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“The Highwaymen” Roy Williams Jr.

Roy Williams Jr. is an up-coming actor/model based in Orlando, FL. He has worked on projects such as Never Back Down, The Final Destination 3D, Tiger Woods commercial for Nintendo Wii, The Last Spin, Someone Else’s Dream, Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Commercials and a Super Bowl promo for Orlando’s Local 6 news. Current projects include The Highwaymen (feature) and I’m So Fly (TV Series). Roy has also done numerous print jobs and has recently appeared in a fashion show called La Fleur de Noir for a webisode series called La Fleur de Mai.

Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.

Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself.

In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days. No, I’m just kidding, but I am a fan of Fresh Prince. There’s so much I can say about myself, but I’ll keep it short and sweet. I’m the only child to Roy and Sherri Williams. I never really minded being the only child when growing up, because I was always involved in sports for most of my life. I honestly think growing up as the only child has really given me the imaginary freedom I need as an actor. I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, Tina Williams, for 2 years. She is a successful business woman working in the PR corporate world. We’ve actually been dating since we were both in High School, so it’s a high school sweetheart kind of love. She’s always been supportive in my acting career and I’m truly blessed that I can say that. I’ve been acting for about nine years and acting professionally and modeling for about five or so years. I’ve been blessed enough to work with some awesome people in the industry for quite some time now to help show me the ropes. I’m confident that I’m heading in the right direction in my career.  Short and Sweet (smiles)!

Talk to us about your passion and how did you get into acting and modeling?

My passion is truly the art of acting. I fell in love with acting about nine years ago, when a talent representative gave me his business card while I was working at Nike Outlet in Sandestin, FL as a cashier. That led to my first acting gig on stage. I immediately caught the acting bug as soon as I got on stage. As far as modeling, it’s something that I kind of fell into being an actor. Right now I’m based in Orlando, FL and it’s a great market to do print work modeling, fashion and etc. So I would say having an agent(s), like I do, in this market, it almost comes with the territory with being an actor. Acting truly takes the cake once it comes to favorites though.

What is your “The Highwaymen” all about?

Well I’ll start with “who are The Highwaymen”. They were a group of African-American landscape painters that emerged from the Fort Pierce, FL area in the 50’s and 70’s. At the time it was almost impossible to find art galleries interested in selling artwork and pretty much impossible for African-Americans. This talented group of about 26 artists took it upon themselves to take to the highways and go door-to-door and sell their paintings out the trunk of their cars by the masses in the south-eastern coast of Florida. These paintings were some of the most beautiful Florida landscape paintings at the time and holds true till this day. I heard that they actually produced and sold over 200,000 paintings between the 50’s and 70’s. No one heard much about The Highwaymen in the late 70’s, 80’s and through the early 90’s, but they were soon rediscovered in the mid 90’s by an art buyer named Jim Fitch. Of course a lot of people now know about The Highwaymen, and a matter of fact they were selected in the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.

Currently Todd Thompson of Stars North Films is in the process to bringing this amazing story to the big screen. You can currently view the teaser trailer in which I play a young highwayman by the name of Alfred Hair online at www.starsnorth.com/highwaymen.

What’s your best gig thus far?

It’s really hard to say what my best gig is thus far. I really love each and every one of them and not only for the experience, but also for the growth I feel I’ve taken with each and every role as an actor. I’ve had this question asked to me before, and my answer is simply, my next gig or role is my best (smiles).

How do you feel about your career right now?

I hate to sound negative, but I’m not really satisfied with the things I’ve accomplished thus far although I’ve done a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for all of the opportunities that have presented themselves to me, but there’s always room to grow and do more. I feel like I have the ambition of 100 men once it comes to my acting career and that’s a thirst that’s hard to quench. I know one day I will be able to sit back and say that I’ve done everything that I’ve wanted to, but today isn’t that day.

Would you like to mention about your mentors or role models?

I have an extremely long list of mentors and role models. It all starts with my family though. Of course my parents are my role models. I couldn’t tell you where I would be in life if it weren’t for their love and support. I don’t have any siblings, so I look to my uncles and aunts as my mentors. I’m really close with all of them and they’ve always help guide me in the right direction. There are also a few industry folks I look up to as a mentor. One I’d like to mention by the name of James Hunter. I’ve worked with James on numerous commercials, a couple of films and a TV pilot. There are a lot of great things I could say about James. His hard work and dedication to this craft inspires me. I definitely look to him for advice and take his feedback to heart at all times.

Any upcoming projects you would like to discuss?

Right now I have a few projects in the works. I was recently casted as Detective Justin Barnes in a film called “Rose Lodge” that’s being shot by 10th Voyage Studios. That’s going to be a very fun film to work on. I’ve worked with some of the cast and crew before, so I know it’s going to turn out great! I’m also shooting a cool web-series called “Technopolis” in which I play Agent Shadow. If you like action, guns, explosions and fighting then you will love this web-series that will be coming out soon. You can check out the teaser trailer at http://vimeo.com/46294422. We are still currently shooting episodes of the comedy TV Pilot “I’m So Fly”. I play a young (not so fly) man named Darryl. This show can be said to be the new age Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It’s definitely something the entire family can sit back and watch. This show has extreme potential and you can check out the teaser of episode number two at www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz7jweHomXQ&feature=player_embedded. There are a couple of other fun projects I can’t really speak on now, so you will have to wait and see those.

What are your leisure time activities?

I have recently started doing Martial Arts, so that on top of my weight training I do every week is what I enjoy doing most on my leisure time. I feel it’s very important not only as an actor, but as a human being to take care of yourself physically. Working out and staying in shape is definitely a priority of mine. Being healthy is lifestyle for me. Of course I also love watching movies and hanging out as well.

Thank you.

Feel free to go to www.roywilliamsjr.com  to keep up with Roy Williams Jr’s journey in the world of acting and modeling.

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