As I settled in for this press conference, I could feel the buzz over the phone. Three very well known faces were about to give exclusive insight to an upcoming episode of STAR, the new series on Fox and it was on and poppin from the start. Tyrese had one request of all of us: “Unleash your best, spotlight the show and lets have a mature conversation.”
You all know Tyrese, his singing voice, his acting ability in the Fast and Furious series, Transformers and other movies. This role is different for him. It is his first official television role. He entered the interview with a unique sense of humor. He had all of us laughing and energetic. His enthusiasm about this role you could really feel. What I appreciated was his genuine personality and his honest answers. His preparation for this role and his faith played a huge part. “Everyone has their spin on the gospel and their particular belief system. In order for me to to this I had to seek guidance so as not to jump without proper knowledge which made it that much more comfortatble.” The focus was the upcoming episode that will touch on a taboo subject that is facing us today: dealing with transgender issues and whether or not it is right for a Pastor to have a relationship outside of the one with God? Two very strong points that are the main focus of this episode.
As I posed my question to Tyrese it was apparent that he was not looking to champion any cause. His direct feeling is that whatever you do in your life that makes your happy, live your life. His view and voice of the current situation facing those in the LGBT community is one where there is a heart. It is an uncomfortable subject. His charachte, Pastor Bobby Harris is an ex-con who has turned his life over to God and now is the senior Pastor of a small church recently divorced with 3 kids. He starts dating Queen Latifah’s character Carlotta. He finally comes to meet her daughter who is actually her son played by Amiyah Scott. He stated that he has never exchanged energy with anyone transgender before Amiyah Scott. He found Amiyah to be genuine, deep and “cool”. As things began to surface about the role and the impact it would have on viewers, Tyrese did state that many thought that a man was cast to play a woman. They were having trouble grasping what was before them. Amiyah is beautiful and softspoken. Her view is that she wants to generate an awareness. Everyone wants this to become a topic of discussion that sheds some light on what is normally not spoken about. “Many have tried to pay the gay away.” Tyrese said, “if he never had a heart before, he has one now. If there are those who can’t relate, maybe tuning in will be able to help deal with their own personal issues.”
As for the director, Lee Daniels, he feels that even in the event of the scene from Empire where Lucious puts his son in a trashcan as to discard him, the memories flooded back. “Living as a gay black man has this episode of Star making me feel naked and exposed.” This is not a new subject to Mr. Daniels. He wants the public to view and become vunerable with the characters. He has found scenes like this hard to direct but therapudic at the same time. He is not ashamed of who he is and shares that emotion. “I live in my truth” states Mr. Daniels. Tyrese teases him saying he has never heard him tongue-tied before. Mr. Daniels closes out by saying, “my work speaks for itself”.
For me, this interview was life! I got to know three individuals that bared their souls and let you know that you are about to meet some real life characters who live their truth. Thank you for a wonderful interview!
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