Remembering The Legendary Chadwick Boseman In Film And Beyond

Chadwick Boseman was a man on a mission.

A mission to portray many African-American greats and the superhero, T’Challa in the movie, Black Panther, to inspire many young African-American children to strive to be anything they wanted to be.

On the 28th August 2020, Boseman lost his battle to colon cancer – he found out about the diagnosis four years ago. The legendary actor died peacefully in his home in Los Angeles with his wife, Taylor Simone Leward, and his family beside him. He was 43. It was reported that none of his co-stars, directors, or the public even knew about his diagnosis.

There is no doubt there was an outpour of grief amongst his fans and his co-stars that was impacted by his presence when he was alive. His co-stars from Black Panther, Michael B, Jordan, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, and Letitia Wright have all written poignant tributes to Boseman’s legacy as an actor. Many tributes honoured him as a person who never ceases to inspire and create good art that is everlasting and impactful.

Barrack Obama has tweeted, “Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do all while in pain – what use of his years.”

Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther, was devastated when he discovered about Boseman’s illness and endearingly honoured the actor by stating:

“After his family released their statement, I realised that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity, and pride, he shields his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days.”

Through the course of Chadwick Boseman’s acting career, he was always determined to make a change to the predominately white-washed film industry. His breakout in the 2013 film, 42 as Jackie Robinson, the legendary African American major league baseball player was critically acclaimed. Critics praised his performance as “transcendent” and “as serve as a powerful vehicle to the audience for generations to come”.

Coincidentally enough, Boseman’s passing was on the birthday of Jackie Robinson.

The next year, he lent his acting chops to the role of James Brown, King of Soul from the film, Get on Up, which also earned his praise.

Editorial credit: Sarunyu L / Shutterstock.com

Although the actor had faced his share of discrimination in the industry, he earned international stardom when he played T’Challa, the Black Panther. His character debut in Captain America: Civil War, was released in cinemas in April 2016.

In February 2018, the stand-alone film, Black Panther broke the box office and earned upwards of $US 1 billion ($1.35 billion) worldwide.

At the height of success, he was invited back to Howard University, where he earned a degree in Fine Arts and delivered a commencement speech to the graduating year with poignancy and bestowing his wisdom on how to attain greatness.

“Some of you here struggled against the university itself,” he said to the majority of African-American audiences.

“Many of you will leave Howard and enter systems and institutions that have a history of discrimination and marginalisation.

“The fact that you have struggled with this university which you love is a sign that you can use your education to improve the world that you are entering.”

Rest in Peace, Chadwick, King T’Challa. You will be missed forever and always.

Editorial credit: DFree / Shutterstock.com

Rising Star Spotlight: Make Way For Akeem Jamahl Mair

Akeem Jamahl Mair is definitely an emerging actor to watch out for in 2020! He has booked several principal and leading roles in various student films. These include some well-known and popular remake titles such as Hannah and her Sisters and Good Will Hunting. Additional appearances include Limbo, All about the Money, and Initiation. He’s currently under the management of Commercial Talent Agency.

Akeem was born on September 16, 1988, in Pasadena, California, to entrepreneur Erol James Mair and Queen Alice Mair, a public service professional. Akeem was named after Eddie Murphy’s character in the box office hit Coming to America. He is the oldest of four siblings.

Akeem first became interested in acting as a child at Linda Vista Elementary school in Pasadena, California, performing in many school productions. “I fell in love with the excitement and reactions my onstage talents had on people. To be any character I wanted to be, gave me escape from my everyday life.” He then attended John Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena, California, receiving his High School Diploma in June 2007. Having a solid educational background was huge for his parents.

Since graduating high school, Akeem has taken college courses at Pasadena City College in pursuit of earning a business degree to become a financial banker. Everything changed when a loyal customer at his former daytime job commented, “You have this huge charismatic personality that radiates positive energy in people, are you an actor?” Since that day, Akeem made the decision to pursue acting as his passion and career.

At Columbia College of Hollywood productions, Akeem was involved in two lead roles of “All About the Money” as Jim, a lowlife who gets killed over never paying back his debts and “A Wonderful World” as the homeless man, Frank Simmons, who gets a second chance at life. At the University of Southern California, he booked leading roles in “Spotted” as Todd, the remake of “Born Fourth of July” where Akeem plays Jerry Levine’s character, Steve Boyer. At the University of California, Los Angeles, he booked leading roles in “Initiation” as the BKE leader Brad, “The Old College Try” as a robotic inventor named Anthony, and “Adagio” as a gym instructor named Marcus.

Akeem has worked for CBS and Comedy Central on the hit show “NCIS: LA”, and “Key and Peele.” Additionally, he has landed principal roles for live performances across major Southern California Universities. He has also appeared in national television commercials for eHarmony, The Clippers, and most recently for The Dominguez Firm and has played the lead in numerous music videos. Additionally, he performs in high-traffic original content on the web in numerous roles such as Allistair, a vampire seeking to exterminate vampire hunters, in “The Blood of the Dead” and he has appeared on the Youtube channel “Girls Going Viral.” Most recently he appeared on an episode of The Ellen Show which garnered over five million views.

Whether he is bringing life to characters in film and television, on small and big screens, or in high-traffic original content on the web, Akeem’s upbeat attitude and infectious energy towards every project and role he takes on is definitely a step towards stardom.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Akeem to discuss his journey in the entertainment industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

 At first, I had my mindset on becoming a financial banker because I saw Michael Douglas’s character and lifestyle in the movie, “the game.” I saw his 2000 BMW 740i, his custom suits, the excitement in the office, and a maid at his house… I was blown away. Plus, I loved math and punching the numbers in a calculator so I figured that being a banker is my dream job. Little did I know while working at Ralph’s grocery store, a loyal customer would change the course of history for me. I remember being a cashier and her coming into my line with a sad demeanor. It seems something was bothering her so I did what I normally do with any of my customers which is brighten their day up. I said hi, “it’s good to see you again, did you find everything okay?” She said, yes I did thank you!” I said, “I usually see you smiling but whatever you’re going through I know will God rescue you!” “He never gives you more than you can handle!” After the transaction, I said, “have a bless day!” “I hope to see you again soon.” Immediately she paused and finally looked up at me for the first time and I could tell she had been crying. she replied, “Are you an actor?” I said, “No. Why do you ask?” She said, “Because your energy is filled with so much positive energy. You move people by it. You lifted up my spirits after I just lost my house in a foreclosure. Thank you!” Her reply shocked me. After she left I went home that day and wondered, What would my life look like if I was a successful actor? I thought about how I’ll be able to help my family so much more and how I can infect millions of people with the same positive energy. That night I searched ‘how to become an actor’ and it said most start as an extra on a movie set. So I called Central Casting in Burbank the very next day and here I am.

What do you like most about acting?

I just grew up with this love of being in front of the camera. Most of my family and friends are a bit terrified and want to always look their best but for me it was different. I felt like I always treated the lens of the camera like a best friend of mine and in that space, I totally just let go of life and be free from all of the worries I deal with on a daily basis. I love the idea of jumping into another person’s life and taking a break from my own reality. Each of the characters I play have their their own life and story. Something about playing other characters makes everything I’m going through in my life disappear. I can let go of my own problems for a change and take on new ones. It’s kind of the Bible saying, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3. Instead of judging a person, I rather jump in that person’s shoes and see what it’s like to see life out of their eyes and understanding. To see how they’ve dealt with their own problems and that creates a new perspective for me.

Can you tell us about your latest project?

I plead NDA! But trust me, when it comes out you’re gonna love it! What I can say, is that it’s an upcoming project that features my dad. I’ve never thought in a million years I’ll be able to do my passion and also bring my family in and experience it with them. My dad is not an actor at all but all of his actions came straight from his heart. It was a powerful project and there was a real moment my father and I shared. I forgot about all of the camera operators capturing the whole moment, it was surreal. Afterward, the owner came rushing down to hug me because he too had a similar experience with his father. I didn’t expect a breakdown in tears like I did with all the cameras in my face, but it happened out of nowhere. I am used to holding things in and not letting others inside so you could imagine my shock as the tears started pouring out. The other actor in the scene was frozen, he didn’t know how to react to something like that. This project definitely brought me closer to my dad as we are now talking as often as we can. The experience changed me. It allowed me to see the things in my life that scares me the most and go straight after them. Acting became a healing moment for me and one of my projects that I’ll never forget.

What’s the biggest challenge in your chosen career path?

Being persistent and aggressive all the time in activities that benefits my career. Even when you’re burned out and tired, and you have an audition to do, you have to get it done. And don’t be afraid of doing things by yourself. If people on your team are busy or don’t have the time to help you, you gotta learn to be strong and do it yourself. You’re gonna hear, “I’m busy,” a lot in this industry. You’re gonna hear, “sorry, we went with the other actor or actress for the role but we wish you the best in your future endeavors.” You’re gonna hear, “sorry we are not taking in new clients at this time.” Despite all of that, you have to stay positive and confident. nobody gonna tell you that when you really need it at like 2 am. So you have to be your biggest motivator and most reliable person you can trust.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

It happened when I was in acting class at the time. I swear my phone kept buzzing every 5 minutes like crazy. My friends and family kept blowing up my phone up with texts like, “you were on The Ellen Show??? Call me!” They were thrilled to see me on the recurring humor segment called “Speak The Lyrics.” A show where one of Ellen’s writers walks up to a complete stranger and begins speaking to them in song lyrics.

I swear I had no idea it was on TV because I was in a class, ‘On-Set/On-Camera’ breaking down being realistic with your actions in a scene taught by David Rountree. I originally had no idea I was even being filmed for The Ellen Show. A couple of months earlier, I stopped at Barnes and Noble in Burbank. I notice a bunch of film crew standing outside so I asked one of the crew members, “What’s going on?” None of them claim they knew any information about what’s going on. I walked in and checked out some books and was on my way out when I notice a 2pac record and stopped at the record section. That’s when Lauren appeared.

I remember Coach Mike’s lessons of being completely confident and don’t disagree with what anyone says while their improving. Next thing I know, I was signing some papers and it airs on TV, Ellen calling it, “The best episode she’s ever seen!”

It was definitely a moment to remember and has been a huge exposure for my career. It generated over 5 million views on Instagram and even landed in the Instagram feed of my future agent, Sarah Angeli from Commercial Talent Agency. The timing was perfect because I had just submitted my headshots and resume to her last week. So when I walked into her office for my agent meeting, she had my episode cued up on her computer. She was like, “I just saw this yesterday and here you are!” She played it again and we both smiled and laughed. I’ll never forget that experience, it was God’s blessings written all over it.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’ve met so many incredible people. One of them was LL Cool J on the set of the TV series “NCIS Los Angeles. I wasn’t supposed to be his body double but the one they hired was super late to set and the director walked up to me said, “hey can you help us out?” I was like “sure why not?” He said, “great you’ll be a cover for LL Cool J!” I was shocked. Apparently LL Cool J who was still getting his makeup and outfit checked out by the wardrobe manager and makeup artist. We filmed a scene of me sitting in his black Dodge Challenger while waiting for my partner to come out of the building from meeting one of his informants. It was awesome being in that car, had my hand on the steering wheel and it felt like this was what I was born to do! As the scene finished, here comes LL Cool J walking up to me. I was shocked at first because I didn’t realize he was so tall. I’ve always seen him on television and figured he was my height. He shook my hand and said, “great job bro I appreciate you covering for me.” It was such a great moment because I was being praised by somebody I listened to as a kid.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

To win an Oscar! That is my ultimate career goal and the only future plan that I have. So everything that I am doing now is to put myself in the position to win. If I have to stay up at night to practice and study, that’s what I have to do.

Outside of acting, my plans are to become a global icon and activist. I want to be a role model for kids and inspire them to go after their future dreams too. I want to fight for justice and peace all around the world. I just want to inspire the entire world with positivity like Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus Christ, Gandhi, Michael Jackson, 2pac, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, etc.

Here’s A Chilling First Look At The ‘Class Action Park’ Documentary By HBO

HBO has just released the trailer for “Class Action Park,” and it revolves around “the world’s most dangerous amusement park.”

Situated in New Jersey, USA, Action Park earned a reputation as the world’s most dangerous water park throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It was a park that combined alcohol and liquor and it was also a massive health risk – a place where people actually died.

Here’s the synopsis of the show according to HBO:

“To some, New Jersey’s infamous Action Park was the most spectacularly fun amusement park on Earth: A place where unruly 1980s teenagers were given free rein to go gonzo on strange contraptions that seemed to violate the laws of common sense (and perhaps physics). To others, it was an ill-conceived death trap. One thing is sure: It’s the type of place that will never exist again.”

Check out the trailer below courtesy of HBO (Screenshot from HBO):

Meet The Woman Behind The Latest Cover Of FilmCentral Magazine: The Beautiful Nell Nakkan

Danielle Kate Nakkan or Nell Nakkan for short is a stunning writer, actress, director, and producer, who hails from Sydney, Australia, and who’s currently on the rise.

Nell actually got into the entertainment industry when she found an article in the newspaper about a talent agency workshop. She decided to attend this workshop, and this led her to be accepted into a child casting agency which became her starting point in the industry. She says that what she likes most about acting is the power that you can have from storytelling. She reveals that through storytelling, we have the power to change the world and people’s perceptions. Although she loves being part of the entertainment industry, she confesses that it can be a very difficult industry to be involved in because it’s hard to plan for what you’re going to be doing next since things can change from one minute to the next minute.

Her extensive training includes the Atlantic theatre company located in New York City, Screenwise, ACTT, Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, and at RADA in London. She also has a varied and extensive resume which covers everything from film projects to classical Theatre, and she’s been working in the industry for over ten years which is probably one of the reasons why her acting chops earned her the “best actor” award at the Cause Film Festival. Her first major break was playing the role of Sheila in the Australian series “A Place to Call Home.” The show starred Marta Düsseldorp and Noni Hazelhurst.

She indicates that the most memorable experience of her career has been working on Foxtel’s A Place to Call Home. She’s been working with some of the best talents both on and off the camera and it has been an amazing experience for her. She also says that one of the most interesting people that she’s met so far in the industry is Simon Baker – she revealed that she enjoys watching him work because he’s such a talented star. She further revealed that one of the most valuable lessons she has learned working in the industry is that you are in control of what you bring to the acting table and that everything else you do is going to be up to someone else.

Nell says that while her family does support her career, this can be both up and down at times. They are still quite proud of her work, and she has a great support network that helps her through any difficult times. With so much talent under her belt, the road to the bright lights of stardom is only beginning for this promising thespian, Nell Nakkan.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Darkest Hour. Gary Oldman- a well-deserved win.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? I’m quite visual, so I enjoy artwork, photography, and a great view.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I would like to do something really physically demanding like a marathon, or a trek.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” probably be a bit more into high-risk sports. I prefer all my bones intact.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I used to get subconscious with the amount of freckles I have, but as I have gotten older I have learned to love all flaws, curves, and differences!

Rising Star Spotlight: Get To Know “Ruthless” Star Melissa L. Williams

Having already made waves on BET’s currently #1 ranked new scripted series “The Oval” with dual roles, breakout star Melissa L. Williams, who has quickly become Tyler Perry’s new muse, is now set to lead Perry’s spin-off series “Ruthless,” as the title character Ruth Truesdale on BET’s new streaming platform, BET Plus, out now.

“The Oval,” tells the story of a family placed in the White House by people of power while also highlighting the personal side and everyday lives of the staff who run the inner workings of the nation’s most iconic residence. On the new hit series, Melissa portrays twin sisters ‘Denise’ and ‘Ruth,’ polar opposite roles, both with their own agenda.

Perry’s spin-off series “Ruthless” follows Ruth Truesdale as she’s forced to play nice with a scandalous religious cult of powerful sex-crazed fanatics in the hopes of freeing herself and her daughter. Williams stars opposite Stephanie Charles (“The Paynes”), Anthony Bless (“Tyler Perry’s Sistas”) and Bobbi Baker James (“House of Payne”).

Melissa actually grew up in Oklahoma City as the oldest of six and utilized her family holiday gatherings to put together and star in her own talent shows. A natural performer from an early age, she set out to do as much local theater as she could find in Oklahoma City, eventually heading to Clark University in Atlanta for college to study theater. Williams joined the CAU Players, the University’s drama club, which puts on various productions yearly ranging from classical works, musical works, children’s productions, and one-act play festivals. Melissa starred as Carmen in F.A.M.E. during her time in the CAU Players. Even after finishing her degree, she went to get additional technical training so that he could produce projects herself and applied it to several music videos she produced when she moved to LA.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Melissa to discuss all of her current projects and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered’?

I started my professional career like many actors going to countless auditions. I built a great rapport with some wonderful casting directors and they would constantly call me in. From there, I booked a few network roles and my career took off.

What do you like most about acting?

I like that I get to study and become so many different characters for a living, it’s fun! I like finding the truth and finding the similarities between myself and the character.

Can you tell us about your role in Ruthless?

I play Ruth Truesdale, who is on a search for redemption. Ruth is striving to become her “best self” but sometimes things aren’t always as they seem.

What sort of person is going to love this character?

That’s the thing about complex characters, they pique everyone’s interest whether it’s the negative or positive traits. Everyone is still intrigued.

Photo credit to Tommy Flanagan

How is this character like you? Different?

Ruth is like me because she is extremely passionate about what she believes in. We are different for obvious reasons.

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to stay interesting and express my emotions while wearing the same wonderful purple cloak for 24 episodes.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

Elizabeth Moss. Actually. she played a similar character in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Besides yourself, which actor in this show is going to blow people away?

I feel like every single actor came to play; I’m going to leave it up to the viewers to decide!

If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

No one. I believe what’s for you is for you.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

The most memorable experience in my career was being able to introduce my father to Tyler Perry at his Gospel Brunch and him telling my father “I’m really proud of her.”

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Tyler Perry, his work ethic is unmatched.

How active are you on social media?

I’m very active! I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter every now and then. I just got a TikTok, too.

With the current COVID-19 situation, we heard that you have been helping people in need and your fans. How did this come about? 

If this were to happen to me last year, I would not have been able to financially make ends meet. I felt compelled after someone showed me a random act of generosity. I went on my IG live and told the first ten people to DM their Cash App and I sent them money. Altogether, I sent over $1500 that day and the recipients were so excited that they even sent me pictures with their groceries!

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My future plans are to produce and star in my own projects. Release my new music and continue to inspire others with my platform.

Rising Star Spotlight: Get To Know “Dwight in Shining Armor” Star Sloane Siegel

Charismatic and multi-talented television and film actor, Sloane Siegel (Amazon’s Emmy-nominated “Gortimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street”) returns to television yet again, leading as “Dwight,” opposite Caitlin Carmichael (Life Itself) and Joel McCrary (American Beauty) in the third season of “Dwight in Shining Armor,” (Paramount & BYUtv returning on March 15th) the hilarious, campy family adventure-comedy.

Recently picked up for seasons 3 & 4, Sloane plays “Dwight,” a modem, 21st-century teen, while taking photographs in the forest, accidentally falls face-first into an ancient, underground chamber, and lands on ‘Gretta’ (Carmichael) a medieval sleeping princess, planting a kiss on her and waking up not only her and her loyal court magician, ‘Baldric’ (McCrary) but all of the medieval villains that have been asleep like her for the past 1000 years. Together, the trio must defeat her hordes of enemies.

Born in Washington, DC and raised on a Rescue Farm in West Virginia, Sloane began his career dancing hip hop but made the transition to acting at age eight after a chance casting call. At 10, he came to Hollywood to pursue his dreams and just 2 short years later, Sloane booked his best-known role as “Gortimer” in AMAZON’s award-winning “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street”. He has been awarded the Best Actor Award as the Lead in a TV Series by the Young Artists Awards 3 years in a row, has earned the Best Leading Young Actor in TV Award from the Young Entertainer Awards, and has won 16 awards through the film festival circuit. Audiences may also recognize Sloane from dozens of appearances on other top shows including CBS’ “Pure Genius,” & “Partners,” ABC’s “Modern Family,” and NICKELODEON’s “Big Time Rush.”

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Sloane Siegel to talk about his journey in the entertainment industry so far and here’s what went down:

How were you actually discovered?

I had been doing musical theater at a small company in West Virginia when my mom heard an ad on the radio for a “big-time acting school”. It totally sounded like a scam, but she gave me a choice to either go to my soccer playoff game or give that probable scam a chance. So on a whim, we drove three hours away and it turned out to be real. I auditioned knowing pretty much nothing about acting and they liked me so much they gave me a scholarship for 6 months and then sent me to a showcase in Vegas where I signed with a manager and I guess that’s what really started me on my path.

What do you like most about acting?

It’s a tie between the impact it has on other people and the amazing things I get to do. I get to create characters and be a part of shows and films that leave a lasting impression on people’s lives. I’ve received so many letters from people who have enjoyed my work and they’ve told me that it got them through a hard time or made them feel less alone, or made them laugh when all they could do is cry, or helped them cry when they’ve felt emotionally trapped or stunted. I love that I can do what I love and help people in the process and have them enjoy it as much as I do.

On a more personal and internal note of why I love acting so much, I get to travel and see places I never would’ve gone otherwise. I get to live in new places and pretend to live in other ones. I get to do fight scenes, wear cool costumes, meet countless new amazing people, and channel all those confusing emotions as a human being into something useful and fun.

Can you tell us about your role in Dwight in shining armor?

I play Dwight, your everyday normal teen, who happens to fall into a buried, forgotten castle, and lands lip-to-lip with a 1,000-year-old gothic warrior princess, waking her up and becoming her spellbound champion. Dwight is a caring, charismatic, dorky dude who always looks for a peaceful solution in a medieval world out to get him, turn him into a toad, roast him on a spit, and take the princess’ kingdom.

What sort of person is going to love this character?

I think everyone is going to love this character. I think even if you aren’t laughing with him you’re definitely laughing at him. He’s just a good guy forced into some pretty dire situations and strives for the most positive outcome. I feel like everyone loves a character that didn’t ask to be a hero but has to be, you know the shtick.

How is this character like you? Different?

I feel like we look pretty similar, I don’t know that might just be me. But for real, we both strive for the most positive outcome where everybody comes out happy. Neither of us is capable of violence. If somebody stabbed me, I would probably say sorry. I’d say we’re very different in the sense that Dwight is very out of his element in the show where I would be totally in mine. I’m a bit of a thrill-seeker and I’m always excited about new experiences, whereas Dwight is comfortable in his routine and is terrified of everything in Gretta’s world.

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

Probably the comedy. Even though I’ve been with this character and show long enough to have the style down, It’s still always uncertain whether a joke is going to land or not. Whether it’s a one-liner or physical comedy it’s very challenging. Comedy is very musical and you have to hit every beat and then it’s up to post. Usually, on our set, we’ll only get two or three takes to get it perfect so there’s a lot of pressure there.

Photo Credit: Benjo Arwas

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

I would love to see Christopher Walken take on the role of Dwight. I think that would be absolutely hysterical.

Besides yourself, which actor in this show is going to blow people away?

Evan Hofer as Chlodwig. He appears at first as a villain and very quickly becomes a friend. His character returns a whole lot more than you’d expect and he is delightfully hilarious in the part. Certainly, my favorite character on the show, and Evan is one of my favorite people on the planet.

If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

I would have loved to take on the part of Sir Aldred. He is a very imposing villain all throughout season 3 and his many appearances leading up to that raise the tension perfectly. The actor that portrays him, Kanoa Goo is a delightful person and a great actor. The grand battle with the Tovanars begins sooner than you think.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Well, no experience in this industry is really comparable and I’ve actually been sitting here at my laptop for an hour trying to figure out what was THE most memorable experience of my career and I think the thing that comes to mind over the rest is the final day of Gortimer. The very last day of filming for a show that had been three of the most amazing years of my life. Everyone was truly a family and that was my first time leading a series. That show changed my life and the final day hit me really hard. Fun fact: The very last scene ever filmed was the opening scene in Gortimer vs. The End where I find the little coin magic trick. The very last line ever spoken while filming the show was “Ta-dah.” I remember saying that line, a somber “Cut,” and then the bell went off. We all stood there in shock that we had completed the series. Everyone rushed into the set so that our AD could series wrap Robyn and I and hearing everyone cheer and cry when they said “That’s a series wrap,” still rings in my ears.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’ve met so many incredible and interesting people throughout my career. I got to meet Mark Harmon and Wilmer Valderrama on NCIS and they were both very interesting people with many stories to tell. I met Andy Serkis at a Hollywood event. I ran into Ron Perlman at the gym. I meet actors and directors all the time, but all the most amazing people are part of the crew. They stay behind the scenes, but without them, no production would be possible. Some of their life stories will move you and each person I’ve met on every crew has always been kind to me. Some of my closest friends are from the crew.

We note that you suffer from anxiety, with cities and states going on self and government-imposed quarantines and social distancing instructions, can you give us some tips and what’s keeping you feeling mentally and physically fit during this tough time?

Personally, I’ve been meditating and writing, organizing at home, distracting myself with productive things. When you’re trapped at home you tend to be much more vulnerable to your own thoughts. When you start feeling anxious, reach out to a friend or family member to ground you and if there is no one available, start naming people you love and think of your favorite time they’re ever smiled at you. There is really no solution to anxiety, but you can actively fight it inside yourself by treating yourself with kindness and allowing yourself forgiveness. I tend to be pretty hard on myself, but I’ve been working on forgiving myself for the bad days a bit more and that’s helped a lot. Because every day isn’t going to be a good day, but once you accept that, you can look forward to all the good days and make sure you appreciate all the good no matter how small.

As far as physically fit goes, start a small workout routine for as soon as you wake up and right before you go to bed. It’s not about how many sit-ups or push-ups you can do, but keeping a consistent routine. Don’t be mad if you don’t see results right away, but be happy and proud of yourself for committing to your physical health.

Take care of yourself, even after this quarantine is over, mentally and physically. Appreciate the good things in life, treat yourself and others with kindness and do what makes YOU happy.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it?

I’m hoping to write a lot more and finish up a few novels in the future, travel to many new places, complete Dwight as well as start a new series after that. A new episode of Dwight in Shining Armor Season 3 premieres each Sunday at 7:30 PM Central Time on BYUTV. Stream seasons 1 and 2 online at BYUTV.ORG. You can watch Gortimer Gibbons’ Life on Normal Street on Amazon for free.

Meet The Man Behind The Latest Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: The Amazing “Bruh” Star Mahdi Cocci

Atlanta-based actor and model Mahdi Cocci currently stars in the new BET+ series “Bruh,” a 30-min comedy series from powerhouse producer Tyler Perry which celebrates black male brotherhood. Cocci is also co-starring in the Netflix romantic comedy feature The Lovebirds opposite Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani.

His BET+ series “Bruh” examines the contemporary world of dating, career, and friendship through the lens of four African American men with a brother-like bond. ‘Tom’ (Cocci), ‘John’, ‘Mike’ and ‘Bill’ are four college friends now in their thirties. Tom is a doctor with lady problems, but he is also the glue that holds the group together. As they navigate life, they are learning to stand on their own two feet, while relying on each other for support. Sometimes the love is tough, and the honesty brutal, but no matter the situation they see each other through with levity and laughter. In a society where companionship between men of color is often misjudged and misrepresented, the show depicts a healthy image of black brotherhood, embracing vulnerability without playing on stereotypical hyper-masculinity.

The Lovebirds is a new rom-com from Paramount/Netflix that tells the story of couple ‘Jibran’ (Kumail) and ‘Leilani’ (Issa), who on the brink of breaking up, get unintentionally embroiled in a bizarre murder mystery. As they get closer to clearing their names and solving the case, they need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night. Cocci portrays ‘Keith,’ a potential love interest to Leilani who gets in the way of her relationship with Jibran.

Cocci was born in Minneapolis, MN, and was raised by his mother, Stephanie. Education was always emphasized growing up, and Mahdi earned a full Navy ROTC scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh. He put his burgeoning modeling career on hold to serve as an officer in the Navy upon graduation. After serving honorably, Mahdi shifted gears and pursued a career in acting. His first professional credit was earned on the TV series, Dynasty, in 2018, and soon followed by roles on other network shows, including The Gifted, The Resident, MacGyver, and more! He currently resides in Atlanta, GA, where he works tirelessly to build his career.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Mahdi Cocci to discuss his journey in the entertainment industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I grew up in Minnesota and went to the University of Pittsburgh on a Navy ROTC scholarship. I graduated with a B.S. in Economics, then I was commissioned as an officer into the Navy upon graduation. I served honorably for 10 years but walked away from the military to pursue my dream of acting. I’m a guy who really believes in human beings, and our ability to connect and relate to one another. We are more similar than different, and I believe the differences we do have can bring us together through curiosity instead of dividing us.

How did you get started in the acting industry?

A local model agency scouted me while I was in high school. They placed me with a New York agency, which started my introduction to entertainment.

What do you like most about acting?

I am most moved by human connection, interaction, and the stories we can bring to life. I get to experience so much through different scripts and characters, which makes being an actor so rewarding.

Can you tell us about your role in Bruh?

I play Dr. Tom Brooks. I am the level-headed voice of reason for this close-knit group of 4 men. We are all friends from college, now in our 30s, navigating different aspects of our lives from professional, dating, and friendship issues.

What sort of person is going to love this character?

Anyone who values strong friendships, and appreciates the person who is the glue that holds them together.

How is this character like you? Different?

In many ways, Tom is very similar to who I am in my personal life. I am often the voice of reason within my friend group and look at most situations from a logical standpoint versus being overly driven by emotion. Unlike Tom, after one semester of being a pre-med student, I decided not to pursue the path of becoming a doctor (laughs). I realized it was not for me, but playing a doctor on TV still made my mom proud!

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

Two challenges come to mind immediately. It was my first opportunity to play a lead character. In my previous work, I had gotten comfortable in my anonymity playing less integral roles. The demand and workload that came with playing Tom caused me to learn and adjust on set. In addition, there were topics that are covered in the story that hit close to home for me personally. Having to show my vulnerability stretched me as an actor and was something I had to work hard on throughout the show.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

Mahershala Ali is who comes to mz watch.

Besides yourself, which actor in this series is going to blow people away?

I’m truly such a huge fan of my castmates, that I think they all will in different ways. If I had to single one out, I would say watch closely for Alyssa Goss, who plays Pamela. She is phenomenal and bound to do great things in her career. There is a real rawness and truth in all her work that I admire, and think others will as well.

If you could play any other character in this series, who would it be?

It would be Bill because I relate to his storyline. As men, we have all experienced the “one that got away”. It would be interesting to have a chance to explore that experience and rollercoaster of emotion of trying to get her back.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

I have always appreciated the small wins on my journey. Booking my first professional acting job, playing a cop on the TV series Dynasty, and hearing that “Yes, we want you for this” was huge for me. It validated that I wasn’t completely crazy to even believe I could make this into a career. Before that booking, it was still a pipe dream, and that moment made it real and tangible.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Tyler Perry is someone I can’t speak highly enough about. His tireless work ethic and commitment to servant leadership put him in a league of his own. If only a small percentage of that rubs off on me I’ll be set for life. Also, Jimmy Gonzales, who is a fantastic actor, and has been a true mentor and friend to me on my journey. He constantly challenges me to be better and inspires me to be generous in my work and life.

How active are you on social media?

A lot more than I used to be. I am learning how rewarding it is to have a place to connect with people who connect with the stories I get to tell. Some folks get really into it, and so do I, so I love to hear from them!

What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram, because it’s the easiest to navigate and it’s visual.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Career-wise, I am continuing to look for opportunities to challenge myself in my work. I want to play parts that honestly scare me. Beyond my career, I strive to travel more, experience new things and meet more people. Life has so much to offer and I want to make the most of it.

15 Netflix TV Shows That Were Canceled Or Are Ending In 2020

There’s always a sour taste left in one fan bases collective mouths once they were the most dreaded word imaginable popping up on their internet feed: your favorite show is canceled. With the world in a perpetual state of panic and lockdown, people have become ravenous for quality streaming content and the masters of Netflix’s original programming have learned pretty quickly which ones are grade A meat and which ones are doomed to crumble away as leftovers stuffed in the back of the fridge. No one likes it when their favorite thing in the world gets discontinued; everyone has a show like that at some point in their lives. Accept it or deny it, here’s what ending from Netflix in 2020

  1. The Crown (ending after 6th season)
  2. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the teenage witch (final 8 episodes premiering end of this year)
  3. Dead to me (ending with season 3)
  4. Ozark (4th season will be it’s last but due to the Coronavirus, unclear when it will air)
  5. Lucifer (5th seasons airs August 2020 but a 6th and final season produced by Netflix will come at an undisclosed time)
  6. Astronomy Club (canceled 6 months after its first season aired)
  7. Turn up Charlie (premiered March 2019, failed ratings canned this show in April 2020 after one season)
  8. V Wars (The first season aired December 2019, canceled in March 2020)
  9. Spinning Out (canceled 2 months after it premiered in December 2019)
  10. Messiah (This controversial show premiered December 2019 and was then axed in March 2020)
  11. October Faction (this comic book horror series was canceled after one season)
  12. AJ and the Queen (A dramedy series made by Ru Paul, canceled 2 months after its January 2020 premiere)
  13. Atypical (A fairly popular series premiering in 2017, its final 10 episodes will air sometime in 2021)
  14. Insatiable (controversial series, canceled after its second season; announced on Valentine’s day)
  15. Soundtrack (canceled late January 2020 after one season which premiered a month earlier)

Angelina Jolie Finally Reveals Why She Decided To Divorce Brad Pitt

Editorial credit: DFree / Shutterstock.com

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith back in 2005, they began dating afterward and they eventually got married in 2014. Fast forward to 2 years later, the “Brangelina” breakup was, in fact, one of the biggest shock celebrity breakups in 2016.

When British Vogue recently interviewed her, she revealed that the split was in fact for the “wellbeing” of her six children. Jolie has 3 biological children with Pitt: 13-year-old Shiloh and 11-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. Tthey also adopted three children: 14-year-old Zahara 15-year-old Pax and 18-year-old Maddox.

She told British Vogue that “I separated for the wellbeing of my family. I continue to focus on their healing.

“Some have taken advantage of my silence, and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds.

“In fact, they are six very brave, very strong young people.”

Furthermore, Jolie revealed that her kids helped her “find” herself again.

“The part of us that is free, wild, open, curious can get shut down by life. By pain or by harm. My children know my true self, and they have helped me to find it again and to embrace it,” she explained.

“They have been through a lot. I learn from their strength. As parents, we encourage our kids to embrace all that they are and all that they know in their hearts to be right, and they look back at us and want the same for us.”

Anna Kendrick Actually Compares Filming Twilight To Surviving A ‘Hostage Situation’. Yes, You Read Right!

Screenshot from Vanity Fair

Anna Kendrick has decided to reveal the terrible filming conditions she had to endure on the set of the first Twilight movie – it was so bad that she compared the experience to that of a “hostage” situation.

While the end of result of watching Twilight was quite majestic and magical – what went on behind the scenes wasn’t as amazing as it looked on the big screen.

Anna played Jessica Stanley in the vampire franchise and she actually compared the Portland, Oregon, shoot to surviving a “hostage situation”. Speaking to Vanity Fair, she said: “I just remember being so cold and miserable, and I just remember my Converse being completely soaked through, and feeling like, ‘You know, this is a really great group of people, and I’m sure that we would be friends in a different time, but I want to murder everyone.”

She further said: “Although it was also kind of bonding. There was something about it, that was like, you go through some trauma event. Like, you imagine people who survive a hostage situation, and you’re kind of bonded for life.”

To watch the full interview with Vanity Fair just scroll down to watch the video below: