Actor Boris Kodjoe took in the sights and sounds of the ESSENCE Music Festival
. He spoke with ESSENCE.com about his new NBC drama "Undercovers" premiering in the Fall, his new fashion line and being a sex symbol. ESSENCE.com: It's great to see you at the ESSENCE Music Festival. Why was it important for you to be here? BORIS KODJOE:
I think it's important to reach out to your own people so you're in touch with what's going on. We are an under served audience so I think that every chance I get to make that connection and to stay in touch is tremendously important. ESSENCE.com: You have a sci-fi movie and a TV drama coming out in the Fall. You play a spy in the NBC drama "Undercovers," which is a little bit of a departure from the roles we're used to seeing you in. Has that been an easy transition? KODJOE:
As an actor you gotta be ready. Hollywood likes to label people and put them in a box and you have to wait your turn to do something different. This was my chance and I'm gonna make the best of it. ESSENCE.com: How would you describe "Undercovers"? KODJOE:
It's about a married couple trying to maintain their relationship through obstacles and these adventures that they go on because they're spies. It's truly solid down-home relationship stuff that we can relate to. There's also an escapism element because we travel to all these exotic locales and kick some butt. ESSENCE.com: You also have a new fashion line called ALFA. What was the motivation behind starting a clothing line? KODJOE:
As a former model I was always interested in fashion. My brother actually brought me the concept of mass customization, which means we offer custom-made clothing to everybody. Only rich people used to be able to afford customized clothing, until now. We're making it available to everyone. Once you wear a customized shirt it changes everything because it truly is a a true fit. Customized shirts usually cost $200 and up and we've made it available for $30. We have shirts right now and we'll have customized suits for men and women soon. ESSENCE.com: Women are screaming for you everywhere you walk at the ESSENCE Music Festival. How do you feel about being considered a sex symbol? KODJOE:
I don't take it seriously. It's something that comes up but it's not what I focus on in my life. People talk about what's important in Hollywood and the "it" factor but it's such a random industry and you have to be tremendously blessed and lucky. I don't take it for granted because I've been very lucky so all I can do is always keep my laces tied and ready for when the opportunity comes. If you're prepared, I believe good things can happen. Catch Boris Kodjoe in the new NBC drama "Undercovers" premiering this Fall.