Is it a tribute to them that you work in some way?
Everything I do has to do with my family, my son and my grandparents. Without a doubt. We represent. When someone says delegation, it’s not a joke – that’s the truth. I take that seriously. My name is on something. My face is on something. I represent my people.
How does that come about? Creed III?
The character’s name in this picture is Damian Anderson. My mother’s maiden name was Terri Anderson. So the Andersons are half of my family. I changed the name to that. So I am thinking about what my people will see, my nuclear family and the culture, what they will see and feel in the roles I play and how I play those roles.
Growing up, what was the first performance you remember that made a big impact on you?
Church. And I was always in it, you know. It was a cool transition when I focused on the sermon instead of praise and worship. The song. Not everyone knows what praise and worship is. The singer.
And I remember when that was. It happened when I was very young, six years old. I wasn’t looking forward to the song anymore. I wanted to know what this man had to say. I loved to see what he was saying and what effect it was having on the people in the congregation.
What was it about those sermons that got them in?
Well, they all have a good arc, don’t they? They have a slow room, a quiet room, a loud room, and then a quiet room. It’s a movie. Basically movies go. This is a quiet room. This is a loud room. This is a loud and fast class. It’s getting dark – this is a quiet room again. Thank you. Acknowledgments.
So seeing that and feeling how that moves in the congregation and sometimes the organ comes in and that’s amazing—I’d look at it like a dance, a party.
I could hear the difference in the message, which was interesting to me. I love language. I love listening to how people talk, how they communicate. And I grew up in the South. So I was listening to the sermon, and I was listening to the gay people on the street talking crazy. That was fun for me too.
So let’s talk about it. How do you describe it?
I think it’s two truths running at the same time, maybe. This is not the meaning. But when you look at a character and you see two truths running in parallel, sometimes the two truths contradict each other – maybe they’re not saying the same thing, but they’re both true. That’s interesting to me. That’s where you learn the most about people. How cool would it be if you could truly understand someone on two different levels at the same time? How quickly did we get to know each other?
When you play a role, is this for you—an attempt to create a rapport between you and the audience?
The audience should understand them. Otherwise, it’s basically a bad performance. If you play a character that looks so small, if you can invite the audience to empathize with that character, that’s more fun. And the reward is great.