When it comes down to interviewing celebrities, whether they are actors, musicians or influencers, there is sometimes an issue separating them from their fame, which makes it complicated to talk to them, one-on-one. From the very beginning, I was quite nervous talking to Broderick because of his obvious notoriety and clear resemblance to the Queen, Beyonce. But from the first sound of the kindness in his voice and reassurance that this was just a conversation between two regular people talking about life, the culture, and our hopes and dreams.
For those who aren’t familiar with who Broderick Hunter is, Broderick is a 29-year-old Model and Actor from California. He started his modeling career at the tender age of 20, in 2011, and has since been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Essence, and even Vogue Paris. Aside from modeling, Broderick took the initiative to embark on his acting career, becoming the love interest in Ciara’s Sorry music video, to later appear in Issa Rae’s “Insecure” and most recently, BET+’s “Carl Weber’s Influence”. It was such a pleasure to talk to Broderick about his movie, his plans for the future and his stance on the culture of today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Megan Ambers: I really appreciate you taking the time to have this interview with me. To be honest, I was a little nervous because you are one of the first well-known public figures that I have spoken to.
Broderick Hunter: (Laughs)
Megan: I talk to a lot of underground and up-and-coming musicians, so I was a little nervous.
Broderick: No need to be nervous, mama. I appreciate you doing this a lot. I really do.
Megan: Thank you. I am not going to keep you, because I know you are a very busy person. So, my first question is how are you doing? What new things do you have going on and is there anything we should be looking out for?
Broderick: Well, everything has been really, really good for the most part. My movie, “Carl Weber’s Influence” on BET+, just dropped last week (Feb 20), Thursday. And today, we just got our billboard in Times Square for the promotion for it. So that was exciting because this was one of my first films and I never saw a promo for a film that I am in. So, I am just very excited about that and I have another movie coming out later in the year called, “California Love”. We don’t really have a set date on that yet, but I also star in that with Robert Ri’chard, Columbus Short and Allen Payne. So, I am just really looking forward to a lot of things coming up and because I came up from fashion and being known as one of the top black models, making this transition into acting has been very rewarding. It wasn’t always very easy at first, but I have seen how good GOD has been working out these opportunities for me. And you know my first stint was in “Insecure”, so I have just really been enjoying the process and watching things unfold.
Megan: As you just mentioned, you just had a movie that was released just last week, where you play, Michael Jones, a young Harvard grad attorney. For the readers who have yet to see the movie, can you share with them who Michael is?
Broderick: My character Michael Jones starts out in an all-white law firm, which you would see more at the beginning of the movie. He is very eager to find an opportunity for getting into a better space. And Bradley Hudson, played by Roger Guenveur Smith, he basically comes into the situation and Michael asks him for an opportunity and what Michael doesn’t know that he is literally about to be involved in this big murder case has been going on. I play a very pivotal moment where I—without giving away the story, but I play a very pivotal moment in the story being this new lawyer at this law firm. So that’s all I am going to say. (laughs)
Megan: And in what ways would you say your character Michael is similar and different from you, Broderick?
Broderick: Michael is similar to me by his tenacity. He is very upfront and very much ‘In your face’, and that’s kind of like how I was during my fashion years. When I was in Milan (Italy), trying to model for these prominently white brands, who weren’t taking on a lot of black models, I would crash different events that I wasn’t invited to just to end up booking a show because I knew where I belonged. So, Michael as well, he knew where he belonged and he knows where he wanted to go with his career and his life and he basically just took the jump into asking and putting himself out on a whim and hoping for the best results. So that is one way that we are very similar. Where I and Michael are kind of different, Michael is shy. Sometimes he can be a little quiet at times, he likes to sit back and listen. While personally, I don’t mind talking. (laughs) So there are certain times in the movie, you will see that Michael is really shy and not want to say too much. But you will also see that he is in sync with everything, he just doesn’t want to say too much or come off the wrong way.
Megan: I can relate to that. (laughs) So with this character having similarities and differences from you personally, how did you prepare for this role? What made you want to be, Michael Jones?
Broderick: Well, the character was presented to me through Trey Haley, the director, and Jeff Lam, the producer. They had already had me in mind for several different roles, that they were working on for other shows. This was a movie in particular that they were really prepping and pushing for that had finally had gotten the green light. And they presented me with the script and asked me, “How do you like this character?”, “Do you think this is something you would like to play?”. And I read over the script and I just saw the arch and how big Michael played a role in the case and I really did enjoy being a part of—not only the beginning but the middle and the end of the storyline. So, I really just liked Michael’s personality and how it was embedded into the sequences because all of the characters that you will see from Roger, Kellita, Todd and myself, all of their characters are vastly different in how they approach certain circumstances and I felt as though there was a lot of room for me to play with Michael in terms of my role in the movie.
Megan: And as you have mentioned before, you filmed with a lot of prestigious and well-known actors and actresses, such as Deborah Cox. Describe how your experience with working with these actors was like.
Broderick: Nerve-wracking. Oh my god. Because we sometimes we shoot out of sequence with these films, I remember my first day of shooting, despite prepping, being ready to go and relatively comfortable, once the cameras started rolling, I couldn’t–for the life of me– get my lines out. And I realized that it was because I was a little timid. So being in front of these people, it was just very intimidating for the first day until I was able to get out of my head and by the second and third day and on, it just became so much easier to mesh with these people. They were very supportive in letting me be me and allowed me to be involved with myself and everything. It was a very good and welcoming experience and I got so much knowledge from working with them. It was an honor.
Megan: Now for those who are familiar with your resume, you got your start in the fashion world as a model and are now adapting to acting. But recently you announced that you were joining the Reebok family. How did this collaboration come about?
Broderick: Well, a lot of these collaborations, Reebok particularly, a lot of these people are familiar with me and have been following me for a long time, my agency was doing some light pitches and the for the majority of the time, these pitches about me, most of the time these people are saying, “omg, I’ve been following him for years.” For the amount of time that I have had my Instagram, I’ve always been making these funny videos and just remaining well-rounded, outside from just posting pictures. So, I have grown a following from brands and people like Reebok, Nike, Old Spice and etc., and they just really like the way I post [things online]. When Reebok found out that I had things going on, Allen Iverson had just dropped his new sneakers, “the A.I. Question Mids.”, and they knew that I liked to do giveaways. So, they allowed me to construct a giveaway, to not only give away a pair of sneakers but to also engage with my followers and learn more about their origins and loving where they came from. So, it also gave me a way to reach out to my followers and let them share their stories and have me share mines. So, that’s kind of like how that happened.
Megan: Okay, and are there any plans to create sneakers with them or to become a more permanent ambassador for them?
Broderick: Oh yeah, working with Reebok is definitely something that is becoming more of a permanent thing. This is just one of the things that we are doing. But this is more of a contractual ambassadorship program that we are doing together. That and also, I have a new contract with HiSmile, which does teeth whitening and things like that. With my YouTube channel, “Self-care with Broderick”, where I talk about hair care, skincare, all stuff care-related, and they liked what I was doing with my self-care stuff. Now I have a whole new ambassadorship with them, contractually where I get to share about the teeth whitening, so it has been really fun and yet interesting at the same time.
Megan: Nice. Nice. So, now I am going to ask a few light-hearted and fun questions so that the fans and readers can learn more about yourself. We can all agree that you look very much like Beyonce, you know. We see the resemblance. (laughs)
Broderick: Mainly in the hips. (laughs)
Broderick: And in the nose, especially.
Megan: What can you say you have learned about yourself since becoming a celebrity?
Broderick: Um…You know what is funny? I’ve never exactly looked at myself as a celebrity or a public figure. I’ve always had just maintained just being Broderick Hunter. And that is just something that my mom has always instilled in me. Whether people know you or not, you just make sure that you are the same you every day, throughout the rest of your life. So, I think it most so came down to me knowing and loving myself and being my most authentic self, while people know who I am at the same time. So, becoming this person that people kind of know of and people that want to–you know, be around and take pictures with, it’s just really been a humbling experience. I never would have thought that people would just want to get to know me for me, you know. Just in terms of knowing my work and stuff like that, but the majority of the conversations that people come up to me and say, “Hey man, I follow you and your work and you’re such a nice person.”
Broderick: And that’s my main reward that I get from all of that. So, since I’ve become this person, it hasn’t really changed who I am. It just made me want to enhance and increase the value that I want to bring to people’s lives and make them feel loved and comfortable.
Megan: Okay, cool. And which of the two industries, Modeling, and Acting, do you feel you are more natural at? Or is it a combination of both?
Broderick: Ah, man. Well, people know me for my modeling and modeling has always been very—uh—it has been a craft that I have definitely gotten more accustomed to. With acting, it has been more of a challenge for me, for instance, I am horrible at remembering lines and I always overthink of where I want to take my character or where I want my character to be or how they respond to the other characters. I am like a huge Capricorn, so I overthink. So, I would definitely say modeling has been more natural for me, but acting has been a good challenge for me because it has helped me in photographing. So now when I take photographs, I am able to let certain sides of myself show, in-depth, other than just taking a pretty photo.
Megan: So, let’s say thirty years from now, a director comes to you and they tell you that they want to direct the film of your life.
Megan: Who would you want to play you in the film, and why?
Broderick: So, a director comes and they want to make a film of my life… Sheesh. Okay. This is thirty years from now, so that means all of the young actors are probably going to be like my age or older, umm… Well, there is no one in particular, that I would say thirty years from now, but I would just want a kid—a beautiful brown kid, with a fade…
Broderick: Yeah, that’s it. Just a beautiful brown kid with a fade and then when he gets older, around 15 years old, I want somebody kind of like Caleb McLaughlin, that played on “Stranger Things”, I want a kid like that to play a teen [version of me]. And then for the older years, I want somebody kind of like a young Derek Luke in a sense, to play my twenties. And then in my thirties, I need someone like a Beyoncé or Idris Elba.
Broderick: You know what I’m saying? To play my adult years. But preferably, someone like Beyoncé.
Megan: I am almost certain Beyoncé would be honored to play you in a movie.
Broderick: Well, we’re twins. (laughs) I promise you I never saw the resemblance until we [Broderick and his girlfriend] to the “On the Run” tour, and I heard people screaming and Beyoncé wasn’t on stage. And I told my girlfriend, “Babe, people are just screaming “Beyoncé” and she’s not even on stage.” And she was like, “Yeah, because its Beyoncé” and I was like, “No, they screaming at me. They think I’m Beyoncé.”
Broderick: And she was like, “Boy, if you don’t get your ass out of my face.” So, people just be hating, but it’s all good.
Megan: Well the resemblance is uncanny. I honestly, don’t know how anyone doesn’t see it.
Broderick: I barely saw it but then everybody else just maximized it. But it’s cool. (laughs)
Megan: (laughs) Are there anybody that you would love to work with? Like a bucket list of people, you would like to work side by side with.
Broderick: Um… I would love to do something with Barry Jenkins (director of Moonlight), I would love to—man, I am really hoping to one day and I hope they would greenlight this, but I would love to do a film with like me, Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Kofi Siriboe (Girls Trip), and Lance Gross, and just take all the elite black men—I would love to just do a film that is catered around that, a storyline about that. I would love to share the screen with just people of that caliber because they do it with the white folks all the time. They do it with Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, you know what I’m saying? But I feel like, with black men, we haven’t had a film where it’s like—maybe in the 90s, with like Tupac and Omar Epps and stuff like that. But I feel like, in the 2020s, I feel like it’s time for a new film, where you get all the elite black actors together and we just make a film that is going to be enjoyable. So that’s what I would ideally like to do. To share the screen with a bunch of kings.
Megan: And do you feel like this is something that you can do on your own?
Broderick: I mean, I am sure we can probably compose a short, but these guys got schedules. (laughs)
Megan: You’re right.
Broderick: These people got schedules; you know? So, in my mind and in spirit, I just hope this is something that will come through in the pipeline. Where we are all able to share our projects together. And do something that is for the culture. You know, because as black people, it’s our time.
Megan: It’s true. And I guess, there is no point in asking you about your feelings about the importance and the state of the culture because it’s evident that you acknowledge that the culture is us. We made it to what it is today and we are a little too kind in sharing it with others.
Megan: I mean off-topic, I have had conversations with people who felt as though, “Oh, I thought we were down with it, too…” and it’s like you can’t live it, it’s not in your DNA. You can love it, you can admire it, but you can’t live it.
Broderick: You get it.
Megan: So, there is no point in asking you that question because we here—we are here.
Broderick: We are eye to eye, mama.
Megan: Yes. So, share a fun fact about yourself. Anything that no one knows about you that you are willing to share.
Broderick: Dang, what a difficult—I mean sheesh. I feel like I am always—that is such a common question, that I can’t quite put my thumb on it. I mean people still don’t know that I am half Nigerian on my mother’s side. I hope that that is getting to the surface now. I’ve been saying it for the past 10 years. But people are just—eh. (laughs) But I don’t think there is anything that most people don’t already know, that falls on the spectrum out of my personal life. Yeah, that’s about it.
Megan: Nice. So, the last question is what advice would you give to somebody that’s looking to pursue a career in modeling or acting, that looks like us, but don’t have the confidence or constantly hit with roadblocks and obstacles. What would you say to that person, that child, who’s on the verge of giving up?
Broderick: I would say that there are always going to be times where things don’t work out in your favor and things don’t fall into the grand idea of how you want something to be. But I always say that when you are walking along with your passion, be prepared to deal with the adversaries, and when the adversaries do come know that that’s working in your favor. And to continue to keep going. Just because—from personal experience, I know what it feels like to want to give up, but all of those times that I wanted to give up, something would spark that would keep me going. And then I would get exactly or somewhat closer to what I’ve been working for. So, I would just tell people to continue to go on about the path of learning, continue to ask questions, don’t be afraid to connect and ask people for help. There is so much knowledge to go around, but if you pull yourself out of that, you are taking yourself away from what could possibly be for you. So, the best thing you can ever do is stay in it, be persuasive, persevere, walk into places, ask for the manager, show your face and just overall, stay a good person. It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are and the quality of person that you are.
Megan: That was beautiful. Well, I appreciate your time once again.
Broderick: Well, I appreciate you, thank you.
Megan: I would ask if you have any questions for me, but I am not all that important. (laughs)
Broderick: Oh, you’re definitely important. How long have you been working with “The Source”?
Megan: Well, I worked for “The Source”, close to six months and I actually left them and have been going back and forth with freelancing. Prior to, I worked with Hollywood Unlocked and since then I worked with Vashtie.com, 1 AM Radio with YesJulz, etc., and I started focusing on my own website. So as much as I love writing for bigger publications, it gives me the opportunity to talk to people, like yourself, I am really set to focus on my brand–
Megan: Just as how Necole [Kane] did with XONecole, or how Karen Civil has done with her Civil brand. But it is not easy, to come to certain people or to reach out to them and say, “Hey, I have this brilliant pitch and I would like to talk to such-and-such about what they have going on,” because usually, their first question that they ask is, “Oh, who are you writing for?” You know, and I always say, “Myself.” And it’s like, “Well, is there a bigger publication that you can freelance for, maybe?” So it’s hard, but I still try to use my connections with my former employers and my friends in the industry, and just say “Hey, do you think you can put in a good word for me?” But I can’t ignore my own child, which is my website. I’ve neglected her long enough. (laughs) And now it’s time to build her up like I have been.
Broderick: And I think you are doing a fabulous job and I think you are going to continue being involved in the right spaces, for the right things and the right opportunities. And just hearing you and how you talk, and how you interview, I totally feel like your brand will definitely grow and you have my word, I always credit articles and posts that I am a part of. I always credit the writer or the publisher. So, I will definitely make sure that people know who is responsible because it seems like you are doing a great job.
Megan: Thank you.
Broderick: And I am quite sure that you’re going to continue to make major head waves, and when you start building your brand, it’s going to work out.
Megan: Thank you. I am hoping to one day be in the spaces of you and others, rubbing elbows–
Broderick: Oh, you will.
Megan: You know, “Hey, how you doing?”, “Nice, seeing you again.”
Broderick: (Laughs) “Hey, how you doing.”
Broderick: “So, you came– you got the invite, too? Ok. That’s nice.”
Megan: (Laughs) Exactly. No more losing invites in the mail. But thank you for your time.
Broderick: Oh, I appreciate it. And just thank you for your time, I really, really appreciate you being flexible.
Megan: Thank you. So you have yourself a good night.
Broderick: Alright, my friend.