Before I get into this interview I want to take the chance to be completely immature and say "Ha! Lance Gross is gorgeous and I got to interview him twice! I am officially winning in life."
Now that I have gotten that out of the way let's get to what we came here for. I got to chat with actor Lance Gross about the latest movie he's starring in titled, "The Last Fall". The Last Fall follows the life of Kyle Bishop, a recently cut NFL player who struggles to deal with life after the game. This is a lot like the stories on ESPN 30 for 30: Broke so it was only right Baller Alert asked him a few questions of our own.
BA: 'The Last Fall' touches on a hot topic of today, athletes going broke after leaving the league. Could you tell us a little about your character Kyle and how he lost all of his money?
LG: Kyle is an NFL player that just got cut from the league and his future isn't looking promising as far as the NFL goes. Kyle's character didn't really manage his money too well. It touches on it a little bit in the film but you get the idea of it. A lot of times you get these big checks in the NFL or you don't manage your money properly and that was one thing he did. He didn't put away enough money. So he gets cut and he has to return to his family and everybody's assumption of him is that he's well off. Which isn't the case at all.
BA: Has playing the role of Kyle Bishop influenced the way you look at finances as an actor?
LG: Oh, of course. I mean, I was already conscious of it. The two careers run parallel. The life of an NFL star is a lot like the life of an actor. We get big checks from the jobs we work and then we don't know when our next job is going to be unless it's already lined up. So, it's always smart to put away your money and save when you can.
BA: What are some preventative measures you take to avoid going broke when the acting checks stop coming in?
LG: I shoot photography as a hobby. I'm not charging anybody for it right now. It's just something I like to do in my off time but I know that if I needed to I could make a career out of it. I work very hard and acting is my first love so I don't see myself stopping any time soon. But if I needed to I do have things to fall back on.
BA: How did you prepare yourself to play a professional football player?
LG: I have a lot of friends that are retired and currently in the NFL so I spent a lot of time picking their brains. I wanted to be as authentic as possible bringing this character to life. I spent a lot of time talking with them. I was in the gym A LOT! I put on a little bit of weight for this role. Also the director and writer, Matt Cherry, I spent a lot of time talking to him and breaking down the script. This is actually based off of his life. He went through a lot of the experiences Kyle went through so I spent a lot of time talking to him.
BA: What's the most difficult role you've had to play?
LG: To date it would be between this one and also my role on The Marriage Counselor which comes out next year. They're both really heavy emotionally. It's always hard to pull a negative emotion when you're in a happy place. I'm a very happy person so it's always a challenge to execute that.
BA: "The Last Fall' premiered 6 months ago at the SXSW (South By Southwest) Film Festival. How has the response been so far?
LG: It's been great. Everyone who sees the film loves it. They want to get behind it and make sure it's seen by a wider audience. It's been amazing. It's been a great ride. This is actually my first independent film and I'm looking forward to the growth of it. If you're in Los Angeles it hits theaters Friday, October 26th so it's really important that people support it while it's in LA because depending on how it does in this theater thats when we get additional theaters in other cities. It plays from October 26th through November 1st I believe.
BA: Do you think there is a shortage of black roles in Hollywood?
LG: I never really look at it like that. I just don't like to put that in the back of my head. My strategy for myself and my team is...my agents send me out for roles that are not just African American. They send me out for roles that are written "white", because you never know. There are times I have gotten jobs where they were originally looking for a different ethnicity and I went in, did my job well and got the role.
"The Last Fall" stars Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and many others. The films theatrical run will be starting October 26th, in Los Angeles at the Rave Theaters Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15. The DVD release date for the film is January 15, 2013. Check out the trailer below and make sure you support the Matthew Cherry, Lance Gross and the entire cast and crew!
Ladies, if that's not convincing enough, Remember Lance said he gets naked in the film too!
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