Shawn 'Solo' Fonteno, Yusuf Jah
Former gang banger turned professional performer Shawn ‘Solo’ Fonteno, beloved by millions of Grand Theft Auto V fans as the actor behind lead character Franklin Clinton, has released an inspiring new memoir documenting his rise from a troubled family life and immersion in gang culture to worldwide fame.
In the memoir, Fonteno opens up on his trauma-filled early childhood including the loss of parental figures to drug addiction, near-death experiences and the risk-taking behaviors that developed throughout his teen years and early adulthood - chapters of his life he’s relieved to close – as well as his experiences entering the entertainment industry in the hopes of inspiring at-risk youth with his story.
“I hope my story shows what’s possible to anyone who may be moving in the same kind of circles I was moving in as a youth,” said Fonteno. “I’m living proof that you can move past whatever circumstances you’re in and find a way to make a change and have a positive impact. I’m blessed to be in this situation and so grateful to the fans of Rockstar Games who have been so supportive.”
Shawn’s adverse childhood experiences gave Fonteno the attributes required to portray the kind of character Rockstar Games sought to create with Franklin Clinton in GTA V, – a young, smart and opportunistic street hustler determined to seek a better life for himself. Shawn’s combination of street cred, lived experience, and the skill and confidence to perform under pressure gave Shawn unique insights into the character’s arc over the course of the story.
Upon its release in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V was the highest-grossing entertainment property of all time. The game has gone on to sell over 155 million units worldwide, and with Franklin’s recent return as part of “The Contract,” the latest blockbuster update to Grand Theft Auto Online, Shawn’s character is more popular than ever.
Shawn 'Solo' Fonteno
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