The host of BET's "106 & Park" by day, emerging actor Terrence J (who also goes by his given name, Terrence Jenkins) is just one of the heartthrobs in the romantic comedy "Think Like a Man," in which a group of friends turn the tables on their women.
In the movie, based on Steve Harvey's best-selling book "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," the men find out that their girlfriends have been manipulating them with the help of the advice in Harvey's book. Feeling betrayed, they set out to use the book and manipulate them right back -- with predictably unpredictable results.
Terrence, who plays mama's boy Michael in the film, talked to us about working with Steve Harvey, the romantic advice we should expect from this film and how he'd love to play a certain president.
Did you always know you wanted to act?
Yeah, acting is something I've always wanted to do. I love film and I love sitcoms, and I was one of those kids that would just go to the movies on the weekend and spend my whole weekend watching all of the movies ... I just love it. I'm so excited to be a part of a big movie.
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With the movie based on Steve Harvey's book, did you get to know or learn anything from working with him?
Oh yeah, absolutely. One of the reasons why I was even able to get this role is because of my relationship with Steve. Steve and I are in the same fraternity together [Omega Psi Phi] and I'm following in his career path with radio and television, so I've always leaned on Steve as a mentor and as a road of guidance … And so when this whole film and this project started, you know, I was pressuring him for a role in this since the very beginning. I got to work closer with him on this project, and he's been a big inspiration in my life.
How do you think you relate to your character in the film, Michael?
You know, Michael is experiencing a lot of growth. In this film, you watch him go from basically being a boy or "man-child" into a man ... and I think I'm kind of in that same place in my life right now. A lot of people have viewed me as a boy because of what I do every day on "106 & Park," which is cool, but right now I'm really coming into my manhood and I share that with Michael. We're in a big growth stage in our lives.
Do you think there's real romantic advice people will get from this movie?
Oh hell yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think it's going to change the way people look at relationships for a long time. This film brings back the corn. It brings back rules and morals --- well, I hate to say the word "rules" -- but it brings back a new standard that I think people are going to leave the movie saying, "You know what, we're going apply this to our relationships in real life."
What was your very first acting gig?
My very first acting gig was in a movie for Russ Parr. He did this movie called "Love for Sale," and that was my first role in any film. And I would love to call Russ back and tell him, "Hey you know what, I owe you your money back because I was terrible." [laughs] I think I've grown tremendously. In the acting world, you can really only become good by practicing and doing it, and I just think every time you walk onto a set you just become better and better. I think I'm in a totally different space than I was back then on that first movie set.
If you could have anyone's career in Hollywood, whose career would you have?
I like the decisions that George Clooney's made. I love the decisions that Will Smith has made as well. You know, if I had the chance to look back, I would probably say an iconic career like Marlon Brando -- you know his career expanded through generations -- so probably Marlon Brando.
What is your nickname?
Heathy [pronounced Heat-y] --- well it's actually my middle name, but anybody that's really close to me, when they're mad at me, that's what they call me.
Do people recognize you on the street? What's the craziest thing that's happened to you from a fan?
Oh yeah people recognize me, but the craziest thing? I mean I've had the normal autographs … but I had to sign a baby's carriage once. I thought that was weird, so yeah, I guess that's the craziest thing.
Mac or PC?
New York or L.A.?
Rock or rap?
Twitter or Facebook?
Lady Gaga or Madonna?
Madonna -- wait, uh ... yeah, Madonna.
What would you say is your dream role?
My dream role is playing a young President Barack Obama coming out of law school.
What's next for you?
I have another film coming out called "Sparkle," and that comes out in August. And then right after that I'm in another film called "Battle of the Year" with Laz Alonso and Chris Brown, and that's going to be a good movie as well … That's coming out probably at the end of the year, and you can always check me out on "106 & Park."