Miami Living Magazine

Willa Ford

Miami Living Magazine features the best Miami has to offer. Click on any magazine below and enjoy. You can download our free app on iTunes. Ideal for iPad and iPhone users.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 70 of 115

PEOPLE ML: How did it feel when you landed your first big job? CW: Beverly Hills, 90210 gave me so many call backs until they finally hired me. At the same time, I was auditioning for Living Single. I remember seeing Young MC at the audition and thinking to myself, 'no way I'm getting it,' but I did. I was lucky! I remember my agent telling me how lucky I was to land both 90210 and Living Single on my first try. He added that things won't always be as easy for me. I was lucky, I know this. ML: You've played various roles in your career. What character do you most relate to and why? CW: I'm not playing myself in any role that I do. There are certain things I can relate to. Good guys and noble characters for one. When I did Prison Break, I got to play a bad guy. This opened the door to throw out nobility and get down and dirty. Like my character on Friday Night Lights, I have a 7-year-old girl and want to stay connected to the family. I have my mother to help. I am a single parent. I guess Lavon (HOD) is the closest to me. He's not exactly smooth with the ladies but has a general optimistic outlook. I am a "glass-half-full" sort of thinker. ML: You have a nice build —it's no wonder you've often portrayed athletes. "Lavy" is a former athlete turned town mayor —do you or have you ever played any sports? CW: Why, thank you! [He gives a bashful laugh]. Basketball is my first love. I did track too. Long jump, triple jump...I was pretty bad at it. I've become a gym rat though. I like to live a healthy lifestyle. It's the key to longevity. No matter what you look like, you should try and be the best you possibly can. ML: You've done quite a bit of work in comedy and drama. What do you like about these particular genres? CW: I started in comedy, but feel I've done more drama than comedy. I feel weak in comedy. I always got nervous and worked on getting rid of those nerves. You see, there is a precision of timing —a rhythm, like music, to it. I love laughing and making people laugh. Drama is the opposite —it's a messy kind of rhythm to it. I try different things and love affecting people that way. ML:What's the role you wish you could play? CW: My bucket list role is to play a superhero. I'm a closet geek… I am a geek! I love Marvel Comics' Black Panther. I'd also like to do a western someday and carry a six gun, do the cops and robbers thing as I did when I was a kid. ML: I read that if you weren't acting, you'd put together a jazz album. Do you play any instruments or sing? CW: I do sing. I'm actually pretty addicted to karaoke lately. I have a guitar that I need to practice a lot more and piano too. In junior high, I played the saxophone. I want to pick it up again. I guess actors want to be musicians, and musicians want to be actors. I fall into that stereotype. ML: Story is that you not only act, but teach. I hear you hold free acting classes on weekends. Tell us about that. CW: I've been teaching acting classes for the past three years now on Saturday afternoons. I strictly volunteer. I noticed my church provided improv, dance, music classes, but no traditional acting classes, so I decided to offer and give back. My students get to benefit from my current obstacles. I enjoy giving back. Teaching them goes back to the fundamentals. ML: On your Twitter profile (@1lovecress) you list "teacher" before "actor", do you enjoy one more than the other? CW: I started teaching at a time that I was acting, but not too much. My desire to act is way too strong. ML:What advice do you give your students? MIAMI LIVING 69 CW: I tell students that I give them permission to act badly. I've seen other people do it. It winds up being better than before because they are not operating from fear. I tell them to go have fun and take charge of their work. Don't put casting directors on pedestals, go as you are. I believe that is what makes a great actor. ML: Besides working (acting and teaching), what else do you enjoy doing? CW: I enjoy spending time with my 7-year-old daughter. I love everything that involves her; hanging out with her. I also do a friends dinner on Wednesdays, where we hang out by breaking bread and doing karaoke. I workout a lot too. ML: Karaoke, huh? What's your favorite tune? CW: "Try a Little Tenderness" by Harry Connick, Jr. to Al Green, show tunes and Rent songs. ML: You were born in Germany. Do you speak any German? CW: No, my father was in the army and called my mom and said, 'Let's make a baby.' So she flew to Germany and that's where I was conceived and born. ML: Tell us about your holiday plans. CW: It's just me and my daughter. My mom is a few minutes from the house. My brother is in Indiana and my sister finished up college in the south. We grew up in Mississippi. I guess we have a non- traditional approach in my family. For Halloween, I take my daughter trick-or-treating. I don't know what to be yet. For Thanksgiving, mom will dictate, now that she's back. We invite people who don't have a place to be and split kitchen duties with everyone. For Christmas, it's very non-traditional; we like to have pizza or tacos. If I have turkey once a year, I'm good. I try and stay in town during the holidays. ML

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Miami Living Magazine - Willa Ford