Interview with Brian White

Brian White started his career as a professional football player for the New England Patriots. After two seasons on the field, Brian had an off-season meeting which led him onto the acting field. Movie Mikes had a chance to speak with Brian about that chance meeting which got him into acting as well as his role of Marcus on the television show “Men of a Certain Age”

Click here to purchase “Men of a Certain Age” Season One on DVD

Adam Lawton: What made you decided to switch from a pro sports career to a career in movies?
Brian White: It wasn’t really a planned transition. I was offered a chance to audition for a role on a TV show. At the time, I was in LA trying to get back into football and I had really wanted to go to the Raiders camp. I was having dinner with my agent to discuss getting in, when a casting director came up to our table and asked if I was an actor. I told them “no” and my agent immediately said “yes” I was and took the persons card. The next thing I know I am at an audition with around 500 other actors who all were there for the same part. After a short time, they let me know I had got the part on “Moesha” and the rest is history.

AL: Even though this role came along, were you still trying to pursue a football career at the same time?
BW: An average football career is two years, which I had already completed. I had a nagging injury that I never allowed to get better, so I had already led that dream in a sense. I needed to find something that I could do until I was 85 not 35. Once I started acting, I found I was able to get the same type of spontaneity and ability as I had in sports. So after about two or three years in…I was hooked.

AL: Is it harder prepping for a sports season or an acting role?
BW: For me it was a lot easier prepping for a sports season because I knew how to do it. There is a science on how to prepare for a sport. There is nothing scientific about acting. You’re creating stuff out of thin air and then trying to exist in reality with those pre-set conditions. There really is no one way to prepare. In football there is always at least a playbook.

AL: Can you tell us what is in store for your character this season on “Men of a Certain Age”?
BW: Well going back to season one, my character Marcus played more of a foil to Andre Braugher’s character. Marcus represented the alpha male. He is the top salesman and is really full of young ambition. In season two, you’re going to find out what happens when Marcus encounters another alpha male type at the dealership. You’re going to get to see how both of those characters, who are very similar, are going to survive in the same tank. From what I have seen in the scripts I think people who enjoyed the show last season are really going to enjoy it this season!

AL: Whats it like getting to rival someone like Scott Bakula?
BW: Just getting to work with Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula is a blessing. Working with those guys is like being in a master acting class. I have had the opportunity to work with really great people. Besides Andre and Scott I also have been able to work with Michael Chiklis. My TV experience really has been a gift from God. Those guys come to work and they have a very blue collar work ethic. They really try to get better each and every day. I have become a better person and actor just by being around them.

AL: I’m sure having Ray Romano on set provides for some pretty good behind the scenes antics?
BW: Actually on set Ray is more serious. He is a naturally funny guy. He is one of those guys that doesn’t have to turn it on to be funny, it comes very natural. A lot of the funny moments come from the fact that these stories you see in the episodes actually happened to Ray and a lot of the writers. The last episode of this season is going to feature a softball game and Ray told me that all the events that happened in that episode happened in real life.

AL: What was it like working on “Mr. 3000” with Bernie Mac?
BW: That was my first time being in a studio film. I really got to see why people liked working with Bernie. The crew that worked with him had been with him since the beginning of his career. He was such a pleasure to work with and very grateful. I remember a few nights when we were shooting at Miller field and there were around 10,000 extras and Bernie stayed until he had shook everyone of their hands each night. Bernie always said that if he was to change than everything else would change. He was always trying to remember what kept him up. That never left me. He really set a foundation for me.

AL: Do you have any other projects coming up?
BW: I have several projects coming up. I am in the process of producing a film, also in which I co-wrote the script called “Hustle”. The film is slated to start shooting in Europe this coming year. I have three films that are about to be released “Cabin In The Woods” directed by Drew Goddard, “Politics of Love” which is based on a true story and a romantic comedy titled ” The Heart Specialist.” Starting early next year, I will be kicking off my youth empowerment campaign with “Black Carpenter”. “Black Carpenter” is a book and curriculum that I wrote. There will also be a lecture tour in support of the program. “Black Carpenter” also has partnered with Operation Hope to start a financial literacy program which will provide information on banking and the importance of finance.

Click here to purchase “Men of a Certain Age” Season One on DVD

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