In order to land the part, Sean says he had to go through an audition process. "The first time I met [director Kenny Leon], he was, like, 'You were born to play this role.'"
Although Sean's success has earned him a privileged lifestyle, he says there was a time in his life when he struggled like his character in the film. "It wasn't too long ago. I grew up in Harlem, New York. My father was killed when I was 3 years old," he says.
Because his mother couldn't always afford to buy him basic items like shoes, Sean says he took odd jobs to help support his family. "Your stomach still remembers how it feels to be hungry," he says. "I dreamed to be something. I wanted to be able to take care of my mother and take care of my family."