect with his Black-ish character because he is someone who follows his dreams, and that will continue during the show's sixth season, which begins Tuesday night.
"He's set out on his own, he's decided not to go to college," Scribner said, "so we'll see how that cracks out for Junior. He's definitely trying to find his own path and doing what he believes in, which I think is extremely important."
Scribner said growing up with Junior during the past six years has led to the character taking on some aspects of his own personality.
"I think it's kind of cool that our writers are very open to allowing our characters to evolve," Scribner said. "Junior's definitely grown up with me, we've experienced a lot of similar life experiences and it's super cool to have that kind of parallel art-reflecting-life situation. There's definitely a little flavor the writers have added from me."
The show is known for being unafraid to tackle serious subjects, including police brutality and LGBT issues, and Scribner said he has some ideas for places toward which the script could go.
"I don't think we've addressed the hunger crisis in America. I feel like we've explored bullying a little bit, but I feel like diving a little bit deeper into that -- maybe gender relations issues," he said. He said the show also is likely to tackle some current events "that are bound to pop up" during the upcoming season.
Scribner began his acting career with TV guest spots at age 7 and left high school to be home-schooled after Black-ish became a hit. He said he doesn't feel as though he missed any of the typical teen experiences.
"I'm from Los Angeles, so I have a ton of friends who are in L.A.," he said. "I went to like three proms, multiple homecomings, I never really felt like I missed out on anything, because everybody that I know is already here."
"Even with college, I have a ton of friends who go to UCLA and USC. Just going up there and visiting them has kind of given me a little bit of the college experience, what it's like to share a bathroom and a dorm room -- kind of intense!" Scribner said.
He said his current interests include becoming involved in filmmaking behind the camera, by "creating, brainstorming, writing and producing," but there is one job he no current plans to attempt.
"Directing seems scary to me," he said. "I don't know why -- it just seems like there's just so much that goes into it."
Scribner said he doesn't expect to leave show business anytime soon.
"As soon as it stops being fun will be the moment where I don't know if I can do it anymore, but I don't foresee that ever happening," he said. "I started around the age of 7 and just haven't gotten bored yet. So I think I'm just going to continue along this path and continue to expand and keep on learning, keep on growing as a person, expanding my platform and using it to create change."
The actor recently sought to effect change in his community by partnering with Frito-Lay and the Feed the Children project. He headlined an event in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles, handing out school supplies and toiletries to kids who were preparing to return to school.
"It's a super-positive initiative, and it links in something in my community," Scribner said.
Black-ish returns for a sixth season Tuesday evening on ABC.