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Paris Hilton

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You may know Anthony Alabi as a former NFL player, but these days he's tackling the entertainment industry. The former Miami Dolphin has always had a passion for acting. He has appeared in Raven's Home, Modern Family, NCIS, Revenge… Recently, he landed his first-ever lead role in Netflix's Family Reunion. On the show, Anthony portrays, Moz (Tia Mowry's character's husband). Still shocked and amazed that he landed this role with Netflix, Anthony shared that he's grateful for the oppor tunit y to ac t with legends like, Tia Mowr y, Loret ta Devina, and Richard Roundtree. Anthony believes that each person has their own unique journey towards success. He shares that it took many years of trial and error in order to land this role, which he loves so much. "Most people have the mindset of winning and losing, but it's growing that I think allows you to have the opportunity to seize anything. There's no right way, there's no wrong way." You were a former NFL player for the Miami Dolphins, how did you transition from that into an actor? Anthony Alabi: I think that the bigger side of that was that I always wanted to be actor. But when you grow up in Texas and you're a 6'6" black guy, you play football. But I made a decision from early on that I would kind of use football to help me get an education and get into acting later on. What inspired you to be an actor? AA: My dad is Nigerian and my mother is Puerto Rican. My parents were very strict, but the one thing that my father loved to do was watch movies. Sometimes we would go on a Sunday and stay at the movie theater all day. I remember telling my dad that I wanted to be all the things I saw. He explained that those are actors and that's why they can do all of that. I fell in love with it. You're currently working on the Netflix show, Family Reunion. Can you tell our readers a bit about the show? AA: It's a comedy on Netflix. It centers around a family moving from Seattle to Georgia. I'm the father of the family and we're going back to my hometown to live with my mother and father. The funny [thing] of it is the juxtaposition of the show. Tia Mowry plays my wife, Cocoa, and we're these new age parents. My parents on the show, Loretta Devine and Richard Roundtree, have that Southern upbringing. I think the funny comes in seeing what the kids do and how everybody reacts. What can viewers expect from Family Reunion? AA: A lot of laughs, that's first and foremost. We touch upon a lot of contemporary things… whether it has to deal with teengares or young kids or relationships —that all comes together in the show. It's a rollercoaster ride of fun. I think people are just going to fall in love with the show. What was your reaction when you were told that you landed this role? AA: I remember one of the producers called me and I was driving on the highway and he said, "I wanted to tell you that you were so close in getting the part, but unfortunately, it's not going to work out." Then he told me, "I'm kidding!" I remember having to pull over and telling him, "Joking aside, did I get the part?" And he said, "Yes, congratulations!" It had been eight years of just getting a guest part here and there. It was such a big thing, not just for me, but for everybody that was with me on this journey. When is Family Reunion supposed to air? AA: It's set to be available to fans in early July. I'm very excited just because we have been working hard on it. And we're glad people get to experience the joy we had making it. I think you can really tell we all had chemistry, and we all had fun around each other. I think the great thing about the show is that people are going to see that these are not just made up moments. How did you come about this role? AA: I was just guest starring here and there. At that time, I was kind of going through it, and one of the head writers on there saw me and told me that I should audition for this new show. I was like, This show is like my own story! My character is also an NFL player, who's moving with his family. So I auditioned, but I figured that I wasn't a big enough actor. But Netflix goes for talent, because of that, I was able to get this role and not feel constrained. Are there any other similarities between you and your character? AA: Yes! Moz is a big kid at heart and I am the exact same way. I think we share the same kind of view of life, to roll with the punches and just enjoy yourself. That's why it was very easy for me to get into this character and to play him. It was a joy to play this part because I got to be myself. How did you prepare for your role? AA: The biggest thing that I wanted to make sure of was looking back at my own life. The part of Loretta and Richard being my parents with a strict upbringing, I can relate to. It was fun to kind of reflect on my childhood. I think that's why nothing in the show feels staged —it's authentic. We're all pulling from our personal experiences and it's great that we're able to bring that to the set. A lot of things that happen in the episodes are stories that we all mentioned, the writers were able to incorporate that into the episodes. What was the biggest challenge you faced playing Moz? AA: A lot of it was making sure that I didn't drop the ball. I wanted to make sure that I came to set prepared everyday and that I was as true to the character and family as possible. When you're working with legends like Loretta Devine and Richard Roundtree, you don't want to be the weak link. What is the message this show is trying to convey to its audience? AA: When parents watch this, it is going to be very nostalgic. It's kind of like shows that you watched in the 90s: Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, etc. When a younger generation watches it, they're going to kind of see things that are happening in life. The message is that no matter what your differences are, at the end of the day, you're still family. Family is stronger than anything. ML Follow Anthony on Instagram: @AnthonyAlabiOfficial

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