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Jerome ‘Ro’ Brooks goes from the mean streets of Baltimore to starring in ‘Sons of Anarchy’

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Jerome “Ro” Brooks
actor, FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (plays Kettle)
Hometown: West Baltimore

When did you start acting?
I’ve been acting now for about 20 years strong. When I was a kid, I wanted to always get involved. I guess you can say I was late bloomer. I was kind of scared at the beginning. When you’re a kid, you see all the shows that you like and you see the kids delivering all of this dialogue. You [go through phases] questioning yourself in the beginning. I’d go to local auditions and sometimes even flake out telling myself I don’t think I’m ready for this. Finally, I got up the courage when The Meteor Man had auditions. I went saying I wanted to be an extra on this show. I checked them out and they hit me up.

You were also a part of the Toyota Avalon campaign with fellow actor Idris Elba on “The Wire.” How was it working with him again?
That was another blessing. Yes, I worked with Idris during “The Wire” over 10 years ago. When I got the opportunity to do the commercial, I didn’t know he was going to be in it. I think they should make the commercial into a movie. It has just that much energy in it. I’m very proud of Idris and the things that he’s getting ready to do with his new film Mandela; he’s an awesome person to work with.

Any final thoughts?
It’s about my city where I’m from. I want people to know that where I’m from, my city has transformed from communities to open lots and neighborhoods  – where the houses look like missing teeth. It’s like that in Baltimore now. When people see me, it’s like I saw you on TV and you’re holding us down and we got your back. Everybody really believes they’re really right there with you. I do it for my ‘hood, simple as that. I tell people all the time, I put Baltimore on my back and every accomplishment that I make it’s for all of us.