Actor Da’Vinchi is a man of many talents and has quickly made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. In just three years he went from playing “Cash Mooney” in Grown-ish to Terry Flenory on 50 Cent’s “Black Mafia Family.”
Da’Vinchi recently made his Broadway debut as one of the ensemble leads in Thoughts of a Colored Man, and Baller Alert got to chat with him about transitioning from film to Broadway, preparation for his role on “Black Mafia Family,” working with 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg and more.
In three years you went from playing Cash Mooney in “Grown-ish” to playing Terry Flenory in “Black Mafia Family.” How does it feel to play a major role like this early in your career?
I feel like — honestly it’s like a dream come true. To play a true character… a real-life character, a real-life legend. And these brothers — their story was so influential in Hip-Hop culture. So being blessed to play a story like that is like — words can even describe how I feel. Being this early on in my career, playing something of this magnitude — I’m just grateful and happy. I think two weeks ago, Terry Flenory shouted me out and showed me love and I guess he appreciates how I’m playing the character. Yea, that was a hell of a compliment. That was the best compliment I could get off playing a real-life character.
How did you prepare for this role?
I did as much research as I possibly could. I would google literally everything I could possibly find. I was watching movies that are similar to this type of vibe. I tapped back into my early years of life — I grew up in a very similar situation to them. Then when we got on set, having Lil Meech there was super helpful because I could just ask him any questions. He was like my personal guru at one point. That’s how I prepared for it.
You’re a man of many talents. You produce music, act and you can now add broadway to your resume. How has it been going with “Thoughts of a Colored man?”
It’s been going great! It’s been going great! Broadway is completely different from film in every way. Doing the same thing every night with a different crowd — it’s just so different. That’s something I would recommend every actor to do. Just to know where this thing originated from and get that feeling. It’s definitely going to make you a beast and make you evolve. It’s a lot of work. It’s fun! It’s cool to see the direct effect the character you’re playing can have on people right in front of you. Usually on TV when you’re acting or doing something you don’t feel the audience because you have this wall that is the TV. In Broadway, you feel the audience. You hear the “Ooo’s” and “ahh’s”. You hear laughing — and when you’re leaving the building they see you — some are super emotional some are laughing. You directly feel the effect you have on them. It’s a dope feeling!
You clearly have a love for fashion. Do you see modeling in the near future or partnering with a clothing brand?
Definitely. I can see myself partnering with a clothing brand. I can see myself probably having a clothing brand one day. It’s probably going to be a whole bunch of sweats because I love being comfortable. I’m not opposed to modeling for a brand if I’m passionate about it, I’ll definitely do it.
When you’re not busy acting or on Broadway, what do you do that brings you absolute, complete joy?
Doing nothing! Probably just chilling with my friends, laughing, and going out in nature. Just relaxing. Sometimes I just sit and do nothing. I’ll go by the water and just sit and clear my thoughts.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to not stress. Tell him “everything will workout out.” It’s this thing that Steve Jobs said “ you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards.” I would beat that quote into the younger me’s head. One day you’ll be able to connect the dots.
What was it like working with 50 cents during BMF?
It was dope! 50 is mad humble. He’s just a chill, humble guy. He’s a funny dude. The entire time I was working with him or maybe the first couple of weeks, I was like “ this is crazy!” I was a huge 50 Cent fan as a kid. I know his lyrics better than him. So to be working with him was crazy. One of the most humbling things he said to me was “I want you to think about this. You probably never pictured the day that you would be helping me take my career to the next level. Your work in BMF is going to help me go to the next level. I never thought about it like that. Working with Snoop is amazing. I was fortunate and blessed to be in a room with all these legends who paved the way for people like us.