12.31.2010

One-on-one with film and television actor Allen Payne: "You're not owed anything in this life"

(Blogger's Note: Allen Payne is a film and television actor with an impressive resume. When we see him, most of us think about the character “G Money” he played in the movie “New Jack City”. He was recently in Houston performing in the national touring stage play “Marriage Material” produced by I’m Ready Productions. I went one-on-one with the star about the play, how to make it in Hollywood and what his fans have to look forward to in the coming years)

Brother Jesse Muhammad (BJ): Tell me about your role in “Marriage Material.”

Allen Payne (AP): Well essentially I play a guy who is very much in love with his woman. He's been with her for a year, and is ready to take his relationship with her to the next level. But she's got some issues, some undone past issues that she needs to take care of. Her and Tank kind of get into it a little bit, so it's a really interesting piece. It's nice for a sister to think about that too because ultimately what it means is that before you establish a new relationship, you really should clean up your old baggage.

BJ: We have known you as “G Money” from New Jack City and have seen you all over the Cosby Show and Fresh Prince of Bellaire. What made you want to take on this role in this stage play?

AP: I was like, I love the theatre. I started in the theatre before I ever was on the Cosby Show, made it in movies, or anything. I was doing plays and there's an immediate gratification, feeling that you receive from the audience and sometimes, most times it's the audiences' participation in the play.

It's a different take on acting. It's a broader interpretation of what characters are and how people exist on the stage as opposed to on film. But it's really a lot of fun. It's also nice to just go on tour. I've never really done anything on Broadway, but it will be nice to eventually perform on Broadway when my career is over.

(Allen Payne and Wesley Snipes in "New Jack City")
BJ: There are many young people who have this ambition to break through in Hollywood and they don't know how difficult it is to maintain a career over this long period of time. What type of guidance do you offer those that want to step up into this field?

AP: It's so rare for someone to have a career and expand over 20 years. I don't know too many people in particular Black actors. It's actually very few. In order to do it you have to be very talented. You gotta be really lucky and you have to be diligent and just really blessed and feel like every opportunity to work is a new opportunity. You're not owed anything in this life and as long as you are connected to The Creator, all things are possible. You have to stay there. If you don't stay there then it's almost impossible.

BJ: What should your fans look forward to from you over this next year or two? What are some of your plans or actions, any books, any new movies, any new television shows?


Cast from House of Payne
AP: Well, I'm still doing House of Payne so I go back and shoot another season of House of Payne. And I have friends who actually have shows and another show that is being developed for HBO. We’ll see if it happens or not. I'm not sure if it's going to happen. And we've got films on the horizon. So as soon as I get done with House of Payne, then I will be able to open up to a lot of new things that I use to do. Looking forward to all the wonderful blessings that have been bestowed upon me and continuing to flow into my life.

BJ: My brother, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

AP: Thank you. I appreciate it too.

Other Interviews That Might Interest You: