Growing up, Lance Gross was a shy young man. Whenever he would tell people he wanted to become an actor, they would laugh and say that he was too shy to act.
“People telling me I can’t do something is the best drive for me,” said the 28-year-old actor who says that he has always admired actors such as Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, and Forest Whitaker.
When Gross read the script for Our Family Wedding, he said that not only was he excited about being in writer/director Rick Famuyiwa’s latest film, but that he is also ecstatic about playing the son of Whitaker, with whom he said he bonded at a Los Angeles Lakers game. Gross said that two of his favorite films, Brown Sugar and The Wood were directed by Famuyiwa.
In Our Family Wedding, Gross plays groom-to-be Marcus, engaged to a Latina named Lucia, played by America Ferrera.
The “Ugly Betty” star said about Gross, “He is a really great guy and fun to work with…. I think he uses that smile a lot to get himself out of trouble!”
One of the themes of Our Family Wedding is “Our marriage, their wedding.” Both Marcus and Lucia’s parents are paying for the wedding and have taken over the planning of the union.
At the time of this interview, Gross, and his now ex-fiance Eva Marcille, were in the process of planning their own wedding; however, Gross tweeted on his Twitter account last week, that the rumors citing their amicable break up are true, according to the New York Daily News.
This comes after Gross was gushing about his impending nuptials on the “Wendy Williams Show” a few weeks ago, while promoting Our Family Wedding.
As a 2004 Howard University graduate, Gross was on a track-and-field scholarship, but majored in film production and minored in acting. After four years performing in both of his passions, track and acting, Gross chose to be an actor. It’s a decision he does not regret.
“I made a great decision; it’s going well for me. I’ve always wanted to be in entertainment,” he said.
Although Gross said he is looking forward to also directing, writing, and producing, he is steadfastly focused on his career as an actor, and auditioning for as many roles as he possibly can.
Currently, Gross can be seen on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” as Calvin, the son of cantankerous Archie Bunker-like Curtis (played by LaVann Davis), a retired fire chief. When asked about the new season of the show, Gross mentioned that Calvin would be transitioning into being a grown man and being more family oriented — which could translate into Calvin moving back in with estranged wife Miranda (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and becoming a father; again.
In addition to his role in Our Family Wedding, Gross said that he is in talks with Fox Searchlight for a David E. Talbert film. With his acting career on the rise, Gross is on the track to becoming the next “It Boy” in Hollywood. In addition to perfecting his craft, Gross said he loves to travel and that Miami’s Wet Willies in South Beach is one of his favorite places to visit.
“I’m watching Tyler Perry really closely and taking all of the advice I can get,” said Gross. In the near future, he’s hoping to write an episode for this season’s “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.”
Photo: Lance Gross