Laz Alonso for VIBE Vixen Laz Alonso for VIBE Vixen

Gentlemen's Corner: Laz Alonso Talks Leading Women, Student Loans and Style Essentials

For years, Laz Alonso has captivated audiences with his classic Hollywood looks and versatile acting techniques. We've watched him grow through various roles in Avatar, Jumping the Broom and recently cancelled television series Deception. Combined with his gracious persona off-screen, Laz has quickly become one of our favorite actors in Hollywood. This week, Vixen caught up with the stylish star in New York City to chat about his upcoming projects, television versus film and why student loans are worth the aggravation.-Nicole Brown

VIBE Vixen: Your hair is longer! We've never seen you with curly hair.

Laz Alonso: (Laughs) I'm in between projects right now. I have a film coming out in September and usually when I'm in between projects, I just kind of chill out, max out. I let my hair grow out. I might let a beard grow out. So, if you see me with a beard or long hair, that means I'm not working right now.

Do you prefer it to the cleaner look?

I like the clean shaven look because with the beard, I'm always itching. So I like to keep some part of me nice and cleanly shaved. That could be read so many different ways, but we're not going to go there (laughs). But, usually I can let my hair grow out and I can deal with that.

You just wrapped your second television series, Deception. Which do you prefer: TV or film?

I love both. I love the consistency of TV, playing the same character week in and week out and letting it evolve and every week something different happening. But, with film, when you immerse yourself in a character for three months and live the reality of that character, both are really gratifying. In a nutshell, they both use different muscles. On TV, you have to tell the beginning, middle and end very quickly. In a film, you have an hour and a half or two hours to tell a story. It just exercises different techniques and different skills and I enjoy them both equally.

Laz Alonso for VIBE Vixen

You've worked with a bevy of beautiful leading women. Do you have a favorite?

I don't have a favorite. For me, I've been able to check off my wish list with a good number of women that I've wanted to work with- Loretta Devine, Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, Meagan Good, but there's still more. I haven't been able to work with Halle [Berry] yet. Haven't worked with Cicely Tyson. I would love the opportunity to work with her- she's an icon.

What are you working on now?

I'm going to start promoting Battle of the Year. That comes out in September with Chris Brown and Josh Holloway. And I'm writing a lot of my own stuff right now. I'm really focused on pitching projects this year and doing more entrepreneurial stuff.

Are you screenwriting?

More producing- I don't think I have the patience to sit at a keyboard and write. As far as ideas are concerned, I am an idea machine and that goes back to my marketing days before I was acting. I think I can come up with some shows that people would like.

How much has your marketing degree played into your acting career?

It does a lot. In any business, you're always marketing yourself first and foremost. So, I'm glad I studied marketing because it really taught me to depersonalize this business. A lot of times as an actor, you're representing yourself and you are the product. You get very emotional if you don't get a part or if you don't get something. When you understand it from a business perspective, it makes things make sense a little more. It also has helped me manage my money and my finances properly. Understanding different markets and different trends and things like that. A lot of those things help my career directly and indirectly.

Are you still paying off school loans?

I can say that last year I paid off my last student loan.

Wow! What can you say to someone who's struggling to pay those bills?

Oh, man. You will get to that point. You're going to look back and be so happy those days are behind you. But, at the same time, I'm really grateful that those loans helped me get through school. Without them, I wouldn't have made it through. In the end, it all paid off.

You always look great on the red carpet. Do you have a stylist?

It depends. For the most part, I dress myself unless I'm going to a big red carpet event. There's a stylist in LA by the name of April Roomet. She's really dope because she has a really good balance between being fashion forward and being classic. If I'm in NY, there's a guy by the name of PJ who does styling for E! Entertainment and he hooks me up with my nice Valentino shoes and tuxes. It depends on where I'm going to be and what I'm doing. But for the most part, on my everyday, I dress myself.

What are three items every man should have in their closet?

Every man needs a nice belt. You need a nice clean pair of shoes that you can step out on the town with. And a nice watch. For men, we can get away with a lot of stuff that you women unfortunately can't get away with. We can throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and if you add a watch, belt and nice pair of shoes, you look like you're semi dressed up. Throw on a sport coat and you're good to go.

What do you love to see on a woman?

Women are really stepping up their heel game. It's always nice to see a woman with some really nice beautiful shoes. It just makes their legs and everything else look so much hotter.

What is your stance on the natural hair movement?

I don't hate on natural. I don't hate on weave. I think everybody has their own unique style. As long as you rock it confidently, then that's going to bring out the sexy in you. Some women, they don't have no business wearing weave. If you're not going to keep it up, then you shouldn't get a weave. That's the thing about weave. It's high maintenance. Whatever makes you feel comfortable and sexy, that's what's going to look good on you. It's the attitude you rock with it that makes it hot.

Photo Credit: Sharifa Daniels

 

 

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Summer Walker's Debut Album Inspires Drake To Write New Music

Summer Walker's debut album Over It has everyone's heart aflutter, including Drake.

Off the heels of her debut project, the Atlanta songstress shared Drake's admiration for her project Sunday (Oct. 6) which included collaborations from Jhene Aiko, Usher. 6LACK and Bryson Tiller. Drake had a strong reaction to "Fun Girl," a track that speaks to the acoustic aura of her precious project, CLEAR.

Sharing his love with more than a few emojis, the rapper reveals the song inspired him to pen two new songs at the crack of dawn.

 

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So I guess fun girl is his favorite song on the album, mines isss... BODY🥰 what’s yours ?

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Summer and Drake worked together for the remix to her breakout hit, "Girls Need Love." In Billboard's  “You Should Know” series, the singer says the two met via Instagram after he gushed about her visuals to the original track. "He said, 'I saw your video on a bowling alley monitor. Thought it was cool,'" she recalled. She added it was Love Renaissance's Justice Baiden who talked her into asking Drake for the remix. The singer is signed to the label along with Grammy-nominated singer 6LACK.

Things have been looking great for the singer. Her album has topped Spotify and YouTube since it's release Friday and is expected to make a nice debut on Billboard's 200 charts.

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Tinashe Resurfaces With Exciting Message: "I'm Back And Better"

Tinashe fans rejoice! After a hiatus, the Joyride artist resurfaced on Instagram Saturday (Sept. 28), in a brief video expressing that she's “back and better.”

After a tumultuous relationship with her label RCA, the singer-songwriter broke ties with the company. Since then, she's been hibernating in her “cave,” as she puts it.

"Creatively, I just feel like I needed to go through what I went through in order to be the person that I am today and to get back to my roots," she explained. "You pretty much put your heart and soul and emotions into all these songs and then you put them out there for the world to judge and tear down and pick apart. It's terrifying and it can really mess with your head."

 

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💔❤️

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In an interview with VIBE, Tinashe expressed how important it is for her to stay true to herself and artistry. “It’s not even necessarily speaking up but coming to your own conclusions yourself and owning your own instincts and trusting in yourself and creative power,” she said. “I think that’s something that is always important to continue to maintain. It’s easy for that sometimes to get derailed, and it’s important to come back to that.”

During her recent statement, she broke down the importance of art and how it should be expressed through individuality and free expression, sans any boxes or limitations. Making people happy through her music is the goal.

"Music and art are supposed to be these wonderful beautiful things that bring people joy and happiness, and that's really why I started making music in the first place—to give people something that means something to them,” she said.

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I’m too emotional

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Eva Marcille Gives Birth To Third Child

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In a 2016 interview with Rolling Out, Marcille discussed the importance of having a close network of supporters to help in raising a child. "You know, I have a great mother myself and if it wasn’t for my mom and my support system—my friends that helped me out—I don’t know what I would do, honestly," she said. "It’s a balancing act and you know they say 'it takes a village to raise a child,' I have definitely cultivated my village to raise my child."

A year ago, the couple tied the knot which was showcased on Bravo's hit reality television program Real Housewives of Atlanta. The series is set to return in November.

 

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Couldn’t be happier 🌻 (thanks @cynthiabailey10 and @itsmikehill for my #Chill blanket) #lifesaver

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So I decided to go ahead and have a little maternity shoot. You know what they say third time is a charm🌻 so, WELCOME TO THE GARDEN OF EVA🌻 It really was a simple situation thanks to the most amazing team ever: Photographer: @stanlophotography Dress designer: @theodoreelyett Florals: @creativetouchevents Location: @parkstudios.co Makeup: @iambarbielee Produced by: @ellybevents Baby Maverick i think Mommas ready 🌻

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