Full given name: Rico Ball

Current Project: Torn, an 11Eleven11 Project

Where were you born and raised: Born and raised in Oakland, Calif.

Zodiac sign: Aries

Why did you take this role?
I really wanted to be a part of this project, especially once I found out who the director and producers are. I felt that playing an older father would be challenging and fun.

Did you have any particular mentors or actors who inspired you as a young actor? 
Denzel Washington and Robert Townsend, who was a major inspiration early on. He gave me my first shot at television and really prepared me and pushed me in the direction I needed to be headed in.

The one movie you attended that you will never forget:
Malcolm X.

Your personal acting idols:
Denzel Washington, Al Pacino, Forrest Whitaker, Don Cheadle and Robert DeNiro.

Last good movie you saw:
The Town.

Some films you consider classics:
The Mack, Sparkle, Hollywood Shuffle, The Color Purple, Coming to America, Malcolm X, Carlito’s Way, Sugar Hill, Boyz N The Hood, Heat, Menace II Society, Juice, Hurricane, Training Day, Man On Fire, Soul Food, Set It Off, Life, The Town, Friday, Next Day Air, Horrible Bosses, Fast Five, Safe House.

Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Erykah Badu.

Pop Culture guilty pleasure:
Lady Gaga. She goes hard.

Favorite Cities:
Miami, New York City and Houston.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
NWA’s Straight Outta Compton

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
I did a one man show in junior high school. I remember being extremely nervous, but as soon as the curtains opened, [there was] a rush of energy from the audience. It was beyond orgasmic and I was hooked.

Worst Flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
Aww man! I was on tour with Tyler Perry for Madea’s Big Happy Family. It was the end of the tour, the very last show … we were worn out and I blanked out in the middle of my line. It was scary because it never happened to me. I remember looking to my castmates to give me some kind of help to get me back on, but they were too busy trying not to burst into tears of laughter. But I kept fighting and I came back too. Then Mr. Perry stopped the whole show and called me out in front the entire theatre. We had a good time laughing about it afterwards, but it was horrible at the time.

Most challenging role you have played:
I played a character that had to rape a girl once. It was the absolute worst feeling, ever. It took me a few months to shake that off.

Worst job you ever had:
I once had a job as a tire salesman at NTB. It was the worst job a man could ever have.

Career you would want if not a performer:
Massage therapist.

Three things you can’t live without:
God, my son and the gym.