Brian White Talks Bronx SIU, Ambitions, Monogamy and Much More! (EXCLUSIVE)

Brian White talks Bronx SIU, Ambitions, Monogamy and so much more. Check it out here--->>

Brian White multi-talented, actor, producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist. 

Brian White, intelligent, "ambitious", great sense of humor, good looking.

Brian White multi-facet, professional model, licensed stock broker, professional lacrosse player (Boston Blazers) and professional football player (New England Patriots);

Brian White...all of the above and more.  

Brian is from Boston Massachusetts and from what my mom would call "good stock". His mom, Estelle Bowser-White, is a former licensed real estate broker and currently is a financial consultant. His father is the late great Jo Jo White, a Hall of Fame basketball player for the Boston Celtics.

His acting career began in the hit movie The Best Man. At that time, Brian was playing professional football and professional lacrosse and he had a modeling agent. Unique mix. The movie was casting professional football types to portray Morris Chestnut's character's (Lance Sullivan) teammates. Brian was cast as an extra."In the church scene,I was crying (weren't we all) sitting next to one of the leads. It got on camera and they were like 'oh let's put him in a few more scenes'. In addition to the church scene, I was also at the bachelor party and I did the electric slide at the end of the movie." Iconic scenes. "I made friends with alot of people on set."

**I couldn't place Brian although I have seen The Best Man countless times. Brian told me now that I knew to look for him I'd be sure to see him. True story. Ironically, the movie came on HBO the next day after our interview. And just like Brian said I couldn't miss him.**

If the acting bug had bitten Brian after The Best Man; it hadn't bitten him quite hard enough yet. An injury had taken him away from football. But Brian's mind was focused on getting back. However, life had other ideas and was going to put him on another path."I came out to L.A. a few months later trying to get back into football. I ran into all those guys from The Best Man (Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard) at a hotel party. A casting director came up to me and asked me if I was an actor. I said, no. They said, yes. She said, well, you should come to an audition."

He did. That audition was for the hit sitcom Moesha, starring Brandy Norwood. "The audition was the next day and it was for Moesha. I got it and appeared in six episodes. My next job I landed right away on The Shield. I enrolled in acting classes. Although the eight seasons on The Shield was the best acting class I could have; I also took theater classes and training during that time. My acting career began as an extra. From there I worked from smaller roles to bigger roles to even bigger roles. And alot of that is what a career is; it's a marathon. In life, anything ever worth doing or building is not an easy undertaking."

Amen. Albeit Brian sure makes it look easy. He has enjoyed an extensive and successful career on the small and big screens. His credits are too numerous to list individually. So, I will selfishly plug some of my favorites (just like I did when we spoke to him); Stomp The Yard, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Good Deeds, Mistresses and Scandal. (Any other Gladiators out there? Russell and Liv/Alex were hot.)

Brian's success has expanded to the digital world as well. He stars in the Emmy nominated hit show Bronx SIU. "I had worked with Dan Garcia and Mike Mayhall before on a film and had a great experience. We decided we should try to do it again. We discussed other projects to produce and we decided this one was the one. We did the first season ourselves in New York. We were blessed to get a second season. And we are hoping for a third. It's been a real honor to work on a series with a producer like Dan and Mike that allows the producing talent to have a say in the story and in the character to help with the heavy creative lifting. It's very collaborative and has been a very rewarding experience. Now having had this experience, it is something I want to do much more in the future."

We pointed out the obvious that the collaboration worked and worked very well. Brian was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Daytime Digital Drama Series for his role as Jimmy Blue. We asked Brian to give us an illustration of their collaboration specifically related to his character. The process, their thought processes are fascinating. "One of the things we collaborated on was my character's religious background. My family is very religious. We are African American so we are somewhere between the Baptist and Methodist worlds. Dan is Latino and Catholic. Mike is more on the Protestant side. So when Mike was reading the script all the imagery made sense. But for Dan once Jimmy went from being a dark skinned Latino to an African American born in New York; there were questions that had to be answered. 'How can he be Catholic? What are his roots? They are black. We need the story to all make sense. I'm fine if you want (Jimmy) to be mixed. We can create that story and build it into the parents and introduce it into the dialogue.' We thought let's identify him. Maybe he's second generation. Maybe he's African American. We can adjust that. We met somewhere in the middle. What happens is Dan and Mike will have personal items that make their way into our characters that are passionate and personal to them. But then they cast someone that is different, we would then discuss the best way to execute yet creatively maintain not only what they want as creators but also the integrity of the material that we are creating. Those types of conversations were rewarding because Dan was willing to have them and Mike was willing to give the background story as to how this came about and where we are now. Our goal was to come up with the best way to proceed so everybody could proceed with a smile. And that is rare and awesome." We told you, fascinating. We love character driven stories.

It is evident that alot of thought, creativity, development and hard work went into Jimmy Blue. Brian shared more with us. "Jimmy is complicated, American, old school and an anti-hero. Both of his parents died in 9/11 (first responders). Jimmy served in the military. When he came back from the war he was different. He was already different because of his parents. He has his own opinions, based on his life and his experiences, about politics, our government and what the greater good is. As the show goes along, Jimmy realizes that doing the actual job he's supposed to be doing can't be done by the book all the time. It becomes harder and harder for him to maintain what he considers to be integrity and honor the legacy of his parents. One of the chips he has on his shoulders is about government not always serving the greater good. That's sort of what makes him an anti-hero." Fascinating. 

Speaking of fascinating.....we were also introduced to Brian's show Monogamy. Season one is streaming now on Prime Video and UMC. Seasons two and three are set to come out this fall. "It is a heavy drama series about couple swap therapy. We have these four troubled marriages who find this thing called The Experiment. Basically the couples swap partners for two months and follow all these instructions. Halfway through, the couples all start to feel that the game might be rigged. The upcoming seasons unveil what happens to the couples on the other side of the experiment. And goes more in depth about who controls the game. It's very interesting. People had a very good response to it. The show is more like being a fly on the wall during couples therapy. It is alot of food for thought with pearls of wisdom woven into a sexy thrilling narrative."

Bronx SIU and Monogamy are particularly special to Brian because those are the first two shows he has been a part of on the producer side that weren't films. "I have produced eleven projects. Prior to Bronx SIU and Monogamy it has been mostly on the film side. TV is a harder nut to crack. But with Bronx SIU and Monogamy I've been able to do that."

All of our soap family's clocks have been set to Ambitions premiering on OWN June 18, 2019. We are ready. We wanted to know everything. Well, as much as Brian could tell us. LOL. Here is what he could. "I didn't audition. I got a call from Will Packer and Shelia Ducksworth (Brain worked with Shelia on the TV One movie, Media). They said, 'We have a script we want you to check out, a character we are interested in you playing.' I read it. When I woke up from fainting, as an actor you are always happy about a job, (Laughter) I was like, yes, I can do this. What do I need to do." 

Brian playing opposite Robin Givens. That is more than enough for us right there. What else could one possibly need?! But as Brian detailed the backdrop and the premise of Ambitions, we got even more excited."One of the things I think is cool about this show is the representation of a huge segment of America that has never been seen on TV before. Evan Lancaster is the Mayor of Atlanta. The show never discusses his political party. He's an Independent. It's not written in the show. And it's something "not not" written in the show (done intentionally). It's very clever. Robin's character's family is the silver spoon Republican. They aren't first generation money. They are third generation money. They are billionaires. They had money before Black Wall Street, during Black Wall Street and after Black Wall Street they kept their money. They rebuilt and kept on building. There are lots of those families in America but because of the "field" argument the representation of them is always negative. It's always uppity. But it shouldn't be because we are talking about building power."

Quick recap. We have Brian White, Robin Givens in a show about how black people have and continue to build power? Oh yes! Brian gave us more. "This story Ambitions is about getting what you want and how those games are played. Generally politics aren't, especially in the black community, openly discussed at the top levels. They don't talk politics. It costs them money. Ambitions talks about those folks politics. That's who the Lancaster's and the Carlisle's are. But Evan Lancaster is blue collar. He comes from the hood in Atlanta. His sister and his father always keeps him in check. As an Independent mayor, without an agenda, he has to balance business, business opportunities, race, gender and politics in this soapy world. It's like Scandal with Melrose Place's narrative with some Dynasty and Dallas mixed in because that is where the politics lie. Robin and Essence Atkins' characters are both billionaire lawyers. We have the husbands clashing. The wives are clashing. The companies are clashing. And that's on top of all the fallout from the feuds, deals and politics." We mentioned that it all sounded fantastic and beyond a guilty pleasure. Brian told me to get my bottle of wine ready. Yes, sir. Only question left is, white or red? Hmm. 

Many of the roles Brian has played could be characterized as grey to dark. We asked Brian if this was on purpose and if he enjoyed playing those types of roles more. "You know me myself, I'm not a dark person. I'm light, jovial and comical. I started my acting career in Moesha. Then after Moesha, I got booked for a sketch comedy. I've also worked on other sitcoms and comedic films.  So, that's my background. That was the road I was planning to go down. But once I got on The Shield and started taking acting classes, I started wanting to try things that scared me the most. The things I figured I was the least strong at. Those were the types of scenes I started picking up in acting classes.  And I discovered I had some proficiency in them. So, I asked my managers to find me roles that were the least like me, Brian. So, I could try to be them."

Brian knew he could handle the transition. Others were a bit more cautious and needed a bit more convincing. "Tyler Perry told me, 'No. You can't be in Good Deeds. No. You can't be in I Can Do Bad All By Myself.' I told him, 'You are going to have to offer me the role and I'm going to have to prove it to you. No, I don't look right today. I'm going to have to stop shaving and smoke cigarettes for three months for my voice to change.' Tyler asked me; 'You would do all that?' My response to him was, 'Yeah man but you need to give me the job. I'm not going to do all that just for an audition and then not get the role because I won't be able to get a job for another year. Laughter. He was like, 'Okay then.' We did I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Tyler and Taraji told me I did a good job. I thought if I was good then let's try it again with something different. I kept doing character roles instead of something that was closer to me."

We have another date for you to set your calendars to, November 24, 2019. Brian's Dear Frank is hitting movie theaters. The film is produced and directed also with Columbus Short and Claudia Jordan. "It's a dramatic thriller, a dark comedy. It's a really cool story. After my wife is mysteriously poisoned, I discover her diary where she lays out her previous lovers. I find out she's been cheating on me our entire marriage and they are all potential suspects. It's like following a trail of breadcrumbs. It's a twisted story. It will be in theaters November 24th. Put it on your calendars." Check

As we mentioned Brian is also an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Brian is involved in several projects and his entrepreneurial and philanthropy spirit is geared toward investing in our youth. Brian and his wife, Paula Da Silva, are in development of a legacy brand. "We are creating a legacy brand for our daughter named, Black (Be Lucid About Cultural Knowledge). We are planning to put it out toward the end of this year. We are starting with hats, shirts and a coloring book. The coloring book speaks to all the black heros of all cultures. There are Afro-Latino heros in the book. There are Afro-Asian heros in the book. We have Afro-Indian heros in the book. We put African-American heros in the book. We have all these heros that these kids can look up to. All these people that the youth can say, here is a whole diaspora of people that are black and should be celebrated as heros that we can role model after. We believe if you don't know where you come from you can't possible know where you are going. We see the black community growing and we want to be there to help everyone understand, embrace and celebrate their blackness as they grow up. We want to give them the tools and the role models to help." Awesome

Brian also partners with Anna Cheshire Levitan in Black Carpenter. It is a multi-platform youth development program whose purpose "is to create a tool box of essential life skills for the next generation." And he is the co-founder, with Reia Briggs-Connor, of the Phunk Phenomenon Urban Dance Theater whose mission "has always been to use the art of dance as a catalyst for youth outreach." 

Brian White...extraordinary.

Watch Bronx SIU and Monogamy on Prime Video & UMC streaming now!

Make sure and watch Ambitions starting June 18, 2019 on OWN!

Mark your calendars to check out Dear Frank in theaters on November 24, 2019!

Be on the look out for all things BLACK (Be Lucid About Cultural Knowledge)!

Thank you so much for speaking with us, Mr. White!

I AM KP Smith



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Soap Opera News: Brian White Talks Bronx SIU, Ambitions, Monogamy and Much More! (EXCLUSIVE)
Brian White Talks Bronx SIU, Ambitions, Monogamy and Much More! (EXCLUSIVE)
Brian White talks Bronx SIU, Ambitions, Monogamy and so much more. Check it out here--->>
Soap Opera News
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