Actor invites his former Memphis teacher to ‘Detroit’ movie premiere

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- An actor raised in the Memphis area is having his first big-time movie premiere next week and is bringing one of his high school teachers along for the event.

Nathan Davis, Jr. went to Ridgeway Middle School and Houston High School in the early 2000s.

He’s now an actor, singer and dancer living in Los Angeles.

Houston High School teacher Billy Rayburn says he’s always believed in former student Davis.

“Not only is he fearless, he’s determined and his work ethic is incredible," said Rayburn.

Which is why he wasn’t surprised to see Davis grow up to be so successful.

He says he first met Davis on his first day of classes at Houston High ten years ago and they’ve stayed in touch ever since.

Rayburn says they were both new to the school and music brought them together.

“I became kind of like a father figure for him and he became the son I didn’t have.”

He says Davis is still a part of their family.

He visits and calls to tell him about the commercials, shows and movies he’s been casted in, including his first big-time movie “Detroit,” which has its world premiere next week.

It’s based on the true events of the Detroit Riot in the 60s -- one of the most destructive and violent riots in U.S. history.

Davis’ character is one that gets caught in the tension.

“He’s part of a group, a singing group, that’s coming into Detroit to perform that night.”

Rayburn says Davis didn’t want to give away all the details but did ask him to be his guest at the premiere.

“I’m just thrilled to be there for him. I’m very proud of him.”

Rayburn leaves next week for Detroit where he’ll join Davis and his mother.

The movie “Detroit” is expected to be released to be in theaters next month.

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