By Charreah Jackson
Boris Kodjoe is switching things up from the romantic lead we love to see him as. He is living out his action dreams as an FBI agent alongside Bruce Willis in the new movie "Surrogates," and is hard at work on the latest installment of "Resident Evil." The leading man called in from the set in Canada to talk about his new movie, why he keeps his TV off, and how he's saving lives.
ESSENCE.COM: Your new movie "Surrogates" is action packed. How did you get in the mind of this guy to snag the role?
BORIS KODJOE: Action is one of those things I always wanted to do. I bring it in an audition, and when I walk out the room I forget about it, throw away the pages and don't worry about it. It's a random process casting a movie and almost never the best actor gets the job. You aren't in control of that. You might as well focus on yourself and be prepared so when those opportunities come along, you can take advantage of it. A lot of people spend too much time worrying about what they can't control. And when an opportunity does come, you miss the bus.
ESSENCE.COM: Wise words! In this movie, people live out their fantasies through robots. In this technology boom, it doesn't seem that farfetched. How do you stay connected to reality?
KODJOE: We live in a world where we are in danger of losing personal contact. We already have forgotten how to communicate, with cell phones, iPods and other things. As much as you gain from a robot, there's more to lose. I stay connected by having meals with my family. We don't have the TV running randomly, like many households. We focus on each other. We play. My wife and I spend time talking, looking at each other and being present in each other's lives. It's important.
ESSENCE.COM: Was this role strategic for you to try something outside of romance?
KODJOE: I try to prove to myself and to others that I can do anything. It's great to be working. The economy has impacted Hollywood greatly and we've been through a rough couple of years. Going from TV to Broadway to action movies now, I'm just trying to keep it fresh and grow.
ESSENCE.COM: Definitely. So what else are your excited to be working on?
KODJOE: I have a thriller "The Confidant" coming out soon with David Banner and Richard Roundtree. And I am looking forward to working with my wife for a new romantic comedy. Besides the fact that we're together, she's an amazing actress. I always get better working with her. It's not a lot of acting going on when we are in front of the camera. It's very organic and effortless. And we get to goof off (laughs).
ESSENCE.COM: And you two are also getting out the word on Spina Bifida, which your daughter has. How is the campaign coming?
KODJOE: That's really our mission. We are building a hospital for kids in Ghana with Spina Bifida and financing a surgical trial in Atlanta that could change lives. We just had an amazing fundraiser in New York for Sophie's Voice. Serena Williams, Keri Hilson, Gayle King and Russell Simmons came out and we raised big money. You can text your support right now. Sixty million women in this country are at risk of having a child with Spina Bifida--that's every woman of child bearing age. Take your folic acid because it reduces the chance of a child with Spina Bifida by 70 percent. We're raising awareness and helping to find a cure.
To donate $10 to Sophie's Voice helping to fight Spina Bifida, text Club10 to 85944. When prompted to confirm, text yes. The $10 will be added to your phone bill through Sparrow Clubs USA.