Washington D.C. native Laz Alonso of "Avatar" and "Stomp the Yard" speaks on starring in "Jumping the Broom," his acting journey, and inspiring others to pursue their dreams.
You've had quite the journey so far in the entertainment business; did you always know this is what you wanted to do?
I never studied acting formally, but I fell in love with it as a kid. I'd watch movies like "Rocky" and say, I want to do that!
What was your first big role and how did it make you feel?
"Jarhead" was my first big role in a major and it felt great. However, BET gave me my first huge opportunity. Although I was hosting shows and not really acting, it still gave me a platform that I couldn't have gotten anywhere else.
Why was it important for you to be a part of "Jumping the Broom"?
The script really spoke to me and I felt like the character was very similar to my story. The character went to Howard University, worked on Wall Street, and was raised by a single mother. They were all things that happened to me in my lifetime, so I was automatically drawn to wanting to really be a part of the cast.
T.D. Jakes was recently in town and spoke on how he didn't want to market "Jumping the Broom" as a faith-based film. Do you agree?
Yes! I think it's important that we not limit the movie to one particular audience. It's a human film, a feel-good film, and something that everyone can relate to.
The film also gives off the message that in African-American households, mothers raise their daughters and love their sons. Do you agree?
I think in some households, yes, that can be true. The sayings go "daddy's girls" and "mama's boys" for a reason. However, my mother was pretty strict, so that rule didn't apply to me.
You were on set with legendary actors like Loretta Devine and Angela Bassett; what did you take away from the experience?
The experience to work with amazing women who I've grown up watching is almost indescribable. I took away that you should always be great in everything that you do.
What do you want your legacy to be as an actor?
I want to inspire people to pursue their dreams and to know that anything is possible.