Ladies everywhere swooned during this season of Let’s Stay Together because of a man named Christian Keyes, who portrayed Tasha’s very handsome and suave ex-boyfriend. Recently, the actor sat down with BET.com and discussed his character Troy, love, relationships and his upcoming projects. Get to learn a little more about the talented (and sexy) Christian Keyes.
BET.com: Your fans are used to seeing you on stage and in movies. How has that been different from your experience on Let’s Stay Together?
Christian Keyes: Being on a TV show was always a dream, it was definitely something I always wanted to do, so to get a chance to work with that particular cast and those writers and the BET Network was awesome. I’ve been watching BET for years, so to look up and see me on one of their bigger shows was great because it was such a huge dream of mine. It was great that they were able to make that come true for me. It was a huge blessing — I had a ball. Huge family atmosphere over there and who knows where I’m going to end up as long as it’s on BET somewhere.
How would you describe your character Troy?
I would say that he knows what he wants. He’s driven, stubborn, doesn’t take no for an answer, and he may go too far, he might not, but it’s from a good place because he’s not a bad person. The way he’s going about things isn’t necessarily the best way, but I like him. [laughs] I don’t usually get to play the “bad guy” because I’m always the “good guy,” so I like being Troy. It’s fun.
What similarities can you draw between yourself and your character Troy?
I would say the style as far as the dress, when I’m dealing with business affairs and things of that nature, that’s how I present myself. I would say the drive, the vision, he started his own company and I’m working on several things, some writing and some producing, things outside of acting. I would definitely say that those things are similar.
If you were Troy’s friend what advice would you give him regarding his relationship with Tasha and trying to get back with her even though she’s married? Would you tell him to go for it or let it go?
That is a good question. I would tell him to let it go. I’m not a believer of messing with married chicks. It’s not something that I would do. So if I was Troy’s friend, I would tell him that there are enough beautiful Black women in this world, so to find one that’s not married. [laughs] Take those vows before God and go live happily ever after — that would be my advice to him.
The show is clearly about relationships, so what do you think is at the core of a relationship that makes it work?
Genuine communication and a relationship built on authentic friendship. That’s very, very important. I think that’s huge. I think that those are the starting blocks. I made the mistake of starting a relationship and hadn’t put in the work to really build a friendship, and lovin’ is not enough to hold a relationship together. It takes a lot more. The humor, the friendship, the spirituality, the conversation, the communication — those are things with the love, the passion, the affection, those things.
With you being as busy as you are professionally, is that something that’s been harder for you to find or does it just depend on the person?
I think it’s both, but I definitely think that it’s a little tougher with the schedule because you might be filming in Atlanta for a month, you may be over here shooting this, you know? You might hop on tour with a play or be in New York with a Broadway play. You never know. So it really would take the most understanding kind of woman. It would take a really strong and really secure woman to handle that strain on a relationship. That’s primarily why I’m single now. I’m looking for the right situation.
The finale of Let’s Stay Together shows Tasha and Troy face-to-face and we see Tasha deciding whether or not to ride back to Atlanta with Troy. With that said, can we expect to see more of you next season?
I mean, if they call me, I’ll be there with a smile on. It’s definitely a possibility. So it’s up to them at this point. I’d love to come back and let Troy have some more life, but it’s not in my hands per say. But, I am going to end up on somebody’s show somewhere. But I’d definitely be okay with it being on Let’s Stay Together.
To switch gears for a minute, I actually came to know you through a Tyler Perry play a few years back. Is there any possibility of you collaborating [with Perry] again?
You never really know, truthfully. I feel like right now I’m where I’m supposed to be. There are a lot of things opening up, there are a lot of things that are in the works and on the table, but I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Who knows?
Is there anything that you can reveal to us about future projects? You’ve modeled, you’re a singer and clearly you’re an actor, so are there any projects that your fans should be looking for?
I haven’t modeled in years, literally. I don’t do that anymore because I want to concentrate on acting. Acting is my first love and music is my second. I’m always going to make music, but I’m an actor. I will say this, this fall BET is going to start airing Dysfunctional Friends and it’s been getting a lot of great reviews. It’s with myself, Stacey Dash, Tatyana Ali, Reagan Gomez, Persia White, Jason Weaver, Hosea Chanchez and more. There’s that, I have a film called We Are Family with a great cast and it’s a great faith-based film. I have a Christmas movie coming out called What She Wants. I have a film coming out that I wrote that we shot in December called Note to Self, starring myself, Brian McKnight, Richard T. Jones, Valerie Pettiford, LeToya Luckett, Eva Marcille, Jason Weaver, Clifton Powell and we have a phenomenal cast. We’re screening it this month down at the American Black Film Festival in Miami.
Is this the first screenplay that you’ve written?
It’s physically the first one that I wrote, but I wrote it back in 2005. I’ve written about 10 so far, but this is the second one that I’ve shot.
Any last words for your fans on what they can expect?
Clearly a huge thank you for the love and support. They’re always vocal about letting me and BET know about the show and that they love it, so I love them for that. They can follow me on Twitter and I’ll keep them updated on everything I’m into at @ChristianKeyes.
(Photo: A. Turner Archives/PictureGroup)