Fresh from the success of box office hit Think Like a Man Too, Romany Malco has a lot to celebrate. The 45-year-old shares that for him faith is much more than religion, and simple things make him grateful. He spoke with ESSENCE.com about his views on spirituality.
Share a time when your faith has been tested and what lessons you learned.
My faith is tested almost every day. I'm somewhat of a purist, and I take this stance of I'm not going to misrepresent myself like that on a project, or I'm not going to take this job just for the sake of needing a job. You start wondering if you're actually blackballing yourself. You say no to enough producers in Hollywood, and they take it personally and become a bit of a united front. I've had incidents where my career has gotten pretty quiet because I was taking this stance that I thought was fighting the good fight. It's never, ever, ever failed. It really always panned out. Had I not followed my instinct, the opportunity would have been detrimental. I ended up always getting the job I was supposed to get; always getting the job that most honored what I was aspiring to do and portray. It happens like that for me a lot.
Do you consider yourself spiritual, religious, or something else?
I'm spiritual, but I'm also very much metaphysical, and religious. Food is my religion. My thought process is my religion. The universe is my religion. I don't really feel real separation in any of it. My mom is an ordained minister, born-again Christian. When I go to Florida I need to spend time with my mom. The only way I can spend time with her is to go to church. You know what I mean? The only way I can spend time with my mom is to go to church with her. But then she was married to a a Jewish man who was the son of a Rabbi, Jacob Sierpinski. For me, it's solely up to you to create the division if you want to. For me, it's all one and the same.
If the person you're with does not believe in God or believe in anything spiritual, does that mean you won't be bothered with them at all?
No, because from my experience when I encounter people who don't believe necessarily, they're not followers of Jesus, or they say that they're agnostic or whatever, when you really start getting to know these people, they actually do have a connection or a sense of loyalty to a higher being. They just aren't aware of it. I tend to be the person who takes people who go, "I never thought about that." Also, I was going to say that when they've done this research to find out what makes you a happier person, that's one of the four things, is that believing that you belong to a higher cause. Ultimately, if your vibration is one way and if another person's vibration is another way, and they don't complement each other, they can't coexist anyway. You can't be in the company of something that doesn't honor your vibration.
What is the last thing that reminded you to be grateful?
The last thing that reminded me to be grateful is… my girlfriend makes us pray together every night before we go to sleep. That in itself—just having someone who cares enough… We're not religious people. Our prayers basically revolve around gratitude. We are literally saying, "Thank you." That's the last thing that reminded me to be grateful.
Think Like a Man Too is in theaters now.