Photographer: Lorenzo Hodges
Interview @Rhonda_Mcknight @Ouchmagazine
Ok, we just watched the trailer for The Quad and it looks very good.
Please tell us what is your character in this TV Series?
I play BoJohn Folsom, a freshman quarterback on the football team. He was a big-time Division I football recruit in high school, but BoJohn was blacklisted from all major colleges after his temper got the best of him. Georgia A&M gives him a last chance at a football career and BoJohn jumps at the chance despite the all-black community he enters. He is constantly walking on ice as he does his best to stay on the straight and narrow, but under the surface, BoJohn is dealing with deep emotional stress that wants to break out.
2. How are you the same or different from your character?
Well, I was born and raised in Texas and played football through college, just like BoJohn. Also, we both carry a very deep relationship with our parents and are deeply influenced by family. While those things really gave me a great initial connection to BoJohn, I went to Cornell University in upstate New York which is a vastly different experience from a Historically Black College like Georgia A&M in Atlanta. While very different worlds, both have a tremendous sense of history and culture. It was really cool to step into a world I knew nothing about and learn about HBCU's from ground zero.
3. Being born in Texas there is a high football culture and sports culture in general. Did you play sports? If so, what?
Football in Texas is certainly a culture inserted into all aspects of life... including prayer! Whether it's the Dallas Cowboys or Friday night high school football games, football is king. I played my whole life and was lucky enough to play through college at Cornell. While playing college ball was amazing, nothing will replace the memory of running through the banner of my first Friday night varsity football game in Dallas. I still get butterflies thinking about it.
4. You now join the high ranks as others like Justin Timberlake and Channing Tatum in the crossover acting with almost all black cast. Do you admire these guys and who inspires you on your journey in Hollywood?
What I love about those two guys is how honest they are to themselves, you know. While they have crossed over and worked with mostly black casts, they just are who they are. No one likes a pretender and those two guys always seem to carry their own unique awesome personalities no matter who they are working with. I also really look up to Matthew McConaughey and Jake Gyllenhaal. Obviously, they are really talented actors who are fun to watch but, taking it a little deeper, I love the choices they make. While both are considered leading men in Hollywood, they take risky movies and always have the story and character come before their own fame or money.
5. So let’s state the obvious that you are in killer shape. What is your workout routine like?
Well, thank you. I keep it pretty simple with weights and cardio about six times a week. The real difference maker is just how hard I work when I'm in the gym. If it's time to work then there's not a lot of chit-chats. I get some good rap going or maybe Foo Fighters and just get after it for an hour or two. It certainly helps when you know you're going to be on camera in front of 50 people and on TV in front of millions.
6. Do you have any hidden talents?
I don't know if this is really a hidden talent since it's a bit tied to acting, but I must say I'm a phenomenal mimic. Like most actors, I have a knack for voices and accents but what separates me from other mimics is how I can pick up on small physical tendencies. It can be as small as the way someone blinks or rubs their shoulders. It's a talent that probably won't make me much money, but people usually get a kick out of it when I do my impersonation of them.
We love to know what Young Hollywood thinks of older Hollywood A-listers. We have a few people listed below, give me your first thoughts.
a. Brad Pitt- Movie star! For me, whenever someone says movie star I will always think of Brad Pitt. He is who I grew up admiring as a kid. I've seen Legends of the Fall and A River Runs Through It probably a hundred times apiece.
b. Johnny Depp- Range! He's truly a different person in each role. People get a little carried away with his range of physical appearances in each role but the way he changes his whole persona in each role is what I love to see.
c. Matthew McConaughey- Texas! That's my home state dude! Kind of the opposite of Johnny, I love the way he brings a bit of himself to every role. He always finds a tiny personal connection to his roles and then just runs away with it... and let's just be honest, he looks like a fun dude. I would love to share a beer with him!
d. Tom Cruise- A machine! I read a story about how he stayed up all night before shooting that big brawl scene in Coppola's The Outsiders and I feel like to this day, he still brings that much enthusiasm and energy to each job. He's a such a staple of Hollywood and deservedly so.
e. Jennifer Lopez- A jack of all trades! Whenever I think I'm too tired to prep for my scenes the next day or don't have time for photos with background actors, I try to think of Jennifer Lopez. I mean how does she find time to do all the amazing things she's doing with her career. f. Julianne Moore- Craft! Watching her, I'm always reminded how deep great actors really go. Nothing she does is ever surface or light. She will go as deep and dark as needed to find the truth for any role.
g. Julia Roberts- Smile! Not that Julia isn't as deep as Julianne Moore but when I think Julia Roberts, her genuine laugh and electric smile from Pretty Woman or My Best Friend's Wedding pops in my head... but don't worry I've seen her dig in with Erin Brockovich.
h. Halle Berry- Vulnerable Strength. I think that term is so important for actors and actresses that want to be leads in movies…and Halle perfectly embodies it. She always has a piercing strength in her roles along with a vulnerable sense that every audience can relate too. And she's smoking hot.
8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? On a ranch in Montana polishing my Oscar. I'm just kidding... I'd probably be too lazy to polish it. In all seriousness, I'd love to live on a horse ranch in my off time and fly out to whatever set or movie I'm working on. As I work more in this industry, I'd love to do fewer projects but spend more time and energy on each one. Every movie and show is hard to make, they all deserve a tremendous amount of time and attention.
9. How can fans reach out to you on social media?
I’m on Instagram and Twitter: @jakeallyn85.
10.Do you have any other projects lined up?
I'm doing an independent film in Oklahoma soon that I'm super excited about. I can’t say too much but it's going to be a complete 180 character-wise, which will be an amazing challenge that I can't wait to meet. Stay tuned! In the meantime, be sure to tune in to The Quad on BET.