If you ask Corey Champagne who he is, he’ll tell you. “Corey Champagne is a free spirit and an artist who is just trying to follow my dream and inspire people along the way, and be happy doing it,” he stated. That sounds like the dream that we all dream and hope for, and unfortunately some don’t ever get to achieve. Champagne never let himself get in his own way, despite all that could’ve been wrong at any particular time, he openly received the plan that was destined for him. As he candidly spoke about in his The Quintessential Gentleman interview, “Prior to getting the role [Seven Seconds], there was a lot going on in my personal life.” Corey has a story to share with the world, he explains, “I haven’t even told you half of it yet.” He’s Atlanta born and raised and that’s where he gets his pride. He came up during the time when ATL was becoming the hub for entertainment and a place where dreams are possibilities. He says, “Being from Atlanta, is just so much culture.” At the tender age of six, Champagne began taking acting classes, after realizing he wanted to be an actor. He wanted to be a power ranger, but as he admits, “I ended up finding out that Power Rangers were really actors.” As a youngster, he was always reciting lines from TV and was really engulfed in the storyline. No matter the addition, acting was never subtracted from the dream.
Fun fact is, not only does he have a love for acting, he has an equal love for singing and music. His mom is a singer, who used to perform for the troops and toured in Germany. Growing up in a very musical household, it was inevitable that he would have a love for it. Corey said, “I listened to a lot of Gospel growing up. I grew up in the church. I was about eight when I really knew I wanted to sing as well.” He later went to North Springs Performing Arts High School in Sandy Springs, Georgia. A few other well-known names also attended such as Raven Symone and Usher. Corey even went to Apollo, and as he confirmed, “Didn’t get booed.” Fast-forwarding to today’s time, Corey plays Kadeuce Porter, his breakout role in the Netflix’s drama Seven Seconds. Champagne is in good company alongside Regina King and Russell Hornsby. The show premiered on February 23rd and recently announced it won’t be returning for a second season. “The case concluded at the end of the day or at the end of episode ten. I don’t know how much more of a storyline we could’ve gotten to, but I think we did our job.” Champagne talked about how it felt to him personally, being apart of such an amazing project, “For me, it’s really about, the people that we touched with this project and how many eyes have been opened from it.”
His character is a young gang member, struggling teen, and Brenton Butler’s childhood best friend. Corey talks about the relationship between Kadeuce and Brenton, “They are best friends, but something within their relationship, at a certain point turned to where they started developing more feelings for each other.” As Corey describes his character as, “Deep thinker under a tough veneer. When it came to my storyline, I was concerned because I just didn’t know how people would take that, especially within the Black community. Looking back on it, I’ve actually just been very surprised at how positive the response has been to where the storyline went with my character. I was not expecting this much positivity as came my way,” Corey stated on the viewers response of the show.
He is auditioning and has the eyes of some really big agencies, he says since his biggest role to date. With a big management company now, they’re putting him to work and trying to secure the next bag. Corey says he probably would be more of an actor, but admitting, “I really admire J.Lo’s career. She’s had the number one movie and album, in the same week. I’ve always had dreams of having that type of career, where I can balance the two. I’m not backing down on any of my dreams actually. Maybe, a book five years from now.” He cooks and he also said, “I have a dream of one day having a family, and competing with the neighbor across the street of who has the best Christmas light decorations, and who has the best grass. More like the best Christmas lights and the best Halloween decorations, and all that stuff. I want to have that.” Corey Champagne says he’s a Quintessential Gentleman because “I strive to inspire people. I strive to create a different image of what it is to be a Black man, particularly on screen. Whether that be vulnerable or in a high place of power, I strive to have dimension and integrity in my work and in my real life” Keep dreaming Corey, we see you. He’ll be in a theater near you.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Seven Seconds series on Netflix, and also keep an eye out for what’s next for Corey Champagne.