Do you have a particular style of acting that you like best?
Drama, I feel, is where my acting strength lies, but I’ve been told that I’m really, really good at comedy, too. There’s a certain truth to be told when doing drama and you can’t fake it until you make it so I feel when doing dramatic roles, an actor really has to commit to the character, expand on the character’s back story and really live in the moment, in order to drive the emotions needed, and to show the different aspects and depth of the character. I enjoy being pushed to play characters that are very different than I, like the drug-dealing character I played on a couple of episodes of Shameless, but still finding the commonality, to make the character relatable and real. A couple of episodes shooting Lethal Weapon got pretty intense, and I absolutely love when they take my character on a troubled journey; it really pushes me and it was tight to hear Mr. Damon and Mrs. Keesha refer to me as a young Denzel Washington. For real, that made me want to bring it, every time, even more. On the comedy end, I had the time of my life shooting Mr. Robinson with Craig Robinson, Meagan Good, Brandon T. Jackson, Amandla Stenberg, Peri Gilpin and the rest of the cast. Shooting that type of fast-paced comedy was a lot of fun and it taught me the importance of being able drive emotions, whether dramatic or funny.
As an actor on Lethal Weapon, what have been some of your favorite moments? What is it like working with seasoned vet/comedian Damon Wayans? What would you say is one of the most memorable lessons that you have learned from him?
I’ve had a few favorable moments working on Lethal Weapon. Alright for those that haven’t been watching, but plan to binge Season 1 and Season 2 soon, here comes a few spoilers so skip this part if you’d prefer. But I think for Season 1, it was episode 4. My character got to learn some life lessons about kicking it with old friends from the hood, I got to drive a Ferrari, but most importantly, as a result of some shady happenings, my character, RJ, discovered the type of young man he didn’t want to become, but instead the type of young man he wanted to be: honest and upstanding. I love the funny, tough love moments between my character and dad (Damon Wayans) as well as the heartfelt moments between my TV Mom Mrs. Keesha Sharp. Both my Lethal Weapon parents are such stellar actors that they both force me to up my game everytime I step foot on set.
For Season 2, it was episode 2 when my character RJ heads off to college, episode 11 when we find out that he’s dropping out and episode 13 when RJ mans up and tells his parents what he feels would be best for his life and the direction of his career. Those I’d say are my most memorable moments. Every time Mr. Damon and Mrs. Keesha and I would have “certain moments” in the scenes, I could always tell when we nailed it because my mom would be full of tears watching the monitor. A few times I even saw the writer tear up a bit, too. Not only was it an amazing experience to have these different moments with Mrs. Keesha and Damon, but acting wise, I learned a lot about matching their energy and really upping my game. I learned more about the deeper meaning of embracing “moments” and keeping the energy up, and really laying it on the line to bring truth for my character. The crazy part about this is that many times when my character is going through something on Lethal Weapon, I’ve either just experienced it in real life or soon after, experience it myself – talk about art imitating life. Thisis a real thing. lol
“Lethal Weapon” Season 2, episode 19, aptly titled “Leo Getz Hitched,” airs tonight, April 17, at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox. Watch the trailer for the episode below.