It’s Wednesday night and I’ve got my three best girlfriends over for a little R & R. I pour four glasses of wine, place them on my crystal serving tray, and walk towards the living room where the girls are eagerly waiting.
“Alright now! Tonight, is the night and I can’t miss a single episode of ‘Sistas,’ especially since they added that sexy ass cowboy!”, I hear someone exclaim as I approach the group.
“Oh girl, you talking about white chocolate?! You are so right! He is too fine!”, another girlfriend adds as they high-five in agreement.
“His name is Trinity Whiteside,” I say coyly as I make myself comfortable on the sofa.
“Wait. A sexy, white chocolate cowboy? Did I miss something?”, the third girlfriend asks in confusion.
“YES!”, the three of us shout in unison as we collapse into one another and guffaw.
“Well excuse me,” she laughs as she asks “Who is Trinity Whiteside?”
. . .
Black Cinema Now had a chance to catch up with Trinity for a nice chat and I was privileged enough to learn a few things about his success, his journey, and even his family life! There is far more to Trinity Whiteside than meets the eye.
BCN: “So, Trinity, let’s talk a little about some of the things you’ve learned about yourself as someone who is relatively new to the industry.”
Trinity Whiteside: “That I’m highly adaptable.”, he answers confidently in the deep-toned, natural rasp that ladies seem to love. “Going from filming Season 1 to filming Season 2 [of ‘Sistas] the way that we did- under those circumstances [with Covid-19 being a pandemic] and just my ability to adapt to different situations, environments, and circumstances. We were some of the first few people to start filming again from start to finish once the pandemic began and it went a whole lot smoother than I thought it would.”
BCN: “Thank you for sharing that! Being highly adaptable is KEY for your industry. Now Trinity, a lot of friends, or people in general have seen your recent rise to success and some of those people may feel like it came out of nowhere. But you know that you've done the hard work required to get to where you are today!”
BCN continued: “Do you have any advice for people who also want to pursue acting but may think maybe it's too late for me? I'm too old, or I can't start at this point. What kind of advice or tips do you have for those folks?”
TW: “Just do not put any time constraints on yourself. I mean, you never know when your big break could happen. You could start today and get a big break tomorrow. You just might get your big break ten years from now but if you don't put any time constraints on yourself, -don't worry about ‘Okay, I'm going to give myself this amount of time or I'm going to give myself that amount of time’ and just pursue your dream and let the chips fall where that may; I feel you’ll have a better chance of succeeding. You could have had 99 “No’s” in your career right now but If you give up today, you'll never know if tomorrow would have brought that one “Yes”, you needed to make it to the next level.”
BCN: Wow! That’s really good and that’s so true!
BCN: “So, let's get into your role as Preston in Tyler Perry's ‘Sistas’. You star as Danni’s love interest, opposite of Mignon Von. Your scenes with her tend to bring out the funny moments that we all love anticipate from Danni’s character. What was it like filming those scenes with her? Especially those scenes where you have to be a little bit more romantic and show that side of you? What was it like filming with someone who is usually just so hilarious?”
TW: “All of our scenes together are tremendous. Me and Mignon, (well not just me and Mignon, but me and the entire cast), have a bond that we don't consider a friendship. We consider ourselves family because that's how we treat each other. It really, really is. There's a comfort level to everyone's relationship within the cast. It makes it feel like family so it makes it easier to do those kinds of scenes because they kind of feel natural; like they come from a from a place of love already.”
BCN: “That’s amazing how you all were able to form that kind of bond from what on the outside looking in, appears to be so quickly but I know you all spend a tremendous amount of time filming together.”
BCN continued: “Well, you and Danni play an interracial couple. As a biracial actor, (something most people may not look at you and automatically see) did you ever think about how you would be perceived on this show, working with an all-black cast?”
Trinity pauses for a moment, and carefully considers his answer before continuing.
TW: “Honestly, I've never worried about if there would be concern about how I would be perceived. The greatest challenge for me was actually portraying someone who is white because me being biracial, I kind of always told people that
"What I Lack in Melanin, I Make Up for In Soul"
because the only thing about me, (and this is just me speaking from my personal experience) that is Caucasian is some of my appearance. You know- my skin tone, hair, and things of that nature. Because internally, I live my life 100% as an African American male. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am biracial and that I don't appear African American to everyone.”
TW continued: “Portraying someone who is 100% Caucasian, kind of let me know that I feel like I could play any role because that is someone or something that I'm not or that I haven’t lived as and Preston and I are polar opposites.”
BCN: “That that is very raw, very honest so I certainly appreciate you for sharing that with us. Wow! I love what you said about ‘what I lack in melanin, I make up for in soul.’ - I love that so much.”
BCN continued: “In a recent episode of ‘Sistas’, Preston revealed to Danni that he actually grew up in a racist family, but that never changed his own views. Do you think your character rightfully represents people who think in that same way?”
TW: “I do. There are those individuals who are not particularly racist but that they have racist family members or their family members were married to people who are racists and things of that nature. But I just feel like with this situation and hopefully with what we show on screen, people will learn. You know, you take the individual for just that- the individual; not where they come from and who they're related to. You're not in the relationship with the family. You're in a relationship with the individual.”
BCN: “Such wise words Trinity! Now, how did it feel making history with the ‘Sistas’ cast being one of the first shows returning to shoot at Tyler Perry Studios during the pandemic?”
TW: “Oh, man, it's such an honor to be a part of something historic. You know me and the cast have had this conversation many times. I don't think everyone realizes or recognizes just how historic this moment is. To pull it off and for it to be put together by a black man- Tyler Perry, who goes above and beyond everything he does, regardless of if it's for the actors or if it's the lighting or makeup and hair, or catering; it doesn't matter. He goes above and beyond for everyone. People always ask me, “Is Tyler Perry really that good of a person?” And my response is, always “No, he's actually better than you think he is!”, because it's coming from a place that’s genuine.”
BCN: “Wow, that is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with us, truly! Now, Trinity, ‘Sistas’ is not your first Tyler Perry production. Can you please talk a little bit about your first major project with the icon and what it has been like working for the entertainment mogul?”
TW: “Oh, man. So, the first thing that I worked on with Tyler Perry [and the first time I met him] was “Nobody’s Fool” starring Tiffany Haddish and Tika Sumpter and I was actually working as a featured extra on this film. And I remember the first day coming in and while they were setting up scenes I happen to notice Mr. Perry and I caught Mr. Perry’s eye so he called me over and he introduced himself (as if he needed introduction) and I introduced myself and we begin to dialogue a little bit. They put me in this scene and that scene and the other. And so now I'm noticing that I'm being put in a lot more scenes than any of the other extras you know. The PA’s were saying “They really like you! They really like you!” And from there we end up, you know, building a friendship and things just kind of went from there.”
BCN: “Wow, that is amazing; That you would show up as an extra and then Tyler Perry himself would notice you and point you out?”
TW: “Honestly, you know from where I was to where I am now- a lot of that credit goes to Tyler and his eye for talent.
People Don't Realize How Many Careers Tyler Perry is Actually Responsible for Right Now and I am Definitely One of Those.”
BCN: “That's a blessing! That truly is a blessing. So now Trinity, we did a little bit of research and we found out that you are actually very creative. We would love it if you would just talk a little about some of those creative skills and also what you've been doing to stay busy between filming and in your downtime.”
TW: “Oh, yeah? Well, speaking to the creative aspect, I do like to draw and I've always been drawn to the arts -whether its theatrical, artistic, visual, illustration, and things of that nature ever since elementary school. I was actually recruited by North Carolina School of the Arts because I used to draw in class a lot more than I should, and sometimes it got me in trouble. But what it did was, it got me discovered by some of my teachers and they sent some of my artwork to North Carolina School of the Arts and they recruited me throughout elementary school but I never went because I didn't want to leave my hometown, my family, friends, and the connections I had built. But illustration, writing, and poetry have always been a part of me so I’m always creating. Even if I've never put pencil to paper, I always tell my wife, from the time my eyes open to the time they are closed, I'm always creating within my mind.”
BCN: “That Is just beautiful Trinity and your art certainly speaks for itself!”
TW: “Thanks so much.”
BCN continued: “Going back to the last part of the question, what do you like to do to stay busy in between filming?”
TW: “Oh, well, I am married and I do have three children so that keeps me plenty busy. I’ve got an older son who is preparing to go to college so right now we're doing all the college applications and things of that nature. But individually, I'm auditioning, I'm studying. I'm trying to perfect my craft. I'm always in the gym-that’s a must! You know? At least six days a week.”
BCN: “Okay! I like that! I really love some of these gems that you've been dropping too. You've honestly been giving some great advice this whole time.”
BCN continued: “So you mentioned being married. Now again, just kind of going back to you being relatively new [to the industry], what has it been like for you and your wife handling you now being this sex symbol on TV? I mean, all the ladies love you!”
Trinity laughs before graciously continuing.
TW: “I appreciate the admiration. For people to admire you that much is truly a blessing and my wife is completely understanding of what all this career entails and she's completely confident in me and so it's just kind of taking it all in stride. I mean, we're 18 years in so we kind of got this thing down pat!”
BCN: “All right! That's honest! I love that. So, she's your support system, you know? She supports you along the way.”
TW: “Oh absolutely.”
BCN: “Awesome. So just looking at your Instagram and just kind of getting a little bit more acclimated with you as a person, we could tell that having that strong family dynamic is very important to you.”
BCN continued: “What has it been like for your family? For your children to now see you on TV and in movies?”
TW: “With the children- it doesn’t impress them at all!”, Trinity laughs. “I’m just their father. As far as my wife goes, none of this would have happened without her.
TW continued: “I always tell people that men are only capable to a certain extent, and it takes the right woman to push them beyond their own individual boundary. And that is exactly what I have. And I definitely don't believe I would be where I am without her pushing me beyond what I was capable of doing on my own.”
BCN: “Whoooo Trinity, you need to teach a Master class! These men need to receive this conversation!”, I say jokingly as we share a laugh. “I mean, just so many great gems that you're dropping! So again, thank you for being so transparent and honest with us this evening!”
TW: “Thank you all so much.”
BCN: “Trinity, before we let you go- you have to remind us one more time when and where we can watch you on Tyler Perry’s, “Sistas?”
TW: “All right! Look, you can catch me and the rest of the incredibly wonderful, talented cast of Tyler Perry’s “Sistas” Wednesday nights, 9/8 central on BET.”
Written By: Neonna Mincey
Also, Check out our live interview below with Trinity White!