13th October 2022
Interview: Savannah Small-Swaby
Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent
Photographer: Storm Santos
Cover Design: Emily Curtis
For our latest interview, we had the pleasure to speak to a childhood favourite, Tahj Mowry. Coming from a family that can only be described as 90s royalty (Sister, Sister anyone), Tahj spoke to us about his latest Netflix blockbuster, Me Time and how at age 9 he was already out in the world pitching TV shows that ultimately led to his big break in the entertainment industry.
You’re in a new Netflix movie with Kevin Hart, Mark Wahlberg and Regina Hall. Is there anyone you’ve acted alongside where the connection transformed the outcome of the scene?
Oh yes all the time. When you have chemistry with a scene partner, it comes across on screen. The scene and your responses become organic and more realistic. And that’s where the magic happens. Specifically for “Me Time”, Kevin is such a comedic genius and is so talented at what he does, he keeps you on your toes. You never know what he’s going to say or do in a scene so it forces you to stay present and be ready for whatever he throws your way. But that’s what makes it so fun and why he’s such a blast to work with because every take feels like a new scene. It was such an honour and a privilege to be able to work with someone like that. He gives the best actor.
Did your expectation of wanting to be in the TV industry differ from the reality of it?
I started when I was so young so I feel like I learned what the industry was like from a young age. That’s all I knew. It’s all about doing it for the fun and I’m still like that today.
What’s the best piece of advice you got from a fellow actor?
From a Denzel Washington quote I’ve learned that you don’t always have to share what you’re working on. You can be silent in your glow up and when it’s time for people to see the shine, they will see it. My parents also taught me how to keep the industry separate from your actual life. I think that’s best industry advice I’ve ever received and I’m so thankful I heard it from my parents.
Do you get to go back to Hawaii often and if so what’s your favourite thing to do?
I don’t get back as often as I’d like. But I was there last summer and it was incredible to be back. I always feel a sense of safety when I’m there because it was my birthplace. It brings a sense of calm that is unlike any other place for me.
We know you’re now an uncle with a couple of nieces and nephews. What type of uncle are you?
I‘m a humble guy but I’ll toot my own horn for this question. I feel like I’m the best type of uncle. I know how to get down to the level of whatever age they are and put myself in their shoes because I can remember how I was at those ages. But I’m also the uncle who will give that stern talk whenever I need to. So, they all know I’m super fun and can be silly with them but they also know that uncle Tahj will let you know the real deal if you’re acting up. I bring a balance.
You were in the golden age of Black television, especially in the US. If you could describe where we’re at with TV shows centered around Black families, where would you say we’re at and where would you like us to be?
I’d say it’s getting better but we have a long way to go. I’d like to see more Black centered shows about situations and experiences that aren’t so stereotypical. And it’s not only about Black families either. Representation matters and we need to see all colours and races being represented on television in high quality productions. It need to be even across the board and it’s not quite there yet but I believe we will get there with
Catch Tahj on Netflix’s ‘Me Time’, out now.