SAG ACTOR WINNER AND HIT COMEDIAN CREATES TV GAME SHOW AND HOSTS UPCOMING FILM FESTIVAL
HIT ACTOR FROM 30 ROCK LAUNCHES TV SHOW AND WILL BE SEEN THIS SUMMER IN LONG ISLAND AT UPCOMING FILM FESTIVAL
Kevin Brown aka Dot Com was a winner of the 15th annual Screen Actors Guild Award — AKA SAG — for his portrayal of ‘Dot Com’ for seven seasons opposite Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan in NBC's hit television series ‘30 ROCK’. Brown also played a Bodyguard, best friend and right hand of the eccentric Tracy Jordan portrayed by himself. He was part of the entourage ‘Grizz and Dot Com’ that won the hearts of millions of viewers.
Twenty years ago Brown and his brother Andre created and produced ‘The Uptown Comedy Club’ television show for four seasons on the FOX Five Network. Amongst the national success in the 80’s and 90’s from the show, he managed and taught some of the most successful comedians — JB Smoove ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, Flex Alexander UPN’s ‘One on One’ and Tracy Morgan ‘Saturday Night Live’ and NBC's ‘30 Rock’, to name a few. From transitioning from actor to comedian, he appeared on ‘Late Night with Conan O'Brien’, 'Nick Jr. ‘Nick Moms at Night’, NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing’, and ‘BET’s Comic View’.
From studying for acting at the T. Schreiber Studio, he appeared in Sara Jessica Parker’s blockbusters ‘Did You Hear About The Morgans?’ and ‘Sex in the City Part 2’. He was in an episode of Castle, “Royal Pains” on USA TNT, and landed in a scene with Leo Dicaprio in ‘The Departed’, ‘Lucky Number Slevin’, 50 Cents ‘Get Rich Or Die Trying’, Lindsay Lohan's ‘Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen’, and ‘Delirious’ starring Steve Buscemi.
For those of you that don’t know, Brown is also a Certified Black Belt in the martial arts, highly skilled in the Judo & Wolfox Karate disciplines. He starred in the DVD for martial arts epic titled, ‘The Empty Hands’ which featured the skills of some of the hottest practitioners and champions in the USA.
We are both pleased and honored to have a quick moment with him and get some inside scoop on what is going on with him.
- Mary Swanson
NIE: Thank you for taking your time and having this interview with us. Congratulations on your original concept game show called Spades Fest TV. What can you tell us about this project? And what made you come with up with the idea?
Kevin Brown: His response is through the video below:
NIE: How was your experience working on 84 episodes of the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning hit television show 30 Rock with co-stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan? What was your most memorable time on set? And which episode you starred in was your favorite?
Kevin Brown: Being on 30 Rock changed my life. And to dismiss a myth, Tracy Morgan did not get me the part as many people think. I turned down going to an interview for the role several times. After being asked nicely by a colleague to go as a favor, I went on the interview. And the rest is history.
As the show was ending, I went into Lorne Michaels' office to thank him for the opportunity to be a part of the show. It was the most extended conversation he and I ever had. Michaels said to me, "30 Rock made you ready as an actor".
Most memorable time on set- When Tracy Morgan was out sick, I got the role of Tina Fey's boyfriend, Mike Dexter. Mike Dexter was Tina's hipster gay cop roommate. The first two takes when he hit me; I didn't get it right. I told Tina I'm going to get it right. Tina said to me, "I know you will Dot Com," it gave me so much confidence. The third take, I got it right, and I believe that scene got the biggest laugh in 30 Rock history. (reference 30 Rock, Sun Tea, Season 4, Episode 6)
Favorite episode- 30 Rock Ep 210 during the writer's strike. We had a choreographer teach us the moves as we sang the lyrics as back-up to" Midnight Train to Georgia." I got the opportunity to rub shoulders with Gladys Knight.
NIE: Congratulations on your Screen Actors Guild Award for your portrayal of ‘Dot Com’ on the show. How was it receiving such an honor and what opportunities were made available to you because of such an achievement?
Kevin Brown: Not sure how many people know I won that award. I can’t walk around with it on my neck. I want to take it everywhere, so people know I got it. I don’t see anyone else doing something like that; I guess it is a class thing. Winning it is an on-going internal struggle for me.
NIE: You recently starred in ‘An Interview With A Hit-Man? Tell us all about the project, your role and when will the film be released?
Kevin Brown: ‘Interview With a Hitman’ is my second Fred Carpenter film. I am so excited to have been selected to play the role.
Independent projects tend to put me in characters other than a bouncer, bodyguard, etc.
I did a cameo in Ocean’s 8 and guess what role I had? You guessed it a bodyguard/bouncer officially labeled Gala Great Hall Security Guard.
“Do unto others the way you want to be treated, the golden rule.”
- Kevin Brown
NIE: What does this film mean to you and how has this role changed you? Impacted you?
Kevin Brown: ‘Interview with A Hitman’ has a twist to it, and it is my second Fred Carpenter movie. The first was Honor Amongst Men.
I feel lucky not to be typecast, as I continue to grow in my acting. I loved the role. I characterize my l relationship with Fred Carpenter as unique and feel it is making some great moves. Our relationship reminds me of the Spike Lee/Denzel Washington relationship.
NIE: You created and produced ‘The Uptown Comedy Club’ on the Fox Five Network for four seasons. What can you tell us about that journey of that entire project? As well as managing some of the most successful comedians like JB Smoove, Flex Alexander, and Tracy Morgan?
Kevin Brown: That chapter in my life is a blessing and a curse. Yeah, the benefit was that quite a few Comedians became hugely successful. The curse was our not meeting our mark of working together as an alliance. Our goal/mark was to elevate the game, not individuals. I am disappointed we didn’t accomplish raising the game.
NIE: What started the process of going from a comedian to an actor? Where did the desire to be an actor stem from?
Kevin Brown: Because I was a manager of Comedians, I learned from mistakes we all made. You will never be a star on your Stand-up alone. It has to be stand-up, and other skills have to be attached to do something else. Stand-up Comedians need to add to their arsenal acting and writing skills and Improv.
The stand-up game is saturated, lowering the bar. A stand-up Comedian has to ascend out of muck and mire and be willing to be part of a great movie, a great tv show and write and produce an excellent vehicle for yourself.
NIE: What process and techniques do you use to get into your characters? What role(s) have been the most challenging for you, and why?
Kevin Brown: I have done the lead in theater and other challenging roles. I was recently in another Fred Carpenter’s movie, Honor Amongst Men. I played a troubled young man who did not take his medicine. I dug deep to execute the mental breakdown. I grew my beard for two years preparing for this role. It was challenging and rewarding!
NIE: What do you personally take out of a role and what impact does it have on you?
Kevin Brown: It is not always easy to put the impact in words; it depends to a degree on how much your personal and professional lives collide. But each role helps to define you in some way and on some level.
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NIE: How do you prepare yourself before a scene? And how do you overcome your nerves? What helps you perform to the best of your ability?
Kevin Brown: I don't have nerves. Once you perform in front of a group of drunks and survive, it hardens you. The same thing surviving a group of college kids who don't care why you are on stage telling jokes, acting becomes easy.
“Tina Fey's advice is "to be fearless." I will pay that forward.”
- Kevin Brown
NIE: What would you say is the biggest asset for any actor in the industry to achieve?
Kevin Brown: The biggest asset would be a family that genuinely loves them. Kids that love them significant ones that love them unconditionally. To have your family pulling for you and cheering you on is so valuable to your success.
NIE: What are some of your secret tips that help you in this industry to keep grounded and focused?
Kevin Brown: I’m not grounded at all.
NIE: You also have produced several projects. What you can tell us about being behind the camera? And how is being an actor helped your position as a producer?
Kevin Brown: Directors can be assholes, and I have never enjoyed working with one that is/was an asshole. My mantra is to not be an asshole to others. Do unto others the way you want to be treated, the golden rule.
NIE: Who inspires you?
Kevin Brown: In the beginning, my oldest daughter was my inspiration until she reached a certain age. My muse has changed as I have gone through various phases. Currently, my muse is paying my bills.
NIE: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to pursue a career in the field?
Kevin Brown: Tina Fey's advice is "to be fearless." I will pay that forward.
NIE: What are the most impactful words of wisdom someone told you and who was it?
Kevin Brown: Approximately 35 years ago, I commented to Donald Faison’s uncle about not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He responded to me; You can’t see it because you are the light at the end of the tunnel. I never forgot that comment he made to me.
NIE: What are three things you would say to your younger self that you know now?
Kevin Brown: Don’t get married . Have the baby. Have the baby anyway and don’t get married.
NIE: What’s next for you?
Kevin Brown: Finishing my book Entreprehood and touring the country with it.
Fred Carpenter’s, Interview with the Hitman, will be premiering at LIIFE on Sunday, July 14 at 6:30 pm at the Bellmore Movies.