Mehcad Brooks

Mehcad Brooks
ESSENCE.COM Aug, 26, 2009

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You weren’t the only one clutching your pearls when this picture of “True Blood” hottie Mehcad Brooks, 28, surfaced earlier this week. ESSENCE.com caught up with Hollywood’s best-covered secret who dished exclusively to us about his ideal woman, his unlikely sex symbol status, and where you can find him next (coming to a big screen near you.) Ladies, meet the new leading man of your dreams.

By DEMETRIA L. LUCAS

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Brooks has the brains (and talent) to back up his brawn. The 28-year-old Austin, Texas, native graduated from the University of Southern California film school with hopes of being behind the camera as a director. “I got my big break in acting when I snuck into an audition when I was 21 and I booked the lead,” says Brooks. “But the film never came out.”

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Mehcad is an ancient Ethiopian word that means “prophet” or “wise one,” says Brooks, who was named by his mother. “Little did she know that I’d make a profit off being a wise ass,” he quips.

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Brooks, who plays “Eggs Benedict” on “True Blood,” was initially slated to guest star in just three episodes of the hit show.

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“I can’t even believe that people even think I’m good looking,” says Brooks. “It’s not what I want to be known for, because it fades. I’d rather be known for being charming or funny or a great actor.” (He changed his stance when ESSENCE.com reminded him Denzel Washington started off as a sex symbol too.)

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“Anybody who works on being sexy, doesn’t pull it off,” says Brooks, who tops out at a staggering 6’4".

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Brooks was mum on his dating status, even when pressed. “I’ve had situations where it wasn’t pretty before, so I don’t like to discuss it,” he says.

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Just in case Brooks is single, ESSENCE.com got the lowdown on his type. How do you measure up?

“I like a woman who is intelligent, affectionate, and knows how to listen,” says Brooks. “I love to discuss current issues, politics, and the environment. Looks matter too, but they are secondary to me.”

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“I’ve been fortunate to play opposite some really fabulous ladies,” says Brooks, rattling off names like Alfre Woodard, Paula Patton, Queen Latifah, and his “True Blood” costar Rutina Wesley (pictured left).

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Brooks has transitioned effortlessly between the small and big screens, landing TV roles on “Desperate Housewives,” “The Game,” and “True Blood,” of course. He’s also been seen on film in “Glory Road” and will return to the movies with “Fence Walker,” described as a coming-of-age, supernatural story, and “Just Wright,” which stars Common and Queen Latifah.

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Brooks eventually wants to break into action movies… or play James Bond. “I want to be the first American to be Bond,” he says. “Not just the first Black American.”

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Brooks jokes that his list of ideal costars is “too long for the ESSENCE.com.” He rattles off a list of great acting influences that include Will Smith, Christian Bale, Johnny Depp and Clint Eastwood.

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“You can run into attractive people all day long,” says Brooks, who is a former model. “But if the person doesn’t have similar interests or an interest in bettering themselves, what’s the point?”

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Brooks wouldn’t divulge any juicy details about the remaining Season Two episodes of “True Blood.” “Expect the unexpected,” he says cryptically. “It’s something you can really sink your teeth into. Pun intended.”