Photographer DaMarko GianCarlo 
Wardrobe Stylist Sarah Mk Paris 
Interview By Kyra Greene 

How does it feel to be a part of one of the longest running prime time dramas? Was it intimidating?
It is a great privilege to be able to join “Grey’s Anatomy” which is so widely respected across the world. I have enjoyed receiving the great feedback from the large fan base about my character.

Every new job I start is a bit intimidating. You can compare the feeling to starting your first day of school. Walking into a show that has been on for 18 seasons adds to the pressure of being the new kid in school and having to make friends. The cast and crew of the show have been very welcoming and made me feel at home immediately, especially Ellen. I’ve been on the show since October, but it feels like I have been a part of the family for years.

Did you watch Grey’s Anatomy before this? If so, who were your favorite characters?
I had seen a few episodes before joining and my favorite character was Dr. Richard. His character on the show has always reminded me of a sweet, kind, father figure or the uncle that all the kids love to go and visit. Meeting and working with him has made me love his character and the person behind the character even more.

How had the Fanbase welcomed you?
My social media is blowing up with comments from the Grey’s Anatomy’s fan base and I have also met some fans in person. It sounds like they are enjoying my character “Jordan Wright” and are excited to see what comes next for him even though are skeptical about his intentions on the show. I have never been a part of something where fans were so invested in a show/character so I am enjoying every bit of what the show’s supporters have to offer.

You grew up in New Orleans, are you missing being there this time of year? And how did that impact you?
Mardi Gras is a huge cultural event that I attended with my family and friends each year growing up in New Orleans. My first time missing Mardi Gras was a few years back and that was tough, but as with most things, time apart has made it a bit easier to handle. I hope to make it back to New Orleans for a Mardi Gras season soon. This year I will bake a King Cake to honor the season.

Did you ever want to be a weatherman?
Hahaha, I wouldn’t say I wanted to be a weatherman, I just wanted to be on television. My 6th grade science teacher (Mr. Patterson) needed students to record a video for an educational show. He knew I wouldn’t be shy in front of a camera so he asked me to participate. That can actually go down in the history books as my first ever acting gig, Weatherman #1 hahaha.

You originally wanted to be a dentist how did you go from that to education to acting?
I was just trying to find my path growing up. I always knew I wanted to be an actor, but that seemed far-fetched back then, so I decided to select a profession that would make my mother proud, which was dentistry. I had an interest in it and it paid well, but while interning at LSU dentistry I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me after almost passing out from the amount of blood I saw. I moved on to teaching. I love kids so what better job to do than to be able to be with them all day. It was during my time teaching that I realized I needed to pursue my dream of acting and just went for it.

You use the hashtag I don’t get tired frequently how do you equate your use of manifestation in your career as well as your everyday life?
This is a question that I could write a book about, but in simplest terms, manifestation is something everyone does whether they label it as manifesting or not. It’s basically having a goal or a vision which helps you make precise decisions to move you closer to that goal. “I Don’t Get Tired” is a mantra that I follow that pushes me when things get tough. It’s a reminder that the job is not done and I cannot afford to slack up, get distracted, or get tired of accomplishing my goal. I can proudly say that my mantra has helped me throughout life and has brought me to this point today, but there is still much to accomplish, so I’ll be screaming I DON’T GET TIRED until the end.

You’ve worked with Tom Cruise not once but twice. How is it working with one of the most well known actors in the world?
I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with someone we can all agree is a legend and I DO NOT take it for granted. It has been a master class on the craft of acting, conducting myself as a professional in this industry and learning how to navigate the acting world. This has been an invaluable experience and I am extremely glad to say I have been allowed to have a person like Tom Cruise as a mentor and friend to help shape my outlook of this industry so early on in my career. He has set the bar high for me, and I look forward to striving to surpass it.

What did you learn most from him?
The biggest thing that I have learned from Tom, and what he continues to stress to me, is to be accountable. You get to the place you are in life because of what you put out there or prepare yourself for.

What can you tell us about your character Coyote in Top Gun: Maverick?
Coyote is the type of person that you want to love and want on your team. He is driven, hard working, and feels he always has something to prove. Competition runs through his veins and he never shies away from a challenge. Everyone will love him, no one will hate him and to find out more, make sure to watch Top Gun: Maverick in theaters May 27th 2022.

Are you enjoying your time shooting action films?
When I was a child I would imagine myself starring in an action movie. I would have shootouts in my living room, hide behind the sofa, jump from my bed to the dresser acting like I was leaping across skyscrapers to catch the bad guy. I am living out my childhood dream. I find myself sitting back in amazement how the thoughts that 8 year old Tarzan envisioned have actually manifested to real life. Crazy huh?

How would you blend your love of education and acting in the future?
I am actually starting a non-profit called Perfect Your Craft, PYC, that is geared towards the youth to help them hone in on their craft. I intend to be hands-on with this non-profit as much as possible which would also involve me teaching classes with the knowledge that I have gained over my time in this industry.

Do you keep up with any of your former students?
I made it a point to go back and visit my former students as often as worked allowed to see how they were progressing in their lives and to give them updates on how I was doing following my dreams. I am Facebook friends with a few of the parents of my former students, so I receive updates all the time. I am putting together a movie premiere under my non-profit PYC when Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters in New Orleans and all of my former students will be invited.

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