Making a career transition can be a difficult task for many to achieve, but for on-air personality Terrence J, breaking into the acting world is a challenge he’s willing to accept.
In between hosting BET’s nationally syndicated show "106 & Park" for the past seven years, the 30-year-old has managed to land roles on the network’s sitcom show, “The Game,” and earlier this year starred in the No. 1 film “Think Like A Man.” With no intentions of slowing the growth of his resume, this month Terrence is set to appear in the much anticipated remake of “Sparkle.”
The Huffington Post caught up with the Omega Psi Phi member, and got him to open up on his role in "Sparkle" and his status as Hollywood’s rising star.
For those who aren’t aware, do you mind describing your role as Red in “Sparkle”?
I play one of the party promoters. I actually have a scene with Cee-Lo Green, Derek Luke and Jordin Sparks right at the beginning of the film when the girls first try to find their way into the music industry. So it was a lot of fun. I just got a chance to see the full-length version of the film and I was just blown away. It really turned out amazing and I can’t wait for people to see it.
How did you prep for the role, did you have to do anything out of the norm to get into character?
Speaking of doing something out of my norm, as soon as I walked on the set Salim Akil, who is the director of the film, he looked at me and said, “Something’s not right, something’s not right.” And then he just put his finger up to my face and was like, “OK, that’s it.” And he told me that I had to cut off my mustache. So it was kind of awkward because I was like, “I got to cut off my mustache!?” And he was like, “Yeah, you have to look the time period.” So I cut off my mustache within the first five minute of me being on set, which was a change. But when I saw the film it worked and it blended in and looked good. He had the right vision for it.
Since you’re relatively new to acting, was there any advice that you picked up from your co-stars?
This was Jordin’s first film and then you got guys like Derek Luke who have done a million films, so I learned something from everybody. I think with being on a movie set, you just learn from everybody. So it was just a great experience for me.
Since the film marks Whitney’s final performance, how much more special was it to be a part of the cast?
Honestly on the set no one could foresee what would happen. So it’s very sad for all of us. But I actually spoke to one of the producers and brought up a valid point. Her performance was so strong and Whitney looked so beautiful and elegant. And her voice sounds so amazing that we’re proud with the way that people will remember her. The media does a good job at making us think her final days were one way, but this film will show to the world that in her final days she was looking amazing. And she was strong, powerful -- she was the Whitney that we all know her for. So we hope that this body of work will represent how amazing she was.
How has the transition been going from an on-air personality to an actor?
It’s the hardest thing in the world honestly. Sometimes it’s very overwhelming being on the set. It’s not just the lines, it’s making the character and going as an actor -- it’s challenging. And that’s why I love it so much. I can host with my eyes closed, but when I’m on a movie set I really feel like I’m challenged. For me, when I’m on a movie set it’s like going back to college. I just learn and I’m really humble because I have a long way to go.
"Sparkle" hits theaters nationwide on August 17.
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