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BE Featured: Interview w/ Robert Christopher Riley

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robriley4BE MAG: So, You were born in Brooklyn, New York in the 80’s? Talk to us about How that time was?

RCR: Yes I was born in Flatbush Brooklyn, New York in 1980. My parents are both of Caribbean rooted. My mom is from Trinidad and My dad is from Barbados. Brooklyn in the 80’s was rough you know. I grew up in a time where the crack epidemic had hit pretty hard and not being able to really go outside as much without the supervision of my grandmother, she came up from Trinidad to help raise myself and my brother. Now don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade growing up in Brooklyn for anything else. It definitely made me a tough person inside and out,  It’s given me street smarts that have benefited me in many different areas of my life (personal or professional). It was beautiful man, I grew up apart of culture that is not just regular Americans. I was able to experience that again when i went home this last labor day for the Caribbean Day Parade in Brooklyn.

BE MAG: How was it growing up in a traditional Trinidadian family? 

RCR: It was great! I mean around me I’ve got this great food , the music is rich and vibrant and always make me happy.  I had a set of old school values instilled in me from my mother and grandmother. You know my grandmother was born in 1910! That’s Old school! *lol. Having her over me and her telling me you know stay focused on goals and education and not girls. Going to college wasn’t an option, you know i hear some people say that they “might not” being going to school or college. I know that there are many different paths, but it definitely was something i had to do. My mother has my first degree and i kept the second one for myself * lol.

BE MAG: How did you get into acting?

RCR: Well I didn’t do theater in school but when I attended Lehigh University during my second semester i was in this acting class and they were putting on a production of ” A Raisin In The Sun”  which is a usually cast with black actors and the University’s student population was about 90% white and they need more black actors for this production (obviously) so they asked me to audition and at first i said No, but then i felt i had to at least lend my services so i went and auditioned and a got a call back! One thing led to another and you know… Here i am as an actor. 

BE MAG: Television, Stage or Movies? Which one do you prefer?

RCR: I prefer the Stage (Live Theater). I’m definitely a people person. In live theater I’m sharing that moment in time with the audience that you can’t capture in film and television sometimes.  You are telling a story and when that 2 hours or so is done and I’m walking out in the street and you stop me and tell me you enjoyed the show and which part, i know exactly what you mean , like we shared that moment you know. I do enjoy television and film but there is something in the intimacy of stage that i will always hold special.

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BE MAG: Now Women definitely consider you a “sex symbol”, How does that make you feel?

RCR: *Laughs. Yeah i have had women tell me that I’m sexy and things but you know its all good to hear and I’m flattered. I workout and am into sports. I take pride into how i look as well and if that makes me sexy then I will take it. Also must be the good genes I got from my momma. Shout out to my Momma!! * Lol thanks mom. 

BE MAG: Ok, Season One of “Hit the Floor” was a great hit with people, Did you know it would take off the way it did?

RCR: You know I’ve never been asked that question, but i did know we had a “gem”  I really did man. You can’t predict the future, but sometimes you know what you have as a team. You see the parts moving and you see the work going into it. I watched alot of my co-stars performances, and what i would see was amazing. It was a sense that something special was about to happen. We had that feeling .The network was behind us and its just been fantastic ever since the pilot shoot until now. They are hard at work now with starting to put together Season Two of the show.  I can’t wait man I’m happy to be apart of it. 

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Follow Robert Christopher Riley:

@RobertCRiley (Facebook)

@RobRileyNYC (Twitter)

@robrileynyc (Instagram)

About the author

cmarshall has written 67 articles for BE Entertained Magazine

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