Miami Living Magazine

Michelle Rodriguez

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Page 69 of 115

PEOPLE In life, Bryan is the antithesis of apathetic, passionately appealing that we, as a society, need to care, take a stand and voice our opinions. As an artist, an issue that he is ardent about is support for the funding of arts in schools. "Arts in schools matters. It's not all about math and science, and even if it is, learning an art form can help you approach math and science in a different way," Bryan expresses heatedly. "And it's not like we want a bunch of ballerinas populating the USA, but it helps to make a well-rounded culture if you learn art." To ensure that art does stay in schools, he is interested in teaming up with the program, Adopt the Arts. An emissary of activism, Bryan is also extremely passionate about politics. From a home with politically active parents, this Rock-the-Vote rep and active tweeter is unabashedly vocal about his political stance and support for President Obama, whom he met five years ago as Senator and supported in his campaign for the presidency. Because Bryan is so "outspoken" about his politics, he is invited to a great deal of political dinners and meet-and-greets, he tells me. Most recently, he was invited to a get-together where the President addressed about twenty celebrities that comprise "young Hollywood." Bryan recalls the President's speech. "He's like, 'What you do as artists is important. People are going through hard times out there —you give them hope and escape from their world sometimes. They really look up to you.' It was inspiring," Bryan says proudly. "It made you feel like, Wow, what I do does matter. Sometimes it can be a little trivial but it was nice to hear the President of the United States say that." Wanting to converse with the President and snap a photo, Bryan approaches him. "I was like, 'Hi Mr. Pres —hey,'" he pauses. "I didn't even call him Mr. President 'cause he's so personable and so cool that you forget that he's the President. I went to shake his hand and he gave me a pound and a slap on the back. It was like a really awkward thing," Bryan laughs, "Then I was like, 'I dunno if you remember me, I campaigned for you.' He's like, 'Yeah! Yeah!' I didn't know if he was just yesing me," says a skeptical Bryan. "I was like, 'I helped out with the "Yes, We Can" thing [video by].' And he's like, 'Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Good to see you again!' And I'm like, 'You too,'" he says enthusiastically. "I totally thought he was just being a politician, didn't know who I was. And he's like, "How's the HBO show going? And I was like, Oh! SHIT! " Bryan perks up, "I was like, 'Uh, yeah, well, we got cancelled.' He's like, 'Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I didn't catch the end of it 'cause I got a little busy.' 'Totally understandable, sir,' recalls Bryan, wide-eyed and smiling. Keep in mind that Bryan is impersonating the President's voice and cadence pretty on point. I listen intently. "He's like, 'So, what have you been doing?' I'm like, working on some independent movies, watching a lot of NBA playoffs.' He's like, 'Who are you going for?' I was like, 'I dunno. I kind of like Durant. I like Oklahoma. Who are you going for?' And he's like, 'Ya know, Bryan,'" he takes a pregnant pause, and I try to contain my laughter as his impression is so spot-on. "'I might be the only person in the world, [pause] who likes LeBron.' I was like, 'I get it. He's not a bad guy. He just wants to win.' And he's like, 'That's right, Bryan [pause]. He just wants to win.' And I was like, Wow! This is crazy. I was just talking NBA with the President of the United States. This is really cool! 'So, are you going to help us out? Are you going to campaign?' I was like, 'Oh, it would be my honor.' He's like, 'Well, we'd be honored.' And I was like, 'You can count on me.' It was really cool," says an awestruck Bryan. ML Do you ever get out to Miami? awesome! I'd like to go out every year for that. I'd never experienced it. It's so dope —all these artists from Europe, New York, and all these hipsters from all over the get some authentic Cuban food. I was out there for Art Basel last year. It was "Living in New York, it's just a great getaway to get some sun, hit up the clubs. I did like going to Little Havana — world just basically invade Miami and it's just going off. Awesome parties —like a cool French club will like pop up somewhere in Miami and bring their vibe to Miami. I'm in this crazy Parisian karaoke bar at like 4 in the morning," he laughs. "It's kind of cool." 68 MIAMI LIVING

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