With the cancellation of Undercovers last year, Boris Kodjoe is currently no longer on primetime TV but he’s still keeping busy as ever. The Resident Evil Afterlife star brought us up to speed with all things in his life professional and personal; on his upcoming film with wife and actress Nicole Ari Parker, and how they cope with their on-screen love scenes to different people. Plus Kodjoe also discussed the foundation the couple created for their daughter’s illness and his online custom shirt line.—Ronke Idowu Reeves
VIBE: Most people were surprised that Undercovers got cancelled last year. What did you enjoy most about shooting the show?
Boris Kodjoe: Every week I did something crazy that I hadn’t done before. One time I blew a hole through a concrete wall and climbed thru it into a tall building. Then I would jump out of planes, making my way from a cockpit. It was crazy but it was so much a fun as actor being able to do so many things on a daily basis, that almost never happens.
And not only did you have great chemistry with your costar Gugu Mbatha Raw, you guys shared some pretty convincing love scenes too.
Love scenes are technically demanding because you’re trying not to cover each other’s faces. Then you have to consider the camera angles, the boom mike above you and trying to avoid creating shadows on each other. Those scenes are so not romantic at all; they take a long time to film and by the end of the day you’re glad it’s over. But I’m glad it all came across so well.
How did your wife Nicole deal with seeing those love scenes week after week?
Nicole is a beautiful actress who’s had her share of love interests in films over the years with everybody from Denzel [Washington] to Eddie Murphy so it’s a very balanced situation. I've watched her do those scenes and she's watched me, but now we have our little rituals. When I know a love scene of hers is coming up I usually get up and make myself a sandwich so I don’t have to watch [laughs]. We make fun of it. She’ll critique my technique, tell me what it looks like and what I could have done better.
You and Nicole are part of that rare breed in Hollywood; a working actor black married couple with two children, 5-year old Sophie and 4-year old Nicolas. How do you balance it all?
There’s really no balance. We put family first. Without any question, my wife is number one and my kids as well. And everything else sort of falls into place. Family is the only true source of happiness and joy that I have. And when I nuture that everything sort of happens organically around it. I think people get in trouble when they start running after this elusive success and happiness outside and try to fill it with materialistic things or awards. You never stop running; there’s always the next award, the next movie that has to do well. So when you start focusing on those things you lose contact with what’s really important. And when Nicole and I got together we were in agreement 100% that we were going to put our family first and that’s what we’ve done. We always try to make sure that the kids are taken care of and that at least one of us is there all the time, and usually it’s both of us.
You guys worked together on the sitcom, Second Time Around a few years back. Do you think you guys team up on the screen again soon?
I love working with Nicole she’s such a terrific actress she’s so fun, so good and she elevates my game. We’re actually trying to do an indie romantic comedy together now called for Looking For Jimmy Lee.