Photograph of Common

Brian Bowen Smith


Academy Award, Emmy and GRAMMY®-winning artist, actor, author, and activist, Common continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles, and continued success in all aspects of his career.

Common was most recently seen on Apple TV+’s new sci-fi drama series, “Silo,” where he stars opposite Rebecca Ferguson, Tim Robbins, Rashida Jones and David Oyelowo. Created by Graham Yost, the series is based on Hugh Howey’s best-selling trilogy of novels, which is set in a future dystopia where a community exists in a giant silo underground, where they believe they’re protected from a toxic atmosphere. Common plays Sims, the silo’s head of judicial security. The first season of the series was released on May 5, 2023 and the series was recently renewed for season 2. 

Last Winter, Common made his Broadway debut in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY. He starred as Junior opposite Stephen McKinley Henderson. During the run of the show, Common also hosted “Justice Nights on Broadway,” inviting justice advocates, formerly incarcerated and system impacted people, their family members, and community changemakers, for a special performance and talk back of BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY. 

Last fall, Common wrapped production on Stefon Bristol’s new action-thriller BREATHE. Common will star across Jennifer Hudson, Milla Jovovich, and Quvenzhané Wallis. BREATHE follows a mother Maya and her daughter Zora who are forced to live underground, with short trips to the surface only made possible by a state-of-the-art oxygen suit made by Maya’s husband, Darius, whom she presumes to be dead until a mysterious couple arrives claiming to know Darius and his fate. Common will play Darius, the husband and father of Maya and Zora.

In Spring 2022, Common was seen starring opposite Keke Palmer in the film ALICE, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Inspired by true events, the plot follows a woman (Palmer) of servitude in 1800s Georgia, who escapes the 55 acre confines of her captor to discover the shocking reality that exists beyond the tree line…it’s 1973. The film was released on March 18, 2022.

His latest album, A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Part 2 was released on September 10th through Loma Vista Recordings. The album is a timely and inspiring follow up to Common’s previous album, A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Pt. 1, which was released in October 2020 through Loma Vista Recordings. Pt. 1 of the album was written in 2020 during the height of the pandemic when racial and social justice protests, a contested election and economic collapse was polarizing the country. The first half of the album was written as a call to action to uplift, heal and inspire listeners dealing with these injustices. A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Pt. 2 is a continuation of this call to action, but one that sees the world in a new light. The album signifies a rebirth of sorts as listeners learn to cope with and elevate from this tragedy and turmoil. They are given a chance to create a better tomorrow and a responsibility to never forget the past obstacles they have faced.

In Summer 2021, Common starred in season two of Mindy Kaling’s hit Netflix series “Never Have I Ever,” which premiered on July 15th, 2021 on the streaming platform. He played Dr. Chris Jackson in the series, a dermatologist who becomes Nalini’s (Poorna Jagannathan) new local rival and potential love interest. 

Common completed production on the independent Hollywood satire, EL TONTO. Charlie Day directs and stars in the film alongside Common, Kate Beckinsale, Adrien Brody and Jason Sudeikis. 

In Fall 2020, Common appeared in action drama, AVA for director Tate Taylor. He starred opposite Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain in the film, which was released on September 25, 2020. He also starred in THE INFORMER with Joel Kinnaman and Rosamund Pike. The film follows a story of an ex-convict working undercover intentionally who gets himself reincarcerated in order to infiltrate the mob at a maximum-security prison. The film was released on November 6, 2020. 

In Summer 2019, Common starred alongside Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss in THE KITCHEN based on the DC/Vertigo female-led comic book series. Set in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen during the 1970s, the story follows wives of Irish mobsters (McCarthy, Haddish and Moss) who team up to take over running the business after their husbands are sent to prison. 

In August 2019, Common released hit album LET LOVE. The album was inspired by his work and experiences while writing his second memoir, LET LOVE HAVE THE LAST WORD, which was released May 2019. The memoir was quickly deemed a New York Times best seller in its first week of release. The memoir shares Common’s own unique and personal stories of the people and experiences that have led him to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer. This book follows his first memoir, “One Day It’ll All Make sense” which was released in 2011 and was also a New York Times best seller. 

In 2018, Common was seen on the silver screen in the Fox 2000 film, THE HATE YOU GIVE with Amanda Stenberg, Issa Rae and KJ Apa. This timely drama, directed by George Tillman Jr., premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. He lent his voice to the Warner Bros animated film SMALLFOOT alongside an all-star cast, Channing Tatum, Zendaya, James Corden and LeBron James. Common also starred in the indie film, ALL ABOUT NINA opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead and directed by Eva Vives and the action film HUNTER KILLER with Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman and Linda Cardellini.

He starred in the Oscar nominated film, SELMA, a film centered around the civil rights marches that changed America. Alongside John Legend, he won the Academy Award in 2015 and a GRAMMY® in 2016 for “Best Original Song in a Motion Picture” for “Glory” which was featured in the film. In 2016, he appeared in the David Ayer’s high-profile comic book movie, Warner Bros’ SUICIDE SQUAD. The film broke box office records both domestically and around the world.

In 2017, Common starred opposite Keanu Reeves in the highly anticipated sequel JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 and appeared in Judy Greer’s directorial debut A HAPPENING OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS with Allison Janney. He also appeared in Bleecker Street’s MEGAN LEAVEY alongside Kate Mara, Tom Felton, Bradley Whitford and Edie Falco. 

Behind-the-scenes, Common executive-produced the Netflix drama BURNING SANDS and performed the closing credits original song “The Cross” featuring Lianne Le Havas. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was released on Netflix March. He serves as an executive producer of Showtime’s hit TV series “The Chi,” a coming-of-age story set in Chicago from Emmy Award winning writer Lena Waithe.

Common’s 11th studio album, BLACK AMERICA AGAIN, was released November 4, 2016 on ARTium/Def Jam Recordings. The album includes socially conscious new single, “Black America Again” featuring Stevie Wonder and the anthem “Letter to the Free,” the end-title track to Ava Duvernay’s powerful Oscar-Nominated documentary 13TH, for which he also received the 2017 Emmy for “Best Music and Lyrics.” After collaborating on the album, Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins joined together to form supergroup August Greene. The trio made their live debut in January 2018 at New York’s Highline Ballroom as part of Glasper’s annual GRAMMY® Awards party and released their first joint album through Amazon Music. 

In 2017, Common was featured on Andra Day‘s song for Open Road Films’ MARSHALL soundtrack, “Stand Up for Something,” co-written by Common and eight-time Academy Award-nominee Diane Warren. The original song has received Oscar, GRAMMY®, NAACP, and Critic Choice Award nominations, as well as the “Hollywood Song Award” at the 2017 Hollywood Film Awards.

For the past few years, Common has dedicated countless hours and has been deeply engaged in social justice and advocacy work around mass incarceration, mental health and voting. After the success and impact of his Imagine Justice concert in 2017 and his Hope & Redemption Tour to eight different prisons, Common decided to establish and launch Imagine Justice as a new nonprofit in 2018. Centered at the intersection of art and activism, Imagine Justice is dedicated to leveraging the power of art to advocate for communities around the country, to fight for justice and equality and to stand united against injustice wherever it appears.

Through his Common Ground Foundation, Common is dedicated to empowering high school students from underserved communities to become future leaders. The foundation operates educational programs in Chicago that focus on character development, healthy living, financial literacy, social impact, technology, and leadership.  The programs include mentoring and college readiness, summer camp, and an annual Youth Business and Leadership Conference. The foundation students have a 100% graduation rate from high school.