Sure. He’s undeniably sexy. And anything he stars in, woman flock to theaters in droves. But there’s more to Boris Kodjoe’s swagger than meets the eye. For one, we found that the German-born actor and former model is a wonderful father and hopelessly devoted husband—which of course makes him all the more irresistible. Plus, we love how he’s traded in the tabloid-driven LA lifestyle that some Hollywood couples thrive upon, for a more family-friendly environment down South. We recently sat down with Boris and listened as he opened up about life, love, his career and his newfound invincibility.
Clutch: How have you been . . . how are things going?
Boris: Things are great. I’m in LA right now. I have a little break from this movie I’m shooting in Atlanta, but I’m going back next week. I’m also working on a movie for Disney with Bruce Willis called The Surrogate. It’s a sort of a futuristic take on cloning, surrogates, and a murder happens and we investigate it.
Clutch: Wow, that sounds interesting! Now, you also have a new movie coming out, All About Us, which boasts a knockout cast (Morgan Freeman, Ruby Dee, LaTanya Richardson Jackson). Tell us about it.
Boris: It’s a true story about a couple who are both filmmakers in Hollywood, who become disillusioned with the politics of the industry and the roadblocks they constantly encounter on their way to realizing their dream of being successful filmmakers. They travel all the way to Mississippi to find Morgan Freeman and persuade him to be in their movie. While on the road, they answer questions that have gone unanswered about what’s important in their life; what their priorities are and where family falls within the whole system of being successful. It’s a very interesting movie. I was attracted to it because it was a role that I usually donÂ¢t get offered. I loved the passion Christine and Michael Swanson had for their script, and I wanted to be part of their journey. It was a true labor of love and teamwork was essential. The experience left me high on life and on family, and clear about one thing: When you put family first, the happiness that comes from that makes everything else fall into place.
Clutch: How was it working with such an amazing group of seasoned actors?
Boris: Well, Morgan Freeman made a cameo appearance, so I didn’t get to work with him at all actually. But, Ruby Dee, obviously is a legend on the screen. The energy on the set was just amazing. She’s just so wise, and talking to her and being in her presence was such an honor to me and everybody else as well. It was something I will never forget; it was truly an amazing experience.
Clutch: Since the movie is essentially about family, let’s talk about that. You and your wife (Nicole Ari Parker) are the proud parents of two beautiful children (Sophie, 3 and Nicolas, 1). What has fatherhood been like for you?
Boris: It’s absolutely amazing. It’s turned my life upside down. I could have never imagined it having such an impact, but it’s been the best experience of my life. It’s amazing every day. When you see those little people grow up and you start to notice little things in their personalities that remind you of yourself and your wife. They’ve taught me so much about myself and what’s truly important in life. Children give you invincibility in a way. Because all of a sudden, everything else becomes so unimportant and falls by the wayside. It makes you very relaxed about everything else. It takes the pressure off, but at the same time, it gives you a newfound purpose. It’s funny because we’re always talking about how we never remember what we were doing before kids. There was really no purpose in doing what we were doing, until we had children.
Clutch: Is it difficult juggling your home life with your hectic work schedule?
Boris: It’s a challenge; it’s harder sometimes than others. But I have an amazing wife who is on the same page when it comes to family. We decided that family comes first and that everything else comes second. So once you make that choice, it becomes a little easier because you’ve stripped yourself of those anxieties of not being in LA so much or not getting a certain job. All that stuff becomes unimportant very quickly. Once you embrace family and your kids and marriage, that becomes the nucleus of your life. Everything else happens sort of by itself. Everything falls into place.
Clutch: Are you shooting throughout the summer? Are there any Kodjoe family vacations coming up soon?
Boris: Right now my wife is shooting in LA so we’re here with her. We’ll probably go to Boston where I filmed another movie, and we’re going to spend a bunch of time in Atlanta—where our main residence is. That’s always family time when we’re back in Atlanta. It’s all about the kids and us. It’s peaceful and you get to exhale and do one thing every day. Everything is constantly about family.
Clutch: Is that the reason why you two decided to make Atlanta home, as opposed to LA or NYC?
Boris: Absolutely. I mean, LA is a very convenient place in terms of working, but that’s about it. It’s not a very appropriate place to raise kids. There are a lot of influences that you want to keep away from your kids and it’s not a very healthy environment. Atlanta is much better that way. There are great schools, playgrounds, there’s the [Georgia] Aquarium; there’s so much to do on all kinds of levels. And Atlanta’s very central, since our families are in Baltimore. They get to see the kids more often than when we’re in LA. And you know Atlanta is now an emerging force in film. There are all these great tax incentives, so you’re going to see more and more production taking place in Atlanta.
>Clutch: You and Nicole have starred alongside each other quite a few times. Will fans get a chance to see more of you acting together in projects?
Boris: Yeah. We’re in talks about staring in a stage play together. That’s another thing we haven’t explored together yet. We love working together; it’s always a lot of fun. I know she makes me better, so that’s always something I look forward to. You know, we don’t try to stay away from each other. We embrace those times . . . but also there are times when we’re forced to go our own individual ways in terms of work and working with other people.
Clutch: Besides acting, what are some other passions that you have?
Boris: Well, besides my wife and my kids, my passions are really multifaceted. I love to travel and getting to know different cultures and exposing my kids to that. I’m still an athlete at heart. I play golf; I do a lot of physical activity because it sort of keeps my mind clear. And I have a couple businesses that I run, which brings out the entrepreneurial spirit in me. I have a bunch of other things that I’m doing. You know, every day is filled with passion. Every day I get up, I’m blessed to be there.
Clutch: Lastly, let the fans know where all they can see next?
Boris: Well, like I said, All About Us is coming out July 1 in video stores. Check it out, because it’s a great, great movie! The Bruce Willis movie (The Surrogates) comes out next year. I have another movie coming out on DVD, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder. I think that hits mid-July. And everything else, we’ll keep you posted!