BY DEV GILLESPIE
New Orleans native Nicoye Banks is a definitely making a name for himself as an up and coming actor in television and film. Nicoye had a strong passion for acting and he knew exactly what his calling was at the young age of 12. As a child Nicoye participated in competitive Speech and Forensic competition which gave him a humble confidence and helped him master the art of words. After earning a remarkable role in George C. Wolf’s theater “Colored Museum” and his first film “Heart of Stone”, Nicoye decided to expand his dreams as an actor and moved to New York for a new beginning. Studying at Gene Frankel Theater, incredible new roles started coming Nicoye’s way in television and theater. “A Hateful of Rain”, “Zooman and The Sign”, “Death of A Salesman”, “Law&Order,” and a recurring role on ABC’s “One Life to Live” to name a few.
Continuous hard work and dedication continued to drive Nicoye to new places in his career. Major motion pictures were sure to come Nicoye’s way. It was inevitable. Along side Blair Underwood in the film “G”, Nicoye played the energetic and unforgettable character B Mo Smoov and the film “Invincible” shortly followed with Mark Wahlberg. Nicoye has also played in other major motion pictures such as; “Pride and Glory” and two of America’s best selling films of the year “Brooklyn’s Finest”(Wesley Snipes, Don Cheadle) and “Green Zone (Matt Damon). After speaking with Nicoye it was obvious that he is very excited about his last two movies that premiered within a next of each other this year, “Brooklyn’s Finest” and “Green Zone”. Both films give Nicoye a different viewing audience and we can’t wait to see how this may expand his fans base and further opportunities. As a father, actor, and member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Nicoye is definitely a man of many dimensions.
Interviewing Nicoye Banks was truly a pleasure. He is a really down to Earth, humble guy with a cool sense of humor. During our telephone interview there were a lot of sirens and commotion is the background, giving me the full effect of Brooklyn. If I wouldn’t have known any better I would have thought we were right in the middle of a scene from “Brooklyn’s Finest”. Nicoye shared with us a few music artists that he wouldn’t mind coming to check him out in “Brooklyn’s Finest” and “Green Zone”. Nicoye Banks is an artist on the rise and we also spoke about some artists whose career are on the rise also, Ms. Nicki Minaj, Lady GaGa, and Tyler Swift. Nicoye is someone to keep your eye on this year. He has a lot of talent and I’m sure he’ll take the world by storm soon enough. This year is all about fresh faces and Nicoye Banks is sure to be one of them.
Full Blast Magazine: Hey! How are you? First and foremost I want to thank you for talking to us today. We really appreciate it.
Nicoye Banks: I’m good. The pleasure is mine!
FBM: “Brooklyn’s Finest” is the #2 movie in America right now (March 2010) and you also have “Green Zone” coming out next week. How does it feel to be in a film that’s #2 in the country and then having another one premiering next week?
Nicoye: I feel important. I don’t feel like Obama or anything, but you know! Two weeks?! Boom, Boom! I’m not going to lie, I feel very excited. I’m very happy.
FBM: You play the character “Perry” in “Green Zone”. Tell us a little bit about him.
Nicoye: Sergeant Perry. We’re over in Iraq, it’s 2003. Matt Damon is the chief of the unit.
FBM: Did you have to do any physical training to prepare yourself for the role?
Nicoye: Not really, but I try to stay in half way decent shape year round. It’s a different kind of thing when you have packs on your back, the metal in the vest, and touting that gun. It gives you a different feel, but you get use to it after a while. And running around in those boots. Those boots weren’t the most comfortable.
FBM: This was your first time working with Matt Damon. How was it working with him?
Nicoye: It was like meeting your homeboy at the pool hall, you know? Matt is a real laid back kind of dude. He’s very approachable and easy going. He’s extremely smart. You can have a conversation with this dude about anything and everything. He’s going to have some stuff to say and not just opinions.
FBM: Shooting “Brooklyn’s Finest” I’m sure it was an honor to work with Wesley Snipes and Don Cheadle. Do you feel like you took anything from your experience working with them that you can use to further your career?
Nicoye: Absolutely. The way they navigated on set looked EFFORTLESS. They really focused on every single detail. Everything. The length of the cigarette. Does this make sense to happen as opposed to that? I mean everything. They were real subtle and quick. That’s the mark of a pro. That’s the mark of a seasoned vet.
FBM: I read that you love to do drama rolls. Are you doing theater now or are you focusing on more mainstream television/film?
Nicoye: Yeah. If I’m given an option I’m going to choose dramatic. I gotta let it out! I’m actually kind of funny contrary to popular belief. I wouldn’t mind doing comedy. I will always be attracted to the “Law&Order” and to those humble types of pieces that have drama and also have some funny stuff in it.
FBM: “Brooklyn’s Finest” and “The Green Zone” give you two different types of audiences, which is a really good thing. Do you think this will change your fan base and your career?
Nicoye: Yeah. You judge by the company you keep. That’s what my Grandma used to say and so far I’ve been keeping some really good company.
FBM: You know we are a music magazine so I want to ask you a few music related questions.
FBM: Which music artist would you have liked to come and check you out in “Brooklyn’s Finest” or in “The Green Zone”?
Nicoye: I defiantly want Lil Wayne he’s from the N.O. Jay-Z and 50 Cent I want him to see “Brooklyn’s Finest”. Kanye. Those are my top dogs.
FBM: Who has the hottest music out right now?
Nicoye: I gotta give it to Jay-Z. He gets it every time. He never disappoints. Wait are we talking in general or just hip-hop?
FBM: In general. Let’s keep it broad and diverse.
Nicoye: Okay. Whether or not I like the music I would say Taylor Swift. The Black Eye Peas. Jay-Z is quite relevant and on top. Those would be my quick picks. Oh and Beyonce, I can’t forget about “B”. She is quite relevant and quite the trend setter.
FBM: What about Lady GaGa?? How do you feel about her?
Nicoye: You know what, I was about to say her! She’s doing it! She took the whole Madonna thing and turned it. I love it. I’m a fan of that. I take my hat off to that.
FBM: One artist I would like your opinion on is Nicki Minaj. She’s from New York and she was underground for a minute and is just now starting to blow up. How do you feel about her and female rap?
Nicoye: You know, I’m glad you asked that because I just started paying attention to her. She stands to make some noise. She has mad crazy appearance. She comes off real strong. LOL. She comes off like the MOB. She fused a lot of styles into one. I want to hear her spit some content. If she knocks out content after content then you have to call her Queen. I’m itching to see if she does that.
FBM: Okay, we’ll be watching too! Have you ever thought about getting on the other side of the camera and maybe do some directing in the future?
Nicoye: I respect that. It’s a craft with in it’s self and I think I definitely could go into that. I’m starting to become more attracted to producing.
FBM: What words of advice would you give to young actors on the rise?
Nicoye: My advice would be strap up because it is a journey. It’s not enough that you get a gig. We have a responsibility. We have to really buckle up and take in the world. Read everything, not just the things you are attracted to because it will affect you. The more well rounded you can become as a person brings more to the role that you are playing. People enjoying to work with you and around you. Reputation is so important. It’s not enough to show up with your “sexy” on 10 and your “swagger” on 20. That’s why you see actors being recycled they way they are in certain directors movies.
FBM: That is really great advice for rising actors and I hope they hear you!