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Brian White: The ?Beauty and the Beast? Star Sets the Record Straight

November 28, 2012

by Danielle Canada
Images by DeWayne Rogers for Steed Media Service
Grooming by Erica Bogart
Wardrobe by Sarar

Brian J. White is in business mode and dressed for the part. Looking like a contemporary executive, White is fully committed to the role as he shoots with rolling out?s art director on the side of a desolate Atlanta building. He feigns hailing a cab and whistles for it loudly. He points off in the distance as though he sees something eye-catching and chuckles. Later, once the cameras are turned off, he relaxes on the passenger side of a motor vehicle and nods his head to the street poetry of rapper 2 Chainz, guffawing at times at a few of the rapper?s more ludicrous lines. For now, however, he?s in the zone.

The former footballer and model-turned actor is poised and showing off ?his 32 pearly whites. His skin is aglow and makeup free, a fact he?s proud of considering that he uses products from his wife?s skin care line. White doesn?t wear a metaphorical mask, either. He?s clear and precise in his answers to our questions and boasts that he can just about do it all; that is except sing. When pressed for details, the Renaissance man gives a surprising response. ?I sure can?t sing,? affirms White with a laugh. ?I?d have 10 albums out by now if I [could] sing. I?ve actually had offers to be in a boy band because I can dance, I can hold a tune but [I] can?t sing like Usher or MJ. ? I?ve never wanted to do something just to do it. I wanted to do something because I was proficient at it or because I had some kind of skills at it that I could develop. When I start singing in church my mom says, ?be quiet,? so there goes that.?

Prior to the photo shoot with rolling out, White was on location at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?s home church, for a block party sponsored by Operation Hope. Operation Hope educates young people about the importance of financial literacy, and the organization tapped White to explain how financial irresponsibility can upend one?s life. After leaving Dartmouth College, White had a credit score of 400, and while he?s no doubt improved from that financial low, he wants to help prevent others from experiencing a similar predicament.

?The American dream has always been to go work for somebody, but more and more people are working for themselves,? says White. ?If you don?t understand how to get loans from banks, if you don?t understand how to start corporations, if you don?t understand how the international markets work, you can?t do that stuff. You?re not part of the game that everyone else is playing. You?re playing checkers still and everyone else has moved on to chess, especially for the urban community, it?s imperative that we become financially literate, that we work together and that we elevate ourselves.?

White vs. Donald Trump

White has signed a petition requesting the removal of Donald Trump as a spokesman for Macy?s, and he was quite forceful in laying out his reasoning for doing so.

?If you follow Donald, which I do on social media, then you?ll see him blasting off; using his freedom of speech to say things I felt were inappropriate. You shouldn?t disrespect the president even if you don?t agree with their policies. I didn?t love Bush but I?m not gonna disrespect my president because I was raised to believe that that?s wrong. Just like my friend Roland Martin had to sit down from CNN for a tweet that he sent, which to me was silly? Donald Trump is the face of Macy?s, he speaks for a network, he has multiple television shows; he?s got to be held to the same level of accountability that Roland Martin or Kobe [Bryant.] Donald needs to be held to that same standard. He can?t slander the president, he can?t be racist when he?s talking about any president and if you do, we gotta play that same game. You did it to try to sway votes, I?m doing it to try to sway Macy?s votes so I can get you out of there so I can stop listening to you.?

White on His Career

On the CW drama ?Beauty and The Beast.? White plays police chief Joe Bishop and obviously does a damn good job at it. Fans or ?Beasties? as he affectionately calls them, listened to his social media requests and voted the series Best New Drama in an E! News-sponsored poll.

?It?s got a little bit of everything,? says White when asked what makes the series so magical. ?It?s got every ethnicity. It starts with girl power. You?ve got Nina? [Lisandrello] who?s a black female, you got Kristin Kreuk who?s an Asian female, they?re cops; they kick butt, they?re smart, and they have outside relationships. So there?s romance, there?s drama, there?s action and it?s got superheroes. Whether you like ?Scandal,? ?CSI? or you like ?Smallville,? you?ve got it all wrapped into one show with a good looking cast that can actually act. In the TV world that?s five stars,? he says.

In addition to catering to his legion of Beasties, White?s taking on a few pet projects of his own. He?s releasing a book titled?Black Carpenter?that focuses on youth empowerment and he?s in the process of producing two films this year. He?s tightlipped on his forthcoming production but offers this summary of sorts on his career. ?I?m trying to be a good role model,? he remarks. ?I feel like it?s a privilege to do what we [actors] do.?

A privilege indeed Mr. White, and one fans of this polymath can look forward to reaping the benefits from.

Courtesy of rollingout.com