Miami Living Magazine

Michelle Rodriguez

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Page 66 of 115

PEOPLE S ome people just blow you away with their character. I am not talking about being awed by a role, I am talking about the character that comprises one's being. In La-La Land (L.A.), finding a person with a genuine presence or what some might characterize as real is a rare find. And when you encounter it, it's like finally quenching your thirst with water, when your only option for days has been flat, sugar-saturated soda. Maybe it's Bryan Greenberg's embedded Midwestern values (born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in St. Louis, Missouri) or his being reared by parents who advocated activism or perhaps it's the fact that he is as open-minded as he is zealous about his convictions, whatever it is –it's refreshing. Over the past few years Bryan's career purely coincided with the type of television and movies that pique my interest —television shows like One Tree Hill, October Road and movies such as Perfect Score, Prime, Bride Wars, Friends with Benefits… It was not until I was turned onto HBO's How to Make it in America —executive produced by Mark Wahlberg— that I took notice. (How could I not? Those sex scenes with Gina Gershon were hot.) The multiple story lines engaged and Bryan poignantly elicited viewers to connect and root for his character Ben Epstein, the tenacious New Yorker touting clothing line: Crisp. How to Make it in America appealed to all of us with a dream. But after its second season, HBO cancelled it. What!? C'mon, TV gods! THAT was a great show! "It was a little shocking that it went away. I felt like it didn't even reach the tipping point yet," says Bryan. The 34-year-old, 6-foot-tall actor is seated across from me in the Griffith Park Observatory's café. Donning a fitted beige T-shirt, dark blue jeans and sunglasses, at the moment, as the summer solstice's sinking sun is streaming directly into his brown eyes, he looks more wholesome than Hollywood. "In my career, I've worked on a lot of projects and I've never seen fans react so upset that something's gone away, like ever. People really identified with that show… especially, New York City. I feel bad when people come up to me and are like, Why!? And I'm like, 'I dunno why. Sorry. It's not up to me,'" he says with a trace of disappointment. The unexpected end of How to Make it in America certainly took us all by surprise. Bryan points out that most shows don't even make it on-air, and that he is grateful to have had the two seasons. In a GQ interview out earlier this year, Mark Wahlberg gave us hope that the show might find a home on a different network. I ask Bryan if he's heard anything more. "It's kind of up to Ian [Edelman], who created it, what he wants to do. There's been talk. Do you want to do the movie? What do you want to do? I'd do it, if he wrote it." Since the show ended, Bryan has returned to music. A refuge from acting, the prolific singer-songwriter-guitarist went into the studio and ended up creating a whole new album in a matter of months, immediately on the heels of his second album, We Don't Have Forever, released this past January. Everything Changes, his third independent album, slated for release this fall, showcases a new sound. Inspired to compose something different, Bryan along with Emile Kelman, a friend who recorded his first album, decided to experiment and see where the music went. "The select few that I played it for think it's my best stuff and my most mature… I've played it for artists that I respect, and they're just like, you sound like a different artist, but it sounds still —it's still me." What could you not live without? "I can't live without music. Honestly, I'm always listening to music. I'm it. I've noticed that I gravitate toward people who do." writing it… I hear different elements --people don't hear it the way I hear always watching shows, talking to my friends about it, playing it, MIAMI LIVING 65

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