Brandon Hammond: Growing Up On ‘Soul Food’
Brandon Hammond is name a lot of people don’t recognize. But when you see his face, a lot of people would recognize him as Ahmad, Big Momma’s favorite grandson in the 1997 hit film, Soul Food.
Hammond’s first film role was in Menace II Society where he played the younger version of the main character Caine. He followed this up with major roles in Strange Days, Waiting to Exhale, The Fan, and Mars Attacks!, usually playing the son of one of the main characters. He also appeared in Space Jam playing Michael Jordan as a child.
But the cut, little actor is all grown up now. He’s 33 and living life to the fullest by still acting and directing and even producing films.
“Ahmad was 10 in the film and he would be 27 today… Ahmad played basketball and played sports,” reflects Hammond. “If he wasn’t playing ball or something like that he would be honoring Big Momma or his mom in some way. He might be doing what I’m doing. He might be a writer or doing something creative. But if he wasn’t playing basketball he would definitely have his degree and make his mom proud and Big Momma proud.”
Unlike other former child actors who’ve grown up in the spotlight, Hammond wasn’t really type cast and doesn’t mind being recognized for his former roles.
“I would say obviously [Soul Food] is my most recognizable role,” Hammond tells Essence. “I do get recognized for other things I did. Whenever I see someone, that’s the first thing they say. I think it’s very flattering. They actually approached me to do Soul Food the TV show, but for whatever reason it didn’t work out. I think that if I had done the show it would have made things a little worse in terms of being pigeonholed.”