'Black-ish' star Anthony Anderson gushes about Yara Shahidi, says he feels no pressure to be political

Anthony Anderson doesn't feel any pressure to make his ABC hit "Black-ish" political.

While a multitude of shows in our current television landscape are leaning into what storytelling means in the Trump era, Anderson and his co-creator Kenya Barris want to keep on doing what they've been doing for three seasons, which is to tell stories about "universal issues that affect us all" that just happen to be from the perspective of an African-American family.

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"We don't feel any pressure at all," Anderson told me when I asked him about the politics of "Black-ish." "We aren't ripping stories from the headlines and talking about that stuff. We're not trying to be timely or topical. But, sometimes, there are things that we just can't deny and sometimes there are stories and issues that we have to talk about."

"We don't put pressure on ourselves or feel any pressure to talk about politics or what's going on out there," he continued. "What we're dealing with are social matters and universal issues that affect us all from the perspective of an African-American family. I think what's relatable about our show is that they're universally stories, themes and issues that we all go through as humans."

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Anthony Anderson rides the Charmin Van-GO truck around New York City.

(Credit: AP Images for Charmin)

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - JUNE 17: Anthony Anderson from 'Black Ish' TV Show poses for a Photocall during the 57th Monte Carlo TV Festival : Day Two on June 17, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - JUNE 16: (L-R) Anthony Anderson and Alvina Stewart attend the 57th Monte Carlo TV Festival Opening Ceremony on June 16, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
BANFF, AB - JUNE 13: Actor and Rockie Awards Gala Host Anthony Anderson arrives at the Red Carpet for the Rockie Awards Gala Cermemony during the 2017 Banff Media Festival at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel on June 13, 2017 in Banff, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Chin/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 03: Anthony Anderson hosts the 2017 Andrew Young International Leadership Awards at Philips Arena on June 3, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 02: Actor Anthony Anderson (L) and actress Yara Shahidi attend the 14th Annual Inspiration Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 2, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 24: Anthony Anderson attends the 38th College Television Awards at Wolf Theatre on May 24, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross attend the 2017 ABC Upfront event on May 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - MAY 06: Actor Anthony Anderson attends VH1's 2nd annual 'Dear Mama: An Event to Honor Moms' on May 6, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06: Hosts La La Anthony (L) and Anthony Anderson speak onstage during the VH1 'Dear Mama' taping on May 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for VH1)
BLACK-ISH - The cast and executive producers of ABC's critically acclaimed hit comedy 'black-ish' attended the ABC Studios 'For Your Consideration' event at the Television Academy's Saban Media Center in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (Richard Harbaugh / ABC Via Getty Images) DEBORAH ROBERTS, ANTHONY ANDERSON, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: Anthony Anderson attends the Build Series to discuss the show 'Blackish' at Build Studio on March 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0645 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Anthony Anderson during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on March 23, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BLACK-ISH - The cast and crew of ABC's critically acclaimed hit comedy 'black-ish' celebrate the end of season three at a wrap party on Monday, March 20 at Boulevard 3 in Los Angeles. 'black-ish' airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. (Paul Hebert/ABC via Getty Images) YARA SHAHIDI, ANTHONY ANDERSON
BLACK-ISH - 'Sister, Sister' - Bow's sister comes to town after filming a stint on a reality show, and they couldn't have less in common. Meanwhile, Zoey suggests that Dre spend more time with Junior since she's leaving for college, and Jack and Diane decide to rebrand themselves, on 'black-ish,' WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) YARA SHAHIDI, ANTHONY ANDERSON, MARCUS SCRIBNER
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Anthony Anderson attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Actors Anthony Anderson and Miles Brown attend the GBK Pre-OSCAR Luxury Lounge on February 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for GBK Productions)
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: (L-R) Nathan Anderson, Alvina Stewart, actor Anthony Anderson, and Kyra Anderson arrive at the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Host Anthony Anderson speaks onstage at the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: (L-R) Issa Rae, host Anthony Anderson, Tai Beauchamp and Chris Spencer attend the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Actors Anthony Anderson (L) and Marsai Martin attend the premiere of Amazon Studios' 'An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has To Win' at Pacific Theatres at The Grove on October 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Anthony Anderson arrives at the 23rd Annual ELLE Women In Hollywood Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07: Actor Anthony Anderson and Fashion designer Karl Kani attends A Toast To 90's Hip Hop & Fashion Celebrating Fashion Icon Karl Kani at Dom LA on October 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
BLACK-ISH - 'Being Bow-racial' - Bow must address unresolved feelings about her own biracial identity when Junior brings home his first girlfriend, who happens to be white. Dre is handling a big project for a client at work and relies on Charlie to teach him how to relate to the campaign's white, female point-person. Meanwhile, Zoey needs extra credit for her design class, and asks Jack and Diane if she can remodel their room, on 'black-ish,' WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 (9:31-10:00 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. (Tony Rivetti/ABC via Getty Images) ANTHONY ANDERSON, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Anthony Anderson from 'Black-ish' is a guest on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 9/20/16, airing on the ABC Television Network. {Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ANTHONY ANDERSON
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Doris Hancox, Anthony Anderson and Kyra Anderson attend HBO's Post Emmy Awards Reception at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actors Anthony Anderson (L) and Tracee Ellis Ross attend the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Actor Anthony Anderson attends the Emmys Diversity Brunch hosted By Anthony Anderson and sponsored by Kia on September 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Kia Motors America)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: Actors Anthony Anderson and Marlon Wayans attend a private event at Hyde Staples Center hosted by AQUAhydrate for the Drake and Future concert on September 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for AQUAhydrate)
BLACK-ISH - 'Jack of All Trades' - When Jack and Diane bring home the results of their career tests, Dre and Bow must come to terms with the fact that Jack may have a blue-collar future. Meanwhile, Ruby is convinced Diane is possessed with a little help from Junior and Zoey, on 'black-ish,' WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 (9:31-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, ANTHONY ANDERSON
BLACK-ISH - 'VIP' - Dre decides to take his family to Walt Disney World on the magical, first-class vacation experience he was never able to have as a kid. With the help of a VIP tour guide, Dre and the kids take full advantage of their VIP status. Meanwhile, Bow, Pops and Ruby set off on their own adventure at Walt Disney World, on the season three premiere of 'black-ish,' WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 (9:31-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Gregg Newton/ABC via Getty Images) ANTHONY ANDERSON
BLACK-ISH - 'God' - When Dre discovers that Zoey is questioning her belief in God, he undergoes a crisis of faith and leans on family members and coworkers for their input. Meanwhile, Bow's brother Johan comes to stay with The Johnsons after living abroad and becomes an instant thorn in Dre's side, on 'black-ish,' WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 (9:31-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network.' (Mitch Haaseth/ABC via Getty Images) ANTHONY ANDERSON
Actors Anthony Anderson (L) and Tracee Ellis Ross attend The 2016 Disney ABC Television Group TCA Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California, on August 4, 2016. / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 4: Anthony Anderson from Disney ABC Television Group's 'Black-ish' poses for a portrait at the 2016 Summer TCAs Getty Images Portrait Studio at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 27th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Maarten de Boer/Getty Images)
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Anderson and Barris' approach to maintaining the authenticity and original direction of "Black-ish" is refreshing and one that hasn't gotten off track at all since it premiered in 2014. If anything, the show has simply solidified the path that it's on.

"Everything that is happening with our show are the things that Kenya and I wanted to happen and hoped would happen," Anderson explained. "The critical acclaim, the social commentary, how it resonates with an audience, the ratings, the recognition across the board with all the award shows ... these things that are happening now are the things that have gone beyond our wildest expectations."

One of the things that Anderson may not have been able to predict was the inspiring rise of Yara Shahidi, who plays Anderson's daughter Zoey on "Black-ish." Despite her show's tendency to shy away from making extreme political statements, Shahidi has emerged as part of a crop of rising young stars that have been outspoken about politics, the representation of people of color in the media and social activism. Recently, former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote Shahidi a letter of recommendation for Harvard, where she was eventually accepted and plans to attend with Malia Obama this fall.

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Yara Shahidi out and about
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 03: Yara Shahidi at the Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills summer camp party benefitting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at Brooks Brothers Rodeo on June 3, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Brooks Brothers)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 02: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the 14th Annual Inspiration Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 2, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - MAY 21: Yara Shahidi attends the 2017 ABC/Disney Media Distribution International Upfronts at Walt Disney Studio Lot on May 21, 2017 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Actress Yara Shahidi attends Fossil Firsts Breakfast featuring Actress Yara Shahidi at The Wing on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Fossil)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 03: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the Chanel Cruise 2017/2018 Collection Show at Grand Palais on May 3, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actress Yara Shahidi poses in the press room at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 28: Yara Shahidi arrives at the UCLA's Johnsson Center Hosts 22nd Annual 'Taste For A Cure' Event Honoring Yael And Scooter Braun at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on April 28, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Yara Shahidi attends the Build Series at Build Studio on April 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
BLACK-ISH - 'Sister, Sister' - Bow's sister comes to town after filming a stint on a reality show, and they couldn't have less in common. Meanwhile, Zoey suggests that Dre spend more time with Junior since she's leaving for college, and Jack and Diane decide to rebrand themselves, on 'black-ish,' WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) YARA SHAHIDI, ANTHONY ANDERSON, MARCUS SCRIBNER
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the 8th Annual Essence Black Women In Music Event at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Actress Yara Shahidi poses in the press room during the 2017 People's Choice Awards at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images for Fashion Media)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Actress Yara Shahidi arrives at the 2017 People's Choice Awards at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama (L) and actress and activist Yara Shahidi participate in panel discussion at Glamour Hosts 'A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls' Education' with First Lady Michelle Obama at The Newseum on October 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Glamour)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the premiere of Amazon Studios' 'An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has to Win' at Pacific Theatres at The Grove on October 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Yara Shahidi arrives at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Actress Yara Shahidi attends Entertainment Weekly's 2016 Pre-Emmy Party at Nightingale Plaza on September 16, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the Audi Celebrates The 68th Emmys at Catch LA on September 15, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Audi)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 24: Yara Shahidi arrives at the 41st Annual Gracie Awards Gala held at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 24, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 12: Actress Yara Shahidi attends NYLON Magazine's annual Young Hollywood May issue event at HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails on May 12, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30: Actress Yara Shahidi arrives at the 2016 Radio Disney Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on April 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - APRIL 01: Yara Shahidi speaks onstage at Black Girls Rock! 2016 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on April 1, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paras Griffin/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 13: Actors Anthony Anderson (L) and Yara Shahidi (R) attend the 33rd Annual PaleyFest Los Angeles featuring 'Black-ish' at the Dolby Theatre on March 13, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
THE VIEW - Guests include John Cena; Joey Lawrence; Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin (ABC's 'Black-ish') airing Wednesday, April 13, 2016 on ABC's 'The View.' 'THE VIEW' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MARSAI MARTIN, YARA SHAHIDI, RAVEN-SYMONE�, MILES BROWN, MARCUS SCRIBNER
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 09: Actress Yara Shahidi attends Variety's Power Of Women Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 9, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
VENICE, CA - OCTOBER 03: Actresses Amanda Leighton (L) and Yara Shahidi speak onstage during The Paley Center For Media & Google present 'Cracking the Code: Diversity, Hollywood & STEM' at Google Headquarters on October 3, 2015 in Venice, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Google)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 02: Actress Yara Shahidi arrives at Teen Vogue's 13th Annual Young Hollywood Issue Launch Party on October 2, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the Television Academy's celebration for the 67th Emmy Award nominees for outstanding performances at Pacific Design Center on September 19, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Yara Shahidi and Marsai Martin attend the Television Academy's celebration for the 67th Emmy Award nominees for outstanding performances at Pacific Design Center on September 19, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the 2015 BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea at SLS Hotel on September 19, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: (L-R) Actors Yara Shahidi, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin and Anthony Anderson got their beauty rest with Beautyrest Mattresses at EXTRA's 'WEEKEND OF | LOUNGE' produced by On 3 Productions at The London West Hollywood on September 19, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actress Yara Shahidi attends Kari Feinstein's Style Lounge at Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas on September 17, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lily Lawrence/WireImage)
CENTURY CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Yara Shahidi and Marcus Scribner visit 'Extra' at the Westfield Century City on September 8, 2015 in Century City, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Marcus Scribner and Yara Shahidi at Backstage Creations Retreat At Teen Choice 2015 - Day 1 on August 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Backstage Creations)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 08: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the 4th Annual YouTube No Bull Teen Video Awards at YouTube Space LA on August 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 08: Actress Yara Shahidi attends HollyRod Foundation's 17th Annual DesignCare Gala at The Lot Studios on August 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
BLACK-ISH - ABC's 'black-ish' stars Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson. (Photo by Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Actress Yara Shahidi arrived at the BET & Make A Wish Foundation Recipients BET Experience At LA. Live Red Carpet arrivals - Weekend Events on June 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: (L-R) Actors Yara Shahidi, Miles Brown, co-hosts Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and recording artist Silento speak onstage during the 2015 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/BET/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: Co-host Yara Shahidi speaks onstage at 106 & Park presented by Coke during the 2015 BET Experience at Nokia Plaza on June 27, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/BET/Getty Images for BET)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 09: Yara Shahidi arrives at the 'Jurassic World' - World Premiere at Dolby Theatre on June 9, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 07: Yara Shahidi attends 'Matilda The Musical' opening night at Ahmanson Theatre on June 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 06: Actress Yara Shahidi attends Brooks Brothers MINI CLASSIC Golf Tournament to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at Brooks Brothers Beverly Hills on June 6, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Brooks Brothers)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 27: Actress Yara Shahidi attends the 8th Annual Television Academy Honors at The Montage Beverly Hills on May 27, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
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Anderson, who called her rise "beautiful," explained that he has a stake in her growing up, because he handpicked Shahidi and her young cast mates five years ago when casting "Black-ish."

"Yada is a talent, she's beautiful, she's intelligent and speaking to her ... she is the smartest one in the room," Anderson gushed. "I feel like I learn a lot form her. It's not just about me being an older person, and she being part of a younger generation. I actually learn things from her. To have First Lady Michelle Obama write a letter of recommendation to Harvard and for her to get into Harvard -- and it had nothing to do with the letter! -- is truly insane."

Anderson was telling me all of this from the back of a mobile bathroom called Charmin Van-GO, the first-ever on-demand service of its kind and something that the actor called "ingenious" and something he would've loved to have at his disposal during his three years filming "Law & Order" in New York City.

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