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.

Tom Hanks Eyed To Play Geppetto in Disney’s Live-Action ‘Pinocchio’ Movie

After playing Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, it looks like Tom Hanks is about to star in on another children’s classic. Deadline revealed that Tom Hanks is in early negotiations to play Geppetto in Disney and Robert Zemeckis’ live-action version of Pinocchio.

Although negotiations are still at an early stage, Hanks has apparently reached out to Zemeckis to let him know he is keen on doing the film after reading the script. Hanks and Zemeckis have already collaborated in the past for Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and the Christmas classic The Polar Express so this film marks the fourth collaboration between the two.

Hanks is currently still filming the Elvis Presley biopic which had to halt production after he and his wife, Rita Wilson contracted the COVID-19 virus while filming in Australia. The studio is hoping to restart production again in Australia later in the year.

Editorial credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

The Mulan Remake Is Actually Coming to Disney+. Yes, You Read Right.

Disney recently announced that Niki Caro’s Mulan will actually be heading to Disney+ customers in the U.S. and other select markets at an extra price of $29.99 starting Sept. 4. The decision to debut Milan on Disney+ is a massive blow for theaters globally who were counting on playing the film later this month.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has recently revealed that Disney+ currently has 60.5 million global subscribers so they are hoping to reach out to their current subscribers to watch the movie in the comforts of their own home.

“We’re very pleased to be able to bring Mulan to our consumer base that has been waiting for it for a long, long time as we’ve had to, unfortunately, move our theatrical date several times,” Chapek revealed. “We are looking at Mulan as one-off as opposed to saying there is some new business windowing model that we are looking at.”

“That said, we find it very interesting to be able to take a new offering to consumers at that $29.99 price and learn from it and see what happens not only in terms of the uptick of the number of subscribers we got on the platform but also the number of transactions we get on that PVOD offering,” Chapek further said.

Mulan was originally set to hit the cinemas on March 27 but was delayed three more times due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic before Disney decided to unschedule the film. This is definitely a case of good news and bad news for Disney fans who have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the live-action remake of Mulan.

Screenshot from Walt Disney Studios

Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Widow’ Will Have 30 Minutes of IMAX Footage

Black Widow was supposed to hit theaters this November. But since we’re still locked in a battle against COVID-19, who knows when the release date is going to be now! That said, according to Screenrant, Marvel Studios’ next film will feature a half-hour of IMAX footage.

Scarlett Johansson will once again play the badass Natasha Romanoff in a plot that takes place right after Captain America: Civil War. Actress Florence Pugh will be playing the second Black Widow, Yelena Belova. Rachel Weisz plays Melina Vostokoff, and David Harbour stars as Red Guardian.

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

What’s Coming To Netflix In August 2020: Top 5 Picks So Far

We may be smack dab in the middle of July and summer but thanks to our increasing drawn-out home-based vacation due to the world’s unfortunate state, people are already looking further forward into the future to see what Netflix is supplying everyone for the month of August. Most of the supplied titles are TV shows, with a few highly popularized ones getting most of the attention (Including an anime series). Set your reminders, notifications and be prepared, here’s our top 5 picks coming your way in August, Netflix users.

Screenshot from Netflix YouTube

Aug. 6
The Rain Season 3 (Netfix Original)

Seven Deadly Sins Season 4 (Netflix Anime series)

Aug. 7
Selling Sunset Season 3 (Netflix Original)

Aug. 14
The Great Heist Season 1 (Netflix Original)
Project Power (Netflix Film)

Aug. 28
Unknown Origins (Netflix Film)

Casting Is Officially Underway For HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ Prequel ‘House Of The Dragon’

It looks like HBO has begun the casting process for the up and coming Game of Thrones prequel series ‘House of the Dragon.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, HBO has begun casting for the much-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel named House of the Dragon. The premise is set 300 years before the current story of Game of Thrones, and it’ll apparently focus on the House Targaryen. EW also confirms that the pilot series has roughly around 10 episodes.

When George RR Martin was interviewed regarding this prequel, he said; “I expect to be involved in all of this to some extent… and, who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of GAME OF THRONES.

“But… let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered WINDS OF WINTER. Winter is still coming, and WINDS remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episode of HOUSE.”

House of the Dragon will be based on George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones book Fire & Blood so we can’t wait to get stuck into this series!

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.

This Celebrity Says The Entertainment Industry Has “Fallen Through The Cracks” For Government Support During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Because of the current restrictions set in place by the Australian government to contain COVID-19, many Australians are left unemployed – a number of them are artists within the entertainment industry.

Seven News caught up with Rob Mills just recently to get his take on how he’s coping with this global pandemic and unfortunately, he’s not doing too well himself.

Rob Mills is an actor, television host, and singer-songwriter. You may recognise him as one of the finalists from the first season of Australian Idol and since then he became a regular singer on the game show “The Singing Bee.” He eventually won the lead male role of Fiyero in a production of Wicked, and he has since starred in a number of popular large scale musical theatre productions.

ROB

Screenshot from Today’s YouTube channel

When Seven News interviewed him to discuss his current situation he said: “I was about to do a musical – a brand-new show called Midnight that was going to launch at Her Majesty’s Theatre… But everything’s been shut down. Every musical around the country, every pub, every live venue – every single musician and actor have been hit hard.”

“Home and Away has also shut down – basically every film or working set has been shut down, so our industry is deeply affected.” He continued. “Unfortunately, the government hasn’t really come to the party. We fall in the cracks when it comes to JobSeeker and JobKeeper.”

But despite his current dilemma, Rob decided not to let the current situation bring him down.

He decided to team up with a number of musicians to create a new project called “Homegrown Superstars” – a national singing competition that emerging artists can enter via Instagram.

Mills said “We had great success – we had nearly 100 people, which I thought was a lot. This week we’ve had nearly 200 entries for Casey Donovan’s theme of the power ballads… You upload a clip to Instagram, up to 60 seconds.”

He further said “You get a chance to win $250 for yourself, and $200 for the charity of your choice because we know the charity sector has been hit super hard as well… So at the moment, we’ve got a bit of cash and we’re just happy to hand it out at the moment. But I think we’re going to be doing more challenges and daily prizes as well.”

You can find out more about Homegrown Superstars via their Instagram page simply by clicking this link: Homegrown Superstars

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.