When it comes to choosing our Man of the Moment here at All Things Girl, we always go for intelligent, sexy, and talented. With Actor Ray Ford, we are certainly fulfilling all of those desires – and more. You will find Ray on ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23″, which begins Season Two in October.
Recently, Ray took time out of his busy schedule to chat with All Things Girl.
Folks may recognize you from your recurring role on Grey’s Anatomy or your role as Luther on “Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23”. Tell our readers more about “Ray Ford”?
I grew up in Texas, went to school in Boston, and started my career in New York. I love the theater and still do plays whenever I can. My favorite thing to do on a Saturday night is go to the theater by myself and just soak it all in.
What was your first paid acting gig? How did you celebrate that important milestone?
One summer in college I was paid to wear a giant dog costume and walk around a trade show with the reigning Ms. Massachusettes. It was 100 degrees inside the costume and I thought I would die. Later that year I did my first television job on a police drama playing a drug dealer named RJ242. I took that first paycheck and paid my rent, which was way past due. So my landlord did the celebrating.
What are the differences to you, the actor, between a “recurring role” and “cast member”?
The biggest perk as a cast member is a contract and a guaranteed employment. The work and fun are exactly the same.
What are the similarities between “Ray Ford” and your character “Luther”?
I was shopping for clothes recently and was about to pay when I realized I had chosen clothes that Luther would wear, not Ray. So as far as fashion goes we are definitely not on the same page. But we both love to dance, and we both think James van der Beek is pretty awesome.
Tell us about your family. Were you the oldest? Only child? How do your experiences growing up influence the portrayal of your characters?
I come from a very conservative Southern Baptist family in Texas. I was the only child and had to spend alot of time entertaining myself. I used to choreograph elaborate dance numbers in my bedroom (with the door bolted shut). I envisioned the lights, the costumes, and the music.
Those early experiments with imagination fuel me to this day. I also read alot as a child and as a result, learned to appreciate a well-constructed story.
What’s one thing about you that people may find surprising?
I’m a Republican. Kidding. I am not a Republican. But I do hate Nutella. Everyone I know seems to love this stuff. It gives me the creeps.
What is the most challenging part of maintaining privacy in this digital age? Do you feel you are sometimes too accessible to fans or not accessible enough?
I’m definitely an analog guy in this digital age, (I still have a record player) so I could probably be a bit more accessible. I have joined twitter and actually enjoyed talking to fans of the show.
Don’t trust the B in Apt 23 has so many fans who are so excited about the show’s return and it’s been great getting to know them.
What would a first date be like with you?
So I guess the answer to your question is the first date with me is real and honest. Hopefully no different from the 50th. It drives me crazy when people present well…and then you realize it was all smoke and mirrors.
I was late for my last “first date” because I was so excited that I forgot to put gas in my car and it stopped two blocks away from the cafe. But once I arrived I was honest about it. We laughed. And are still together two years later.
Is there a role model, mentor, or other person who helped you along the road to success? Is there someone you act as a mentor for?
I’ve practiced Buddhism for about ten years now and Daisaku Ikeda, my mentor in faith, has taught me how to make the impossible possible, live with gratitude, and strive for absolute happiness.
How do you stay in shape with a grueling filming schedule? Tell us about your workout routine and eating habits. What is your “go-to” meal?
Lately I’ve been doing this intense military style workout which I loathe, but it gives great results. I’m a big advocate of clean eating. I dislike processed food. Most of the time I eat lean protein, veggies, and sweet potatoes. That’s about it. And once a week I get a crazy day where I can eat whatever I want. I love that day.
If you weren’t an actor, what would you “be when you grow up”?
I would live on a farm and write. That will probably happen someday.
Walk us through a typical Sunday in the life of Ray Ford.
It’s the day of rest for most but I usually have rehearsal on Sunday. I’m working on a new play with my theatre company at the moment and we spent six hours today learning the Polish national anthem. In Polish, which no one in the company speaks. Very. Long. Day.
Many actors are well read. Do you read in your time off-set? If so, what’s really hooked you lately (and what book is currently on your nightstand)?
I’m a huge fan of Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin. And there’s a raw food cookbook on my nightstand.
What are the “top five” songs on your Ipod?
- Bitter by Meshelle Ndege Ocello.
- Pure Imagination by Build an Ark
- Ain’t no mountain High enough by Diana Ross
- Everlasting Now by Price
- Glitter in the Gutter by Ahori Buzz
What other projects are you working on? What’s on the horizon for Ray Ford?
I’m producing a new documentary called Urban Fruit which is about the Urban Farming Movement and the disconnect most people have to their food source. We start shooting in September.
YOUR TURN: What one question have you never been asked, that you’d like to answer? (And what’s the answer to it?)
Q. What’s your prayer for the world?
A. That we would learn to respect the inherent dignity and power of each and every being on the planet. Because that is what world peace looks like.
Connect with Ray on Twitter
Photos by Emily Sandifer