by S. Tia Brown, Jet
JET caught up with Wesley Jonathan, co-star of TVLand’s series The Soul Man. The seasoned actor open up about work, dating and what happens when he hits the grocery store.
Tell us about your character on the show.
I play Stamps, the younger brother to Cedric’s character. This season I get kicked out of the house I’m living in with our father, and I have to move in with Cedric and Niecy. They also have a storyline that’s starting where I have a thing for Niecy’s younger sister on the show, so there will be a romance going there with that.
Stamps is everything but a dutiful son. What attracted you to the character?
He’s very random, silly and always has a little hustle angle to try to make the best out of a situation. He’s not the voice of reason, which is what I like. I don’t always have to say and do the right thing.
What’s it like working with a “King of Comedy”?
I’ve known Cedric since ’99. I met him through his now wife, Loren. I knew her when she went on her first date with Cedric because she was the head of wardrobe at my old show, City Guys. She would come to work and we would tease her and say, “how was your date with Ced?” A decade later I’m working with him. He’s always been a great guy. He’s always been humble. I respect him as a comedian, so to work with was great because I could learn a lot.
Were you concerned about getting the role?
Honestly, I didn’t really buy the fact that I could play his younger brother because I look so young. When a show is new you’re guessing what the vision is. As an actor learn not to worry about that, go in and do what I do. But once we as a cast got together, it was all believable and worked.
Your character is really into the ladies. Are you dating or happily single?
I’m into somebody right now. She’s not famous, thank goodness. Dating someone in the industry can be a pain in the sense that there can be an unspoken, subtle competitive attitude if somebody isn’t working and the other is; the egos can clash. You know, “I’m this”, and “I got my own”. Then it can also be a great thing and a pro to have someone understand the dynamics of the business; like when there’s a role that you didn’t get. That person understands and can relate. I’ve done both and find it a lot easier when it’s someone not affiliated. You also have more to talk about so you can school each other about different occupations.
Speaking of fame, you’ve been in the industry for years. What’s your status?
I’m quite real in where I stand in my notoriety. A lot of entertainers are “ahead” of their careers in their minds. By far, I have not made it. I have far to go. I’m the kind of guy that people stare at when you go to the grocery store but can’t place where they’ve seen. I’m a familiar face.