10 THINGS – Thomas Q. Jones
You’re a native of Virginia, where you were groomed for football and had a successful career in the NFL. When did you catch the acting bug and how did you make your transition from an athlete to working as an actor?
I actually kind of stumbled into acting. When I retired from the NFL, I started producing a TV series in Miami and played a small role in it. The publicist for the show was very complimentary of my raw talent and persuaded me to get an agent and take it seriously. I took her up on it and hired an agent. Next thing I know, I was auditioning and booking jobs in Hollywood.
Much like sports, you look to the ones that came before you for inspiration and guidance. Which actors body of work has inspired you and which ones would you want to emulate in your own career?
I’m a huge fan of Wesley Snipes. He has incredible range and is a true artist. He’s someone I’d definitely like to pattern my career after. I was also a huge Patrick Swayze fan. He was one of the all-time greats and if my career can mirror his in any capacity, I think I’m on the right track.
Thus far, you’ve had some great opportunities with film and television. What do you appreciate most about each platform?
TV and film are very different. With TV, things are very time-oriented and you only get a few takes to capture the essence of the scene; mainly because you have a certain amount of episodes that must be completed in a specific time. The pace is fast on set, so it’s very much a hurry up and wait situation. Film is a little more liberal. You have more freedom to create your own pace as far as filming, as well as, more of a creative space to perform as an artist.
You’ve played a variety of roles. What types of characters are you typically drawn to?
I really like dramatic roles and I think it’s because my former career as an NFL football player was full of dramatic games. I like the honesty of drama and I get a rush by using my past football situations as references for scenes in a script. I never thought playing in the NFL for 12 years would help turn me into a serious dramatic actor but it did.
Currently, you’re the Netflix series Luke Cage. How were you first introduced to the show and what was it about the script that made you want to be a part of it?
I was first introduced to Luke Cage through a general meeting I had with the show’s creator Cheo Hodari Coker. We had a great meeting and he allowed me to send in a self-tape audition. I loved the fact that this show was groundbreaking, being that it was the first black Marvel superhero. And, he was bulletproof, as well as how cleverly the script was written. They loved my audition tape, so they brought me in to audition in front of the casting director and executives at Marvel, Netflix, Disney and ABC. From there, I was cast as Comanche.
On the show, you play the role of Comanche. What are the many facets of his personality and what do you enjoy most about playing him on screen?
Comanche is a very complex character. He grew up in the tough streets of Harlem and it made him a hardcore gangster. But, he also has a human side to him and you see that in his relationship with his best friend Shades (Theo Rossi). I really enjoyed playing on the duality of Comanche’s complex personality. It was challenging, but it forced me to make specific choices which helped me make him a very intriguing character in season 2.
What can viewers expect to see from Comanche and the rest of the cast in this new season?
Viewers can expect to see some incredible performances in season 2! Everyone brought their A game and the writing and back stories the writers created for us as actors is some of the best in all of TV. Top level production all around.
Which travel destinations are on the top of your bucket list?
The top of my bucket list destinations is Africa and I’m actually going at the end of the year. I’ve always wanted to go and I’m beyond excited to get there.
When it comes to fashion, which designers and styles fit your personality best?
I really love denim. Jeans and shirts. G Star is probably one of my favorite brands for casual wear. I’m a big suit guy as well and I’m a big fan John Varvatos. His suits fit me to the T.
We look forward to seeing you on Luke Cage. What other projects do you have coming up?
I sold a film that I executive produced and starred in called A Violent Man to Forgiven Films/Sony and it will be in theaters December 21 this year. I play an MMA fighter that gets accused of murder. It’s a really dark film written and directed by my producing partner Matthew Berkowitz. I’m also close to selling a TV series I executive produced and star in as well called Johnson.
In-Character photos/stills: Courtesy of Netflix