Thomas Q. Jones may be a relatively new face in Hollywood, but he’s undoubtedly already making major waves. Starring across from industry heavy-hitters such as Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard, and now Isaiah Washington on BET’s Tales, this 40-year-old pro-athlete turned persuasive actor is proving with each project that he can indeed hold his own and that he’s ready to continue making a name for himself. Only this time, it’s on a different kind of world stage.
Hailing from humble beginnings in Virginia, Jones decided to pivot in 2014 after 12 successful years of playing football. But as he revealed in our chat on an early midweek morning, acting wasn’t necessarily the plan, nor was it something he was even seriously considering–at least not initially. “It wasn’t until I got the role on Being Mary Jane where I said, ‘This could either go really good or really bad depending on how I approach it,'” he tells me. “But now, especially after my training, I’m able to put my full self into each role that I get. And it’s almost like I never played football because nobody really talks about it much or brings it up. And that was my goal.”
So whether you know him as an NFL champion, Comanche, or perhaps more intimately as Cuddy Buddy–it’s pretty safe to say that for Thomas Q. Jones, capturing the hearts of viewers is a task he is both ready and willing to take and run with.
I recently got the chance to chat with the Tales star for xoNecole, where we discussed his latest role, personal growth, and why honest women are the keys to his heart. Check out the highlights below & click here to read the full interview.
On his role on BET’s TALES: “I think Irv and his production team, the whole crew, post-production, sound–everybody just killed it. It wasn’t like I was watching TV. It felt like I was watching a movie. Everyone was very connected to the characters and in tune and we were really like family on set. Irv did a great job directing it. He knew exactly what he wanted to do with the story and the writers knew exactly what they wanted to do. They really pulled those characters out of us…”
On how acting has helped him evolved: “Acting is very, very different. You’re playing different characters, working with different actors, directors, producers, environments. It’s just so much more there. You’re working with people who have different backgrounds and life experiences; you have to interpret things differently. And in turn, you grow as a person…”
On what he’s learned about love: “Love isn’t black and white. And I’m a black and white person, so that’s tough. You have to be able to find the silver in it. And that’s where I am now; I’m trying to find it. There’s going to be moments where it is black and white, but if you can find that middle–then the relationship can work. Because love is very complex, it’s not as simple as finding someone, getting married, [and] having kids…”
On some of the biggest lessons he’s learned: “Hard work pays off–which I already knew. But especially in this industry because there’s so much competition. There’s a lot of slots, but there are only so many slots based off who’s who and where you’re trying to go in your career. I’m a very dedicated and ambitious person. I’m kind of a busy-body so being in LA and in this industry is great because I’m a hustler by nature. I like working with people and connecting the dots…”