LaRoyce Hawkins came from humble beginnings of Harvey, Illinois, where he aimed to be powerful in everything he did. In addition to acting, Hawkins has embraced his other talents like singing, hosting and being a stand-up comedian. Hawkins is not only passionate about his career, but also helping his hometown. After debuting in his first movie, The Express, in 2008, the 27-year old actor has made quite a name for himself. Check out what he had to say below.
Before you became an actor, what were you doing?
I was supporting myself as a comedian and a host. I would find little gigs anywhere I could, whether it was a baby shower, bachelorette party or gigs at church; anything I could do as far as speaking engagements. In the moment when I landed the “Chicago P.D.” role as Atwater, I was actually understudying at the Goodman theater. I was in a great play called By the Way Meet Vera Stark. I started hosting in college, and began this groove at Refuge Live! It became a close part of me, to build relationships with these singers, songwriters and musicians. So, by the time I graduated college from Illinois State University, I had this awesome network of powerful people and good friends that allowed me to find my place. Most consider me a Jack of Most Trades, not all of them but some. I’m just blessed right now that my role has expanded on Chicago PD and I just want to keep it going.
Who are your acting inspirations?
The stage! I did speech team when I was in high school. I get inspired by people the world might not even know about yet. I remember one of my classmates, by the name of Dandrell Scott. He did this event on the speech team called, “Original Comedy.” You had to create your own eight-minute short story. Dandrell ended up winning state that year, and after I saw that it made me say, “I can do that!” I fell in love with acting in college and I just started walking in my gift. I look up to my cast mates from “Chicago P.D.,” because I have this amazing brotherhood with them. I also admire amazing actors like Idris Elba, who’s phenomenal; and Nate Parker, who’s doing the modern-day Birth of a Nation, which is super powerful. But, also veterans like Denzel [Washington], Will Smith, even athletes Michael Jordan, etc. Those are the types of inspirations and legacies I want to leave.
What about your role as Atwater, will it expand more?
I’ve learned a lot from this show and this business. I know that in television they’re no guarantees. I’ve been fortunate enough to land a role that has been around for this season. I’m just humbly enjoying the ride and showing up to work everyday and doing what I need to do. My cast mates are some of the most modest, intriguing and smartest people I try to learn from.
Who or what inspired you to create your brand, Be Powerful?
Be powerful really just started out as a mindset for me. It was one of those things where, I’m really big on words, and when I find something that I like, I really gravitate toward it. I get attached to words that really mean something; ‘Be Powerful’ was something I used to tell myself and some of my friends. I used to call everything powerful! Being powerful is how I wanted to walk through life. I created this LLC called “Be Powerful,” it became more than a mindset and became a movement. So, I began printing the words on T-shirts, hats and rubber bands to make sure Be Powerful was something tangible. I want it to help people find their most powerful selves and live in it.
What are your top three songs you are listening to right now?
Wow! Right now I’m listening to a brother named Anderson Paak. That brother is not playing! He’s a mix between soul and R&B. He has that edge where he’s very musical, but also very exciting to listen to. He’s from the West-coast. He has a few songs out from his debut album; two of my favorites are “The Bird” and “Silicone Valley,” very dope. I’m also listening to Gregory Porter. He’s an older guy, and has a Bill Withers type of vibe. He has this album called “Liquid Spirit,” that I’m really digging. I’m trying to listen to more music now so I can get more into writing poetry as well. I listen to music that will inspire me and allow me tois question is think in a unique and different way.
This question is from your female fans; Is LaRoyce dating anyone?
LaRoyce is dating someone. She’s dope! I’ve very recently tried to start investing my romantic energy in just one person, versus dating multiple people. I’m still young right now, I’m only 27, but everyone has to grow up. So, I’m really enjoying it so far.
What are your three attractive traits a woman must have?
She has to be funny, a sense of humor is pretty big. Naturally, I love to be laughed at, because I think I’m hilarious. But, when I can genuinely get a laugh from a honey, it really means a lot. Also, she has to have a strong faith; believing in herself and in God is always attractive. Physically, I have a fetish for pretty feet.
Make sure you check out LaRoyce Hawkins on Chicago P.D., every Wednesday night on NBC. Check your local listings for channel and times. You can also keep up with him via Twitter/Instagram @RoyceDaVoyce.