Entertainment

Brad James on Fast Track From Officer in Military to Acting on the Big Screen

Thu., Jun. 7, 2012 7:34 AM EST
by Yvette Caslin

When Brad James finished his tour of duty in the Marine Corps, he knew immediately that he was destined for greatness. He commuted to Atlanta on a regular basis for actor training and auditions so he could make his dream of becoming an A-list actor a reality.

His foray into the industry came when he landing a movie role as the lead action hero in the indie cult movie Champion Road and performed all of his own stunts.

His phone has not stopped ringing. James began landing roles on shows such as, The CW’s “Vampire Diaries” and “One Tree Hill,” and VH1’s “Single Ladies.”

This success spurred James to form an entertainment group, Brad James LLC, where he began writing, produce and direct projects. The handsome actor played an unaccredited extra in a scene with Michael Jai White and Tasha Smith in 2007’s hit film, Why Did I Get Married? In 2011, he signed on with those same two actors as a series regular in the TBS sitcom based on that movie.

Now he’s starring in Studio Films’ Forbidden, a product of the 11Eleven11 Project. James shares why he joined the project. –yvette caslin

Zodiac Sign:
Cancer

Why did you take this role?
I’m very selective with my roles and more selective with the people I work with. I took this role because of the people involved and the positive way they presented it to me.

Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor?
Morgan Freeman. I never doubt him in a role and when you doubt a character, you no longer believe the story.

The one movie – attended – that you will never forget:
Big Top Pee-Wee – I went to theaters to see it as a kid and it was just that bad.

Your personal acting idols:
Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Angela Bassett, Mel Gibson and Christian Bale

Last good movie you saw:
The Five Heartbeats

Some films you consider classics:
The Last Dragon, Coming to America, Braveheart and Rocky

Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Notorious B.I.G. (the hologram of course)

Pop culture guilty pleasure:
Don’t tell anybody I said this… I actually watch “Ice loves Coco” I just kinda dig the way they are in their own little world even when they are in front of the world.

Favorite cities:
Atlanta, New York and Miami

First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
Life after Death: Biggie

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
During a second grade play

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
During a Season 2 taping of “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse,” my character reads an article about one of the other characters from a newspaper. I was told that I’d actually be reading it, so I never bothered to learn the lines. When they handed me a blank page and Mr. Perry said ‘action!’ I decided to make up the lines as I went along. Guess it worked since no one ever mentioned anything to me

Most challenging role you have played:
Prentiss in “The Haunting in Georgia.” There was something about the demeanor of the character that was great, but I wanted to find the right tone for this type of thriller. You’ll see what I mean when it hits theaters this fall.

Worst job you ever had:
Burger King. When I was in high school, I had some choice words for the manager that helped me (uh) transition to another place of employment.

Career you would want if not a performer:
Director

Three things you can’t live without:
Women, food and car – in that order.

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