Your new movie Bag of
Tricks - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell
us about your character in it?
is about the revenge that a mysterious “kid” named Timmy
seeks on Ryan – a handsome, muscular, Adonis-like figure played by me
– who jokingly scares the crap out of the Timmy while he’s
trick-or-treating. As Timmy haunts Ryan, we, the audience can’t help but
to hope that Ryan’s girlfriend Tiffany, played by the beautiful Jenna
Nolen, can somehow solve Timmy’s riddle and save her and her
What did you draw upon to
bring your character to life, and how much Frank Bernard Smith jr III can
we find in Ryan?
there’s a lot of Frank in there, since I love pranking kids, my
girlfriends, and my family members - that part of the script was easy for me
to deliver. The harder part was delivering my monologue towards the
beginning of the movie since I had to tap into my creepy/freighting side
to pull it off. For that scene to work I had to really scare Jenna, or
Tiffany, so first I had to play like I was really afraid myself, and
second I had to deliver the lines in a way that scared anyone else who was
listening. I tried very, very hard to scare the camera operators at the
same time as scaring Jenna. To prepare for the scene I watched scenes from
“Hannibal Lector” in Silence of the Lambs and “Huck” from
How did you get involved with the
project in the first place?
know the producer Raymond McCann from a mutual friend we have that I met
in college. We all connected years ago because we all liked making films.
Ray naturally fell into the producer role for all our small skits (he’s
got some actor credits too) and larger projects we did and he has turned
his passion into his career. Ray reached out to me to set up a few
interviews for me to meet with the director, Michael Coulombe [Michael
Coulombe interview - click here], about a
potential casting me as the leading role in his short film project.
Michael seemed to like me and invited me on to play Ryan.
To what extent could you
identify with Bag of
Tricks' approach to horror, and is horror at all a genre dear to
love horror films, and Bag
of Tricks definitely does a great job in
reminding viewers of the classics we all grew up watching. Brantley J.
Brown [Brantley J. Brown
interview - click here],
the film’s writer, does a great job in building suspense throughout the
script, so the entire film you are trying to predict what will happen, but
you never could predict what actually happens – well at least I
couldn’t. The film also ends in classical horror film fashion, leaving
viewers with some of their questions unansweredm which I absolutely love
because it gets my mind wondering about the plot of a part 2.
What can you tell us about Bag
of Tricks' director Michael Coulombe [Michael
Coulombe interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
Coulombe is brilliant in my opinion. I’ve worked with tons of directors
and creatives before, so I appreciate when directors are able to balance
the process of creating while also maintaining the professional side of
the business while on set. I love how Mike was able to control
the entire set and was still able to foster an atmosphere of freedom and
creativity that remained within scope of what he believed the project
should look like.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set
coming to a place where no one takes themselves too seriously, but
everyone is serious about the job we are there to do. Michael Coloumbe
created an atmosphere on set where you were encouraged to share your ideas
about the script, the lighting, the set décor, and the costumes and you
felt heard, while maintaining a level of professionalism that I
appreciated greatly. A lot of my ideas ended up coming to light in the
film, which is contrary to the norm; as an actor I’m usually told to
keep many of my ideas in my head and just read the lines, but under
Mike’s leadership I felt the complete opposite feeling.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
got a music video coming out maybe the end of 2020 or early 2021 with an
artist named Natalie Volkodaeva, directed by Nihat Odabasi. In the video I
play another lead role as Natalie’s sinister boyfriend. You’ll have to
wait to the end of the video to see if I let her live or not... Besides
that and Bag
of Tricks, I’ve also got a short film out now on Amazon
Prime called On the Run written by Dante Spears where I play a lead
detective, you can also catch me in a couple of ads coming out this year
and next year most likely on digital platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
got you into acting in the first place, and did you recieve any formal
training on the subject?
wanted to become an actor ever since seeing Tyler Perry’s live taping of
Madea’s Class Reunion. I went to the taping when I was about 8 years old
and ever since then I fell in love with acting, whether it was on a stage
or on a screen. Since then I’ve done numerous plays, hosting gigs, and
short films until I eventually was signed by multiple talent agencies. The
training I received first starting out was from BGB Studios and The
Audition Lab with Phaedra Harris.
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Bag
had a relatively decent career in entertainment thus far. My most screen
time has been with VH1’s Hip Hop Squares where I did 15 episodes. I was
also in an episode of The Affair on Showtime, I was in the film
Light on Netflix, and I was in
The Morning Show on Apple TV. I also
played an officer in the film I Got the Hook Up 2 with Master P and Romeo.
I’ve also been in lots of commercials including Samsung and McDonald’s
and I’ve done tons of print work everywhere from Asics to David’s
How would you describe yourself as an
actor, and some of your techniques to bring your character to life?
would describe myself as the next coming of Will Smith. I believe I’m
just as charismatic and charming as he was in Hitch or Independence
and I can also play a deeply troubled or moving character like he was in
The Pursuit of Happiness. I believe I can play both very well, but
I definitely aspire to be as intense and as real in my scenes as Will is
in his. I’ve definitely got a long way to go however.
(and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Smith, Tyler Perry, Al Pacino, Kerry Washington, Amy Poehler, Ryan
Reynolds, Sandra Bullock, Ashton Kutcher, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling,
Omari Hardwick, and Issa Rae.
it Off, Scarface, First
Blood, Crazy Stupid Love, The Notebook, Bag
website, social media, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
you for this opportunity to be interviewed by you. Follow me if you want
to come along with my acting and modeling journey! Watch my stories and
posts on Instagram to see what I’m up to and what its really like for a young
working actor and professional model in Hollywood. And definitely,
definitely check out Bag
of Tricks by Horror House Media on YouTube!
for the interview!