Terrence J is making moves this year between hosting 106 & Park, his community activism and definitely solidifying himself as an actor. The week of his 29th birthday, he talked very candidly with VIBE Vixen about his character on The Game, his perspective on relationships, his fashion swag and upcoming film and book projects! –Storm
Vibe: Congrats on the announcement that aired during the Monique Show about The Game having a Season 5. Will we see Dante Young back for the next season?
Terrence J: The announcement is still just settling in, we’re all just real excited about the next upcoming season. Nobody knows anything with the exception of the main four, Pooch, Tia, Hosea and Wendy, along with Coby and Brittany. The rest of us, we don’t know how the storylines are going to work [or] where we’re going to pick up from. Dante and Tasha definitely left on good terms. Obviously she had a relationship after me that didn’t work out, so there’s room for a lot of creative stuff. Who knows what the season will bring. I’m optimistic and like you said we got some good feedback. The goal for me is I would love to come back.
Obviously, the viewers are used to your persona on 106 & Park. How does that character, if any, reflect your off-screen persona?
Everybody has layers as a human being. For you for instance, you’re doing this interview you’re professional, you’re soft spoken, you’re very on point; you might be with your girls later on or this weekend and you’re going to be wildin’ out and have fun [Laughs]. For me, when we developed the Terrence J personality, it’s for a kids show, the audience is from 16-20 [years old]. The show is light-hearted; it’s fun. The persona that I put out is light-hearted, fun and goofy. That’s what the show calls for. You don’t want somebody sitting there acting like a tough guy and acting all serious while you’re watching a Chris Brown video. It wouldn’t make sense. It is almost like I’m acting, it’s giving one piece of my personality. I get offered roles to play myself or to play that same guy for movies or whatever but I never wanted to do that. I wanted to give the exact opposite when doing The Game. In real life, I’m college educated, very mature, and I wanted to show that I have a lot of range and a lot of diversity not just as an actor but as a person because people are so used to seeing [me] one way. That’s why I made a lot of those decisions with Dante. I didn’t want him to be anything like Terrence J from 106; I wanted him to be totally different. I would say my personality is a mixture of both , you have the serious mature side of me and I can be fun loving as well. I’m just so happy that the show was able to present me in a way like that. Now I got people guessing; they don’t know who I am!
Now that all the shows have aired, do you look back on the scenes and take away anything you can use in your own personal life? One of my favorite lines this season on the show is when you tell Tasha that she underestimates you. Has this ever happened in your relationships especially with older women and how did you handle it?
Every single scene in The Game I’ve experienced in real life one way or the other. A lot of times when I was playing Dante, I felt a lot of the wisdom and maturity from ex-girlfriends of mine talking to me. A lot of times in real life I’ve been the Tasha [character] and I’ve had women in my life that have had to leave me because I’ve done things that were mischievous or deceitful. In playing that character and having to put myself into that mind frame it actually did give me a lot of clarity in some of the real-life decisions that I make. As a man, we’re always used to going out on a date with an ex that we consider a friend or doing something without telling the complete truth the way Tasha’s character did. I’ve never had to look at it from the other point of view as how it would affect the person that I’m seeing. For me to play Dante and to look at it, it really put things into perspective for me in my real life. I think it’s helped me tremendously playing that character. [Laughs] I’m no where as smooth as him!
Do you have a timeline in mind of when you would be open to a relationship, or do you think there ever is going to be a “right time?”
A quote my pastor one day, “ The easiest way to make God laugh is tell him your time-frame and to tell him your plans.” We all think it’s going to be in whatever time we want, but life changes. I could leave out the house right now and get a phone call , the best phone call of my life that I just got a new 5 million dollar gig, or I can get a call tomorrow that I’m fired. You never know what the day will bring. I try to plan ahead; I try everyday to work on becoming a better man and becoming a better person; becoming more spiritually and mentally stable. As far as putting parameters on time and our sense of it, I refrain from doing that. Three years from now I’ll be ready to get married or when I’m 30 I’ll be able to have kids, those things don’t work. You’re trying to do God’s job, and it’s not going to work. The only thing you can do is every single day just become a better person and when God sends me the right woman and she’s the one spiritually aligned with me, then all the chips fall into place, and I will look forward to it. I hope it’s sooner rather than later!