Bryshere Gray - Becoming Michael Bivins in "The New Edition Story"

January 16, 2017 - David Fahrenthold & Bryshere Gray 01/16/2017 Views: 13,774

Bryshere Gray talks about performing on the Philadelphia subway as a kid, and discusses his roles on the show "Empire" and in the miniseries "The New Edition Story." (4:43)

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Please welcome Bryshere Gray.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

-What's up, man? What's up?-Welcome. Welcome.

-Yeah!-Welcome, welcome.

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

-Yeah, yeah!-Take a seat, my friend.

I get to sit... I get to sitin a chair, man?

You get to sitin the chair, man.

I get to have you sittingin the chair.

-Thank you for being here.-Thank you for having me, man.

-Thank y'all.-I am a huge fan of Empire.

-I think a lot of people werefrom day one. -Word. Word up.

-Since season one, man.-Yeah, man. Yeah. -(cheering)

Thank y'all, thank y'all.

Yeah, we had...we had Timbaland on the show

-talking about it,but what fascinated me -Yes.

was finding about..finding out about your story.

-Absolutely. -You know,because on Empire, you play

-a spoiled brat. -Yeah. I'mnothing like that in real life.

Who has everything.The smile changes.

-It was like, you are like that.-Nothing.

No, no, but really,your story is one

that, you know is alltoo familiar for many people,

-Uh-huh. -but, you know,you don't look it in the show.

-Yeah.-You grew up in West Philly,

and you hada very different upbringing

-to the life you portray on TV.-Yes. Yeah, man.

I come from performingout on the street,

subway trains to now, you know,living my dreams on TV

in New Edition.

You know? So God is good,God is good.

(cheering, applause)

Can I... can I ask a question?

-Mm-hmm. -You know, wheneverpeople move up in life,

you know, a lot of people go,oh, I was... if I was a waiter,

now I tip waiters,if I was, you know...

-As a performer on the subway...-Hmm. I was a waiter, too.

-You were?-I worked at Pizza Hut.

I was flipping chicken.

♪ Mmm...

-(laughter)-That's how it was.

But what happened?What happened?

Uh, I got fired.


Wait. But why'd you get fired?

-Because... -How do youget fired from Pizza Hut?

Because I wasn't cookingthe chicken properly,

'cause I was writing raps.


So you were giving peopleSalmonella...

-Mixed with garlic.-in order to write...

in order to write raps.

Yeah, but do you go backin life?

Like, do you goand see subway performers now

-and tip extra? -Yeah.I go back home all the time.

-Yeah. -So seeingthe same people I grew up with,

you know, kind of still doingthe same thing is sad,

but, you know, I help them out,I give them advice,

and I bring them on set...when they're available.

-Yeah, you-you are...Yeah, no, no, -(cheering)

you have an amazing story,because...

-you're a young guy,and at the same time, -Uh-huh.

-you've really been...-My mom worked three jobs.

Yeah, and you've beenreally into giving back.

One of the most interestinginitiatives that I enjoyed was

you gave-- is it?--you gave thousands of bicycles

-Oh, yeah. -to kids in-in WestPhilly. What was that about?

I don't really wantto talk about it.

I feel like if you give back,you don't have to talk about it.

-(cheering, applause)-But look...

-But we already talked about it.-We already talked about it.

We already talked about it,so it's-it's...

Like, yeah,I gave away those bikes!

-Do you like me more?-I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Um, uh, Empire was huge for you.

Your first acting gig.Blew you up.

But now you arein The New Edition Story,

-and... I mean,-Yes. It's good.

a lot of people don't even know

that they're fansof New Edition.

Like, as soonas people hear the song,

I hear people all the time,you go, ♪ Candy girl...

and then people are like, "Oh, Ithought that was The Jackson 5,"

-and it's like, "No,it's New Edition." -Yes. Yes.

It's New Edition.You are in that story.

What did that mean to you?Because that's

-a very different characteryou're playing. -Yes.

The man is very important.When I first heard about it,

-Teasha Bivins wanted meto play the role. -Yeah.

And I was like, "Mom, they wantme to play in New Edition."

She was like,"So who you playing?" Right?

And I say... I say, "Ma,I'm playing Mr. Michael Bivins."

She said,"No! That was my baby!"



So, she said, "Make sureyou play my husband right,

or I'm-a come for you."

-That's f... Your mom?-Yes.

-That is hilarious.-My mom.

That is funny, man.

You are... you're in a role thata lot of people would covet,

because it's's a three-show special...

-three-night special.-A three-night special.

-Yeah.-24th, the 25th and 26th.

-Yeah, and...-January, y'all. Check it out.

And, I mean,the trailer looks phenomenal,

the music is phenomenal.

But you, you arejust on the up right now.

You know, like you were voted

one of the 25 artiststo look out for,

because you are, in facta rapper in real life as well.

You know,I try to do my thing, too.

-(laughter)-Where do we...

where do wesee you going from here?

What are your aspirations?What are your dreams?

Sky's the limit.Uh, we just got picked up

a fourth season for Empire.

-(cheering, applause)-Yes. Yes.

And New Edition as well, man.

I have another film coming out.

I'm playing an Olympictrack runner, uh, USA.

-Yeah. -Check that out.It's called Sprinter.

-So I'm in that, too. -Yo, man,you're doing big things.

-Thank you.-You're giving back.

-The people love you.-I love y'all.

-Thank you so much, man.-Y'all love me?

-Thank you so much for beinghere. -(cheering) -I love you.

-Appreciate it, man.-Whatever.

New Edition Story premieresTuesday, January 24, on BET,

and Empire returns to Foxin March.

Bryshere Gray, everybody!

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