Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Television Actor Mr. Reginald C. Hayes who was recently a victim of Adult Cyber Bullying. Mr. Hayes talks with us about how he handled the bullying and his thoughts on men being included in the “Size Acceptance” campaigns.
Mr. Hayes was born in Chicago, Illinois were he subsequently studied theater at Illinois State University and attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Theater. As a young actor in Chicago, he was a member of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Hayes has been featured in films such as Charlie’s Angels and Being John Malkovich. However, his most popular role was as attorney William Dent on the long-running UPN/CW show, Girlfriends. The role earned him three NAACP Image Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Hayes also guest starred on Will and Grace as a doctor. Hayes has appeared in the remake of The Twilight Zone (hosted by Forest Whitaker), in the episode “The Eye of the Beholder”, as a doctor.
J: Hello Mr. Hayes, thank you for taking the time to interview with us. I would like to start right off with the cyber bullying situation you recently went through. The Plus Model Community has been very vocal the past few years about “Size Acceptance”. When you hear the words “Size Acceptance”, do you think it includes Males as well?
Reginald Hayes: It should, Men are people too. It certainly hurt as much as it would have hurt any one else.
EJ: You was voted People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive in 2007, is that a crown that you feel you still hold and represent well?
Reginald Hayes: I think I’m cute, I’m not that sexy anymore. It was a great honor though, one I thought I would never get.
EJ: You recently experienced cyber bullying; but I really admire how you handled it. How do you get through something like that, and what would you tell others who are being bullied?
Reginald Hayes: Well, I figured the people that were bullying just wanted to upset me so the last thing I wanted to do was let them hurt me. I would be a liar if I said it didn’t hurt but it was the outpouring of love from true fans that made it easier to deal with. I got 3 times as much love as the bullying.
EJ: Ok lets move on to your extensive career in entertainment. Growing up in Chicago were there a lot of acting opportunities?
Reginald Hayes: I didn’t start acting in Chicago until after college. I did do a lot of theater in Chicago and a lot of Improv. There are a lot of opportunities out there, but you must work hard. I do miss Chicago and all my wonderful friends there.
EJ: What would you say was the moment you knew you would dedicate your life to an acting career?
Reginald Hayes: I studied acting in high school also and I’ve always been a clown. I had a wonderful teacher, Barbara Patterson, who told me that if I wanted to be an actor I should give myself the greatest chance and study theater in college. I enjoy it so much I knew there was nothing else for me and as of today it’s all I’ve ever done.
EJ: The show “Girlfriends” was a huge hit. How was it working with an all female cast?
Reginald Hayes: It felt natural. I have two older sisters, so I was used to the dynamic. It was easier for me. Most of my friends are women, even today. Believe me, it’s better to be the only man.
EJ: Do you still stay in touch with your former co-stars?
Reginald Hayes: No, sadly, our careers keep us busy. Jill Marie Jones is working in New Zealand. Persia White lives in Great Britain. I did, however, see Golden Brooks at the dentist not to long ago. Hopefully, we’ll be working together soon.
EJ: I see you recently shot a role as a judge, are you still doing television now or are you doing more film?
Reginald Hayes: Mostly TV. 70% of the work is on TV. However, I would love to get a movie going, if I could.
EJ: You are also into directing. Is that a passion, your next level or something you dabble in?
Reginald Hayes: That is very new and so much harder than acting. But I have few scripts I’m working on. Sometimes, you have to make things happen for yourself.
EJ: For new actors would you say that showing up and being an extra on set helps build a resume or is there a better way to pursue an acting career?
Reginald Hayes: Studying always helped me. Get into a good acting class in your town and have fun. Stay focused. Extra work can be fun too, being around people in the business can lead to other things.