When I trained for 'Creed,' I had about a year in advance to know what I was doing before. So I lived like a fighter, you know? I went through the workout routine, the diet, training with real boxers, training with real trainers, did the whole thing.
Honestly, soaps are great training. You're doing 90-plus pages a day. It was my acting class, where I built my foundation for showing up and being professional.
You start at a young age, going on auditions, and you think you did a good job and expect to get that role, and you don't, and it's a letdown, a disappointment. So you tell yourself to just do the work and disconnect, because you have no control over the outcome.
I want to leave something behind. A blueprint. A work ethic. Something that my great-grandkids and their kids and their kids can see: This is where it started. Lineage. Intergenerational wealth. Things that are here forever. All that.
It's the African-American experience. You've got to wear different masks. When you're in the hood, if you stand out, you get picked on for being weak. Sometimes you have to hide your intelligence. In front of your boys, you might put on a bit of bravado, be a little bit tougher.
Definitely, as I get older and my taste buds change, I want to do different things. I'm not ready for directing yet, you know, maybe when I get my big boy voice; I don't have that yet, but right now definitely producing for sure.
I'm a comic book fan.
I think my dad is definitely my biggest role model, personally, just in my day-to-day life.
I'm an athlete; I've got an ego when stunt doubles have to come in. Not an ego like that, but when it comes to physical stuff, if I didn't have to have a stunt double, I would always probably do it myself unless the producers were jumping in and stopping me.
I was born in Orange County - in Santa Ana. My dad is from California. I was raised on the East Coast. My first two years were in California, but I claim East Coast. I'm sorry, I don't rep California.
Doing ensembles and shows is one thing, but being able to front a feature is totally different. You can be a great actor, and supertalented, but there's something about carrying a feature that's unique.
You borrow from the greats, and you make your own path without losing the core of who you are.
Playing a bad guy would be fun, I'm not going to lie. I'd definitely do that in a heartbeat, because it's so out of my nature.
I think history repeats itself. There's a constant conversation between the oppressed and the oppressor. No matter what your field is, whether it's gender equality, the Time's Up movement, or diversity casting, it's always going to be a back-and-forth battle.
My dreams are huge, man. I dream all day every day. Do I want to get into restaurants one day? Yeah! Do I want to get into hospitality and have my own hotels? Yeah, I do!
I've said no to a lot of things because they didn't make me a leading man. They put me in a category I wasn't interested in.
I think that's part of my evolution: realizing that I can say 'no' to things, even when I'm faced with that lull that comes between projects, and I get anxious because I feel like I need to be constantly working.
I love Newark, but it was easy to get caught up in the wrong situation. You know, when you come from very humble beginnings, you always have that fear that everything could go away at any moment.
I watch films that inspire me and make me want to go to work the next morning, that really push you and motivate you. So in that aspect, I look up to a lot of people.
I come from nothing. I come from sleeping in the kitchen with my family with the oven open to keep us warm during winter, you know? When you come from that background, all this extra stuff is just... extra stuff, you know?