Los Angeles-based actor Da’Vinchi chats with DAMAN about his first experience in the entertainment industry and his upcoming shows.
Experience-wise, in just three short years, actor Da’Vinchi has created a considerable amount of buzz in Hollywood with his unique personality, charismatic good looks, and raw talent. In that time period, he first booked Marvel’s “Jessica Jones,” then joined the cast of “Grown-ish”–a Freeform spin-off of the hit series “Black-ish”–then went on to appear on FOX’s “Lethal Weapon,” Amazon’s “The Boys,“ Gavin O’Connor’s Warner Bros. feature “The Way Back” starring Ben Affleck, and could most recently be seen in a heavy recurring role on the CW’s hit series “All American,” which now in its third season.
Not just that, he’s also involved in this year’s highly anticipated Starz series, “Black Mafia Family” from executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. In this series, he plays the leading role of the infamous Terry Flenory. Inspired by the true story of two brothers who rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit in the late 1980’s and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in America, the series is about love, kinship and capitalism in the pursuit of the American dream.
In addition to the show, Da’Vinchi also will be making his Broadway debut in October as one of the ensemble leads in Keenan Scott II’s “Thoughts of a Colored Man.” And coincidently, both of them are planned to be released within a week of each other so Da’Vinchi is pumped to show his two latest works to the world.
DAMAN: Hi da’Vinchi, thanks for having us. How are you doing and what’s keeping you busy these days?
Da’Vinchi: With the Broadway show and “Black Mafia Family” coming up, I have been keeping busy. I’m now starting press for “Black Mafia Family” and I only have a few more weeks in LA until I start Broadway, so I’m excited!
DA: First and foremost, for some of our readers who are just starting to get to know you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
DV: I am a first-generation Haitian American kid who grew up in Brooklyn/New Jersey area. At 13, I moved to Florida with my father. I didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but my parents always knew how to maintain things. I didn’t know how much we didn’t have as a kid, because I had nothing to compare it to. At a young age I started hustling & reading books on people I admire.
DA: Growing up, did you always have your eyes set on Hollywood? How did you start acting in the first place?
DV: As a kid, whenever I would watch scenes to my favorite movies, my brothers & I would start acting like them. We were always so fascinated by the movie making process and the lives of actors and musicians. I always dreamed of what it would be like to ‘make it.’ When I went to college in Florida, I took acting as an easy “A.” My professor told me to stop going to school and to go for it because I was such a natural. I started receiving signs from God and I was like–the world is pushing me in this direction, which made me want to just go for it.
DA: And speaking of Hollywood, what was your first experience in the entertainment industry?
DV: My first-time working was on “Jessica Jones” & I was so confused. Everything was so new to me, from the cameras, boom lights, people following me, but I was just rolling with it. I remember I had a conversation with Krysten Ritter and she was telling me everything was going to be ok. I would never forget, one day we hopped back into the van, back to base and she told me that there was something special about me. She told me she thought my career was going to rise faster than the average kid in Hollywood. She was really nice and sweet. Now I am a lead on “Black Mafia Family”, kind of crazy how that works.
DA: During those early days, what were some of the biggest challenges that you had to face and overcome?
DV: The biggest challenges I had to face was people not fully believing in me. People thought I was “too green” or new. It was frustrating at first, but little did I know, two or three years later my resume really grew. Looking back, I see what they were saying. I am so happy things played out the way they did.
DA: Moving on, you’ve had quite a few projects throughout 2020 and in 2021 as well. What were some of the biggest challenges working on shooting process with extra health and safety precautions in place? And have things started moving back to normal again?
DV: Shooting during 2020–2021 was kind of frustrating, but of course health and safety is number one. Just dealing with the potential shut downs and things getting it in your head. You start to overthink if everyone is being safe or what not.
DA: Speaking about projects, we’ve been extremely excited about your newest TV show, which is in Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s series “Black Mafia Family.” Can you give us a brief intro to your character and his role in the story?
DV: I play Terry Flannery on “Black Mafia Family.” Terry is the younger brother to Meech Flennery. He was the brains of the operation, while Meech was the charismatic, partying type. Terry was more about the business and focusing on school. He wanted to be the first to graduate High School, while also having a kid in High School, so he had to balance the role of being a father and being a kid in school.
This was all while his brother is pulling him into the streets selling drugs. Terry knew part of what his older brother was saying that he would never be making this type of money, no matter how long he trains in school. This was hard for Terry because he was battling those two roles. The two brothers go through a crazy journey. The dopest part of it all is that it is based on a true story, so the audience is in for a kick to finally here the story of “Black Mafia Family.” They are like mythological creatures when they were taking over because there wasn’t any social media or anything like that, so we didn’t really see them, but now you get to see a side to them that is pretty dope.
DA: Moreover, you’re recently announced that you’re joining Broadway’s “Thoughts of a Colored Man.” First of all: Congratulations! Any details you can share with us about your role?
DV: This is huge and I am so thankful to be part of this play. The play is about seven emotions, from lust, love, passion, depression, anger, wisdom and happiness. It tells a story from all those emotions from the point of view of a black man in this country. It tackles things from an interesting perspective and sheds light to certain things and conversations. This show will be a conversation starter, it is very interesting and powerful. I think everyone will be able to sit down and enjoy it. I don’t want to say too much about my role because nothing is really out there yet, so I’m going to plead the fifth on that one.
DA: Last but not least, do you have any dream team on working in a project? i.e: dream director/actor or actress to work with
DV: I would love to work with Idris Elba, Denzel Washington, Will Smith. Furthermore, it would also be an honor to work with Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, the director Ryan Kruger and Steven Spielberg. And the list goes on and on and on.
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