Welcome to COSIGN, where I’ll present a group of fresh and invigorating talent that does more than just add to the conversation of who’s next, they advance it! There’s something intangible they possess. It’s more than just hustle. This collective group simmer on the edge of fame and notoriety not only because of their skill and ambition, but because they did more than just wish on a star.
With his sun kissed brown skin and boyish good looks, it’s easy to assume Eric West is an L.A. kid, but don’t be fooled, he’s a Brooklyn boy! The 29-year-old nephew of Motown legend Smokey Robinson has been swaggin’ on the competition for a while. Crowned as one of Cosmopolitan’s hot actors of 2013, and Conde Nast style innovator of 2012, it’s safe to say fashion has found a more stylish Mr. West.
The entertainer has been singing and acting throughout his childhood, but his God-given star power is just beginning to bloom. With upcoming roles in “Smash” and “Law & Order” West is showing he can stand on his own two, while multitasking humility, a lesson other Hollywood acts could stand to learn. The Bed-Stuy native shot the breeze with COSIGN to talk about it all, music, movies and his old boo Myeshia, but most importantly, he shows talent definitely runs in the family.
What influenced your decision to go into entertainment?
It was watching “Soul Train” and attending a Janet Jackson concert. My brother and I watched “Soul Train” every Saturday morning, and I said that’s what I want to do. I was 10 or 11 years old when I went saw Janet Jackson and I remember from the time she got on stage to the time she ended the show, which could’ve been two-and-a half hours, no one ever sat down for the entire concert, even during her ballads. People were freaking out from start to finish and I want people to have that response to me one day.
A lot of big name celebs have made a stop at “Law & Order” and you recently filmed an episode. What was that experience like?
It was great. I can’t talk too much about it, but I tell everyone this: We were filming and Ice-T was trying to do a scene outside. I was supposed to walk on maybe 20 or 30 seconds later. Then some drunk guy stumbles onto set. I don’t know how he didn’t see the camera and crew, but he sees Ice-T and he’s like ‘Yo, Ice-T.What up, son? I love that show you have with Coco. Where’s that bitch at?’ This is all happening with him trying to get through his lines with the cameras around. It’s one of those moments you can’t even make up.
You recently filmed an episode on “Smash” What’s your role on the show?
I came on for one episode and they loved me and had me come back. I came onto be Jennifer Hudson’s friend in the second episode. That show is just fun. I think that was one of the few times I got to learn more than I ever learned just by watching the director Michael Morris. He’s really good at directing, to say the least.
How was working with J-Hud?
I love her! She’s such a huge star. She’s an Oscar winner. Day one on set, when I first saw her, she seemed very much to herself. I didn’t know if I should talk to her beforehand because you never know with people in this business, but she’s completely the opposite She’s not a diva at all. She’s just down to earth and cool.
Let’s talk about your musical side. Are you working on an album now?
Yes. I’m not signed to any record label, but I’ve been talking to everyone. It’s such a blessing. I want to start doing the project on my own. I know the vision for my music and I think it would be easier for me to just do it myself and then take it to them instead of signing a deal and lose creative control, because then it’s not fun.
Have you ever sang to a girl?
Yeah, my ex-girlfriend. Myeshia. That’s her name. I remember the song. Oh man, you’re bringing me back to old days. [LAUGHS]
Tell me about this new movie you’re working on with Tristan Wilds. Indelible Where was it shot?
It was shot in Brooklyn. It’s a good independent raw film. It’s funny because Tristan shot the film six or seven years ago and it just sat around. Then he got on “90210” and there was a huge interest in the film, so it got re-shot and I got cast. [Tristan's character] is dying from an unknown disease and that’s what the film is about, trying to find that cure. I’m a male nurse in the movie and I have a huge part in finding this cure that will save him.
Last question: what advice did you get from your uncle?
To stay humble. Fame is not what you think it is. I’ve met so many other celebrities and I’ve even had friends who weren’t famous and are now famous and you can see the change because they think they are more than what they are. So I try to remember that at the end of the day when you go home I’m still Eric Rosa, not Eric West. I remember to stay humble and grounded because it can all be gone tomorrow.
Photo Credit: Tarik Carrol