Supreme Fabulosity was granted with the wonderful opportunity to catch up with talented actor/singer Christian Keyes. Many of you may know Christian Keyes from the hugely successful play “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail”. He has also made cameo appearances in videos like Ashanti’s “The Way That You Love Me”, and most recently Mariah Carey featuring Nicki Minaj “Up Out My Face (Remix)”. Last year, he was on tour with Vivica A. Fox in the play “Cheaper To Keep Her”. This year for Christian, sky’s the limit. He definitely his a triple-threat. He has added producer to his resume, working on a new album, and has more TV and film projects in the works. Find out what he is up to next, why he has been able to stay focus, and his thoughts on parenting, and much more:
-Thank you for taking the time to interview with us here at Supreme Fabulosity. How are you doing?
I’m good. I’m blessed. I couldn’t complain if I wanted to. Last year was great for me career wise, and this year is shaping to to be even better though I did not think that was possible.
-When did you decide that you wanted to be an actor?
I started modeling first, 10 years ago. Acting was something that I wanted to do. I wanted to go from modeling to acting, if I could. I was able to do it, thankfully. I started going to auditions and booking them. I started to book the parts for commercials, and plays. Then I figured if I was going to do it, I better start taking classes, start reading books, and studying acting techniques. Thankfully, it has been rolling ever since.
-What similarities and differences do you find when it comes to acting in plays or acting in movies?
With plays, and theatre, it is much bigger. You will have three or four thousand people sitting there watching you. So your gestures, face, and everything needs to be out towards the audience, so they can feel the energy. With TV & film, there are multiple cameras, and they are right up on you. Your stuff can be a lot more internal. One of the bigger things with theatre is you get that immediate reaction from the crowd. You will get the laughs, and the gasps if they see something or hear something that is crazy. With TV & film, there is no immediate laughter, or music underneath the scene, however, I LOVE doing both.
-The first time you met Tyler Perry, what was that like?
Dude is cool. He came and saw another play that I was doing on the road. He asked would I come do “Madea Goes To Jail”. I told him ‘Absolutely!’.
-Can you tell us one of your most memorable experiences on being on the road with Tyler Perry?
In general, being able to work with all the wonderful people like LaVan and Cassi Davis, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, David & Tamela Mann, and many more. I’m not even naming everybody. Just being able to work with, and learn from them was the best part of touring.
-You are now currently co-starring in a play with Vivica A. Fox titled “Cheaper to Keep Her.” can you tell us what the play is about?
I did it last year. I’m not going out with them this year in 2011. I’m shooting a few films and TV spots. So I will not be able to go. I wanted to get more into TV, and film anyway, so it’s a good ting. The play itself was really good. My character Eddie Reynolds ended up competing with Brian McKnight’s character for Vivica’s affection. I don’t want to give away the story because a lot of your readers are going to probably see the play, but it is definitely a good play. Without giving away the story, there are a lot of real life relationship situations, really funny things are going on in there, and it is definitely a must see.
-In your opinion, what makes a great actor?
What makes a great actor is honesty, and believability being present, as well as creativity. A lot of people are so creative and talented that they can add stuff that you wouldn’t even think of, and it fits, and you don’t have to force it in there. That’s the difference between a good and a great actor. It is definitely something that we all strive to be. I have a lot of work I have to do before I get there, but I try to keep my eye on what a lot of the great actors are doing.
-What do you consider to be one of the most challenging obstacles when it comes to dealing with the industry?
Holding on to your integrity. I had to pass on roles, and certain characters. The role was really good, and they pay was really good, but it would have compromised me morally. Thank God, I’m working enough now, that I can pass on a role like that if I have to. To me, that’s important. There are certain things that I’m not going to do to get a role. So it is just the integrity aspect of it. It is probably one of the tougher things. If your grounded, God will make sure you’re strong enough to make the right decisions, and thankfully He has.
-Not only are you a model, and actor, you also sing, how is the music coming along?
I’m actually recording my third CD, independent. I’m just wrapping that up, it might be done this month, or April. There might be a couple of surprise collaborations. The good thing about doing films is I can get some of my music involved in some of the soundtracks. However, it is coming along really good.
-Who are some of your musical influences?
Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, and Babyface. Those are the cats that made me fall in love with music, definitely. I want to try and do some of the things they do, and then make it my own. I wouldn’t want to try and be a second rate version of them, with all do respect to them. To work with Brian McKnight on this last play was bananas, because of the utmost respect I have for him.
-We hear that you are adding producer to your resume. Can you tell us about what is the upcoming project(s) that you are producing?
Well actually, one of the projects I was able to work with Vivica A. Fox on. I was the Executive Producer on “Lord All Men Can’t Be Dogs”, which is a stage play. It was filmed straight for DVD, which will be coming out this summer. It’s me, Vivica A. Fox, Elise Neal. Johnny Gil, Kareem Grimes, and Tony Grant. I meant it is a slew of names and talented people. We don’t have enough time in this interview to name all the incredible people in this cast.
-Name three things that you cannot live without.
My cell, computer, and iPod, that’s terrible (laughs).
-What has been the most defining moment of your career thus far?
I would have to say it hasn’t happened yet. I’m not comfortable with the blessings and successes I’ve had thus far. I’m not satisfied with that. I’ve got some other amazing things I want to do, and that I’m focused on. I don’t think that that moment has happened yet.
-If you could land your dream role on a TV show, movie, play, etc, what would that role be?
I definitely would want to work with Denzel at some point. Also, Forest Whitaker, and Don Cheadle. I want to work with African-Americans actors of that caliber, and their so universal now, that they are not see as African-American actors. They ‘re just great actors. I definitely want to work with them and many more. Also, television wise, I like BET show’s “The Game”. I know a few of the cast members, and their class acts, great people. I really like the show. I would like a recurring role on “The Game”, or “Let’s Stay Together” (the show that comes on after “The Game”). With the things just mentioned, there might be a possibility.
-What do you feel about all of the young adults that are committing suicide in fear of being ostracized by society for just being true to who they really are?
I definitely feel like there are other options. With parents, there are things that they need to pick up on. As a parent myself, we are responsible to be observant to certain things. I don’t have a teenager. My boy is eight years old. I think there are certain things people pick up on if we pay attention, and make it a priority to listen. I think it is unfortunate. I will say that it is tougher growing up on kids altogether, and I’m glad that I don’t have to grow as a child today.
-We don’t see you on the party scene, in tabloids, or etc., how do you manage to keep your industry life separate from your personal life?
Thankfully, making great decisions. I get a lot of invites to all those parties, mansion parties, and the wild stuff. I try to hit the movie premieres that I need to be at to support friends and family in the industry. I try to make good decisions because I don’t want to be all in the tabloids. I don’t need that type of attention. I’m not an attention-junkie. Some people love that. With me, you can miss me with all of that.
-Give us three words that describe your personality.
Thankful, Humble, and Driven.
-You are very talented, and we can’t wait to see more of you in the near future. What else do you have planned for the rest of the year through 2011?
I want to do one TV show, and film a month, and the way it is shaping up, that’s how it’s going to be. From the looks of it, I’m going to be shooting a bunch of incredible projects. My main goal is to put as many classy films, TV projects, and know down more TV commercials. I am also going to shoot a couple of projects I wrote.
-Where can your fans/supporters reach out to you at?
Truthfully, my Twitter page, and Facebook page which is twitter.com/Christian Keyes, and facebook.com/ChristianKeyesOfficial. Those are my only real Twitter and Facebook pages, all the others are fake.
-Lastly at Supreme Fabulosity, we do something called “Celebrity Advice.” What has been that one piece of advice that has stuck with you, that you would like to give to your fans/supporters?
Do every thing within your power to be ready for whatever dream it is that you are chasing. That way when God opens up that door, you don’t have to scramble and hurry up to get ready….you’re already ready.
We would like to thank Christian Keyes (Twitter :@ChristianKeyes) for interviewing with us. For more updates on what he is doing, check him out on Twitter, and Facebook. You can look for them here on the site as well, and make sure you follow us on Twitter (@KJUELZNYCMIAMI).