Not only is actor Laz Alonso gorgeous, but he has a heart of gold. With the Spike Lee stamp of approval after starring in “Miracle at St. Anna (out now on DVD),” he’s enjoying sinking his teeth in meaty new roles on-screen and offscreen he’s encouraging Black women that love is real and within their reach. Alonso is excited to put his romantic skills to use as Zoe Saldana’s love interest in the action-packed 3-D film “Avatar” and shares with ESSENCE.com his favorite Valentine’s Day memories, how he’d like to be pampered and his tips to Black women for an everlasting love.
ESSENCE.COM: Happy Early Valentine’s Day, Laz! So, what would you love to receive for the holiday?
ALONSO: When it comes to Valentine’s Day, the responsibility always falls on the man. So, I would be enthralled, probably awestruck, if I was ever pampered. I’ve always viewed Valentine’s as our time as men to show how much we appreciate the special someone in our life, but if I ever were on the receiving end, you could just lock me up and throw away the key at that point. (Laughs.)
ESSENCE.COM: (Laughs.) Okay, so what would you like if a woman were to cater to you?
ALONSO: I’m a simple man. A nice home-cooked meal. Some candle light and a great intimate time would be perfect. Turn the phones off, turn the BlackBerrys off and just spend time with that special someone and just enjoy that connection. That’s enough for me to be happy.
ESSENCE.COM: Simple indeed. And how do you take care of the special women in your life?
ALONSO: I always make sure I take care of mom first. She’s a single mom, so when my father died, I kind of took on the role of man of the house. I always send her a card, some flowers and remind her that she’s loved, and she appreciates it. She always jokes about me being her Valentine, her man.
ESSENCE.COM: You really are going to have the ladies swooning with that answer! And what has been your most memorable Valentine’s Day?
ALONSO: One year I was in New York; I literally forgot it was Valentine’s Day until it was the actual day. I ran—literally—around the entire city looking for stuff. And of course on the day of anything that’s nice is sold out, and the only thing left is the cheesy stuff. So I was forced to buy like the low-budget teddy bear with the eye missing. The roses that are leftover, if you can even get roses, you may have to throw a few carnations up in there. I went all out. It was two seconds left in the quarter and I had the ball. I showed up with about three shopping bags of gifts. I had been traveling that week so she didn’t really expect anything much, but I wasn’t going to go out like that. I was highly appreciated for my efforts
ESSENCE.COM: And what tip would you give Black women on relationships?
ALONSO: Believe. A lot of my female friends, especially here in L.A., have kind of lost faith that real love exists and that there are any good Black men out here. I don’t want Black women to lose faith in love and in their Black man. You are never going to win anything if you believe you are going to lose. It’s our job to help you with that. So Black men aren’t off the hook and we still have a responsibility to our women. If you happen to be one of those people who doesn’t believe real love exists, maybe it doesn’t exist with the type of people you are allowing to be with you. Try meeting someone in a different environment than you usually do. Michelle and Barack Obama are just one example of the possibility. Think outside the box.