Matthew A. Cherry wasn’t an artsy kid. Growing up on Chicago’s Northwest Side, he played four sports in high school, football in college, and then bounced around the National Football League for a few years.
His Plan B was a pivot to TV and film production and eventually an Academy Award, for his 2020 animated short film “Hair Love,” about a young Black father struggling to style his daughter’s hair on a special day.
On this episode of The Rundown, Cherry talks about his circuitous career journey, how he hopes he can inspire a new generation of young Black animators, and why he set his new animated TV series – “Young Love,” an expansion of “Hair Love” that premieres Thursday on Max – in Chicago.
“Chicago is everything. Chicago is hard-working. People that work nine-to-fives, they’re trying to survive, they’re trying to live, but they’re also present for their family,” Cherry said. “That’s what we’re representing.”