Most people know Terrence J as one half of the hosting duo on BET’s 106 & Park, but his grind goes deeper than that. The popular TV personality is transitioning from interviewing superstars to becoming one himself. His first movie, Stomp The Yard 2, which also stars Teyana Taylor, Columbus Short, Pooch Hall and more, is available on DVD. He’s also looking forward to his first theatrical release, Burlesque, starring Cher and Christina Aguilera, he founded his own production company and will soon add author to one of his many titles.
In addition to his hectic career, Terrence J also finds time to put in humanitarian work. He gives back via the Boys and Girls Club of America and the McDonald’s Scholarship foundation and visited Haiti twice. VIBE caught up with the media impresario to get a rundown of his various projects, including what fans can expect for 106 & Park's forthcoming 10th anniversary celebration. ⎯Starrene Rhett
VIBE: Talk about Stomp the Yard 2.
Terrence J: I had to go through, like, three auditions. It wasn’t just handed to me because I'm on TV. I’ve been in acting classes for as long as I can remember so I was real excited to get this gig. The role really connects with me because I actually pledged in a real fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, and I went through the whole college experience. It was real nostalgic; it was a blast from the past and I hope that I was able to add some layers of authenticity to it and the movie came out really good. I was pleased what they did with the budget they did it on.
And you’re actually stepping?
Absolutely. I’m stepping in the film in about three or four different scenes. Stepping and dancing.
Elaborate on your character, Ty.
Ty is fun. He’s from L.A. and he’s an out-of-town tuition student. He’s like the voice of reason. The main central character is played by Collins Pennie, his name is Chance and I’m one of his best friends. I’m the voice of reason but I also get down. We get into a big fistfight in the movie and I’m a fighter. I’m also on the step team and I’m always surrounded by girls the whole movie. That’s pretty much how I get down.
What do you want fans to take away from the movie?
I want them to enjoy the dancing and enjoy the stepping. If you never got a chance to go to college, I want you to feel connected to the college experience. If you never got the change to pledge a Greek fraternity or sorority, I want you to have a better understanding of what that means and the work that goes into a step show. I just want people to have fun. There’s so many things going on in the world right now, it’s important that you just take the time to enjoy entertainment so hopefully this movie is entertainment for you.
What was preparation like for this movie?
It was intense. We went through three weeks of step practice, eight-hour days where we would just be hitting it from 7 a.m. to five or six, depending on which day it was. The routines in there are really synchronized so we had to make sure we were on point with everything and for me and Pooch [Hall], who had a lot of the stepping and Collins Pennie as well, we had to really step our game up because we were around professional dancers. Stephen Boss, who’s one of the lead characters in the movie, he’s a professional dancer so for us to try to compete with him and just even be in the same movie with that guy, we just really had to step our game up and make sure we were on point.
You’re gearing up for 106 & Park's 10th anniversary. What do you have lined up for that?