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Keke Palmer is a multi-talented performer who has done everything from television acting to hosting awards shows. Funny, witty, and inspirational, Palmer first embarked on her acting career when she was just a young child. A few years ago, Palmer made the transition to more mature roles, tackling parts in biographical projects such as CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. In 2008, Palmer worked with the rap icon Ice Cube on the film The Longshots – but what few fans realize is that Palmer actually auditioned for a much earlier Ice Cube project, one that she did not get. In an interview with Glamour, Palmer opened up about the failed audition, admitting that she believes everything happens for a reason.

Keke Palmer auditioned for a role in the movie ‘Are We There Yet?’

Palmer was born in Illinois in 1993, to parents who had both worked as professional actors. When Palmer demonstrated an interest in the entertainment industry, her parents encouraged her, helping her audition for both stage and movie productions. Palmer landed her first movie role in 2004, when she was cast in a small role in the comedy Barbershop 2: Back in Business, starring, among others, Ice Cube.

Around the same time that she started filming Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Palmer auditioned for another film starring Ice Cube titled Are We There Yet? Palmer did not get the role. But as she told Glamour, she’s got no hard feelings about it.

“I auditioned for Are We There Yet? and I remember being so sad I didn’t get it,” Palmer said. “But when I look back on it, I wasn’t ready. When I was, I got the opportunity to do the movie The Longshots, (also) with Ice Cube. That’s why I always say everything is not always for you. Sometimes if you wait and keep trucking, growing, and doing your own thing, greater things will come.”

When was Keke Palmer’s big breakout in Hollywood?

Just a couple of years after her breakthrough role in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Palmer landed the role that would change her life in the drama film Akeelah and the Bee. The story of a young girl who participates in a major spelling bee, the movie earned Palmer considerable critical acclaim and opened the door for the young actor to get hired for many more projects.

Over the next few years, Palmer appeared in movies such as Madea’s Family Reunion, Jump In! and Shrink. Palmer earned praise for her comedic timing and versatility. In 2009, Palmer got the opportunity once again to act opposite Ice Cube — and this time, she got the part. 

Keke Palmer and Ice Cube made waves in the movie ‘The Longshots’

keke palmer ice cube
(L-R): Keke Palmer and Ice Cube arrive at the premiere of the Weinstein Company’s ”The Longshots” at the Majestic Crest Theatre on August 20, 2008, in Westwood, California. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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When Palmer auditioned for The Longshots, she was one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars. The film paired Palmer with the rapper and actor Ice Cube, as well as Tasha Smith and Dash Mihok. The film tells the story of a young girl named Jasmine Plummer, who became the first young woman to participate in the Pop Warner football tournament, according to IMDb.

With Palmer in a leading role, there was a lot of pressure on the young star to carry off the film’s comedic scenes. Palmer, an acting pro at that point, did so effortlessly, no doubt impressing her co-stars as well as fans who eventually saw the flick in theaters.

Not long after Palmer made waves in The Longshots, she was able to make the switch to more mature roles — appearing in movies like Animal and the hit TV series Scream Queens. These days, with a buzzworthy role in the new Jordan Peele film Nope, Palmer is once again in the spotlight.