Laz Alonso, 38, traded a lucrative career on Wall Street as an investment banker for the Hollywood spotlight. Since then, he has never looked back and by taking a look at the Cuban actor – it’s no surprise why. We recently caught up with the talented actor about his role as FBI agent Will Moreno in NBC's new drama-crime series, Deception. Find out what he had to say about what fans can expect from this season, on visiting Cuba, being single and more!
Viewers were instantly hooked to your new show Deception! What do you love the most about playing your character?
I love that he isn’t defined by what he does for a living. The actions that define him as a person are more about his love for Meagan Good’s character. She’s the love of his life and he realizes it after he loses her. Even though he’s investigating this murder, in his mind he brought her into the situation to rekindle what they once had. He didn’t realize that what he was doing was handing her over to her first love. My character shows a lot of the emotions that we as men try to hide. As a man you aren’t encouraged to show a kick in your armor, but these are human feelings that everyone feels. On the show, you get to see this man dealing with all of these emotions for the world to see. That’s what I enjoy the most of playing Will.
What do you think makes this drama mystery stand out from the rest?
What makes it stand out is that they are seeing a combination of a crime mystery and real characters dealing with raw scenarios. They get to see this wealthy family and see that everything that glitters isn’t gold. On the outside they look perfect, but on the inside they have skeletons like everyone else has – or sometimes worse.
You went from becoming an investment banker to an actor. How did you family react to that career shift?
I kept my career change a secret from my family for a while. I didn’t want to hear any naysayers or get unnecessary negativity; not to say that they would have responded that way because I’m sure they would have been supportive, but it was more about showing them I could make it instead of just talking about it.
That’s a great strategy. How did it feel once they finally knew?
It felt great telling them, ‘Hey turn on the television,’ and have them be so surprised and excited for me. They didn’t know that that success came with many failed attempts, but celebrating that moment was priceless for me. The only one I told first was my mother and she was actually the one who advised me not to tell people until I had solidified my move into acting. Now she turns on every television in the house when my show is on! She’s very proud.
In a previous interview, you mentioned that you identify as a hybrid of both Latino and Black. How do you feel when people identify you as Afro-Cuban? What are your thoughts on the term?
I think people get too caught up with terms. I’m just Cuban. We come in every color of the rainbow and that’s a beautiful thing. Cuban is Cuban and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. We all have the same love and passion for our culture and to me those terms are silly.
Have you ever visited Cuba?
No, but I really want to go! I've always wanted to experience my cultural roots. My dad’s family is from Camaguey and my mom is from a town near Havana. I would love for my mom to travel out there with me. I need to take a trip out there soon.
As a single man, what do you look for in a woman?
I go based on how that person makes me feel. If they leave and I miss them and want to see them again soon, then my question is answered. I don’t have a checklist or anything like that. I look for a spiritual, emotional, and physical connection. If those things happen organically, then I’m in.
What can fans expect from your character as the season progresses?
The chase becomes more dangerous for everyone involved. Fans will find out who the killer is and leading up to that the stakes become much higher. My character becomes more aggressive and is more on edge. He starts losing his respect for protocol and becomes more invested in the case. The season is really going to go there.
Deception airs Monday nights at 10pm/9c on NBC.