With a successful career spanning more than two decades, RonReaco Lee remains modest and grounded as he gets ready to ride yet another wave of success with one of Tinseltown’s hottest movie makers.
Appearing in popular TV shows such as Sister, Sister, Moesha and Girlfriends and moving on to the big screen with movies Guess Who with Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, How I Spent My Summer Vacation and now Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail opening in theatres this month on February 20th, Lee remains humble and credits his success to his hustle and his mom. She put Lee in drama classes at the first hint of interest in acting. Lee was only in the second grade.
“I was fortunate to have a mom that saw my potential early on,” Lee said.
Congenial, energetic and speaking as though we were old friends, I find out that Lee’s no stranger to hard work. While many kids were tuning into their Saturday morning cartoons or planning a full day of sports at the park, Lee was spending his weekends traveling across town by bus to the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta to study acting from the age of 11 to 15. In addition to this, Lee attended performing arts school. This early training sparked his career.
“I showed an interest in acting at an early age and my mother kept me in it,” he said
Joining a stellar cast in Madea Goes to Jail (Keisha Knight Pulliam, Derek Luke and David Mann to name a few), Lee plays the role of Chuck, assistant district attorney and Derek Luke’s best friend. Pointing out the star performances of his cast mates, he also shares that one way he prepared for his role was by studying shows that dealt with court and crime, as well as the amazing way that Tyler Perry effortlessly goes from character to self, calling cut, and back again.
“A lot of actors have to stay in character, but not Tyler Perry,” reflected Lee.
When asked about the possibility of writing and creating his own movies, Lee says it’s something he definitely plans to pursue. “I hope to bring something new to comedy by writing stories I lived growing up in Atlanta,” he said. ” I have many friends with similar stories that deserve to be told. The community is thirsty for it, and we need to unite like minds and create projects we can really be proud of.”
“Acting is a profession like any other profession, so study your craft.”
When asked about the past controversy surrounding the concern of rappers being chosen for movie roles over “real” actors, it’s trivial and really of no concern to RonReaco Lee. “I’m not hating on anyone. However you can get the work, get the work! It makes you work a little harder. But when you get the part, make sure you represent!” Speaking of the game, Lee swears that if you want in, you must study your craft so you can be ready when opportunity knocks. Sometimes you only get one chance, Lee stated.
“Self-motivation, discipline, study and readiness are the tools to success.”