BET’s 106 & Park host Terrence J has been making small cameos in films and shows since 2004. Last year marked his first regular TV role as “Dante Young” on BET’s The Game. Now the fun loving host has made his way to the big screen with a starring role in Think Like a Man, amongst an ensemble cast of acting giants.
“This is the most amazing experience of my life,” he said at the film’s New York premiere April 4. “I haven’t been prouder of anything that I’ve worked on more than this. I just thank BET, without BET I wouldn’t have had these opportunities! The fact that I’m amongst such an amazing cast? Right now as we’re talking I’m standing in between Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson! These are the crème de la crème of Hollywood and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
The up and coming actor has impressed his cast and crew. “He was great! He has so much charisma, he’s so loveable and he gets it,” said director Tim Story, adding “I think he’s going to have a long career.”
Former MTV VJ La La Anthony, who also appears in Think Like a Man, said that Terrence is helping pave the way as she also transitions her career into more acting roles. “I think the difficulty is getting people to see you in a new role, but with time it happens. Terrence J is doing it! We’re just showing people that you can cross over.”
Up next for Terrence is a role in the film Sparkle, which stars the late Whitney Houston (in theaters August 10). For now, Terrence J still spends his afternoons on BET. “I already know he’s really good," says his co-host, Rosci Diaz. "He’s been doing phenomenal things.”
It’s an exciting time for another Think Like a Man cast member, Gabrielle Union. She will star in upcoming BET original series Single Black Female, written and produced by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil (Girlfriends, The Game). Union joins a migration of movie actors crossing back over to TV (Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson to name a couple), which once carried a stigma in Hollywood. “It’s very easy to feel like you can’t do anything but big films, but when film roles dry up, the banks are still really funny about wanting their money,” Union said with a chuckle. “I’m not too high and mighty to work.”
In exploring different opportunities, the actress said she “fell in love with” the Akils' script and credits ABC’s new show Scandal for helping bring about the show. “It started last year with Scandal, every Black actress wanted Kerry Washington’s role. The female Black lead role never comes around for us so we all wanted it.” Union believes Scandal helped spark a greater change in Black Hollywood. “I think with the success of ABC picking that up kind of opened a lot of doors. People thought, let’s see where this goes and then let’s try it. BET is leading the charge and I hopped on board. I’m really excited! We start filming in a couple weeks.”
Think Like a Man hits theaters April 20. BET’s original series Single Black Female is scheduled to premiere in 2013.
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(Photo: Fernando Leon/Getty Images)