Da'Vinchi, most famously known for his roles in BMF, Grown-ish, All American, and Mary J. Blige's Real Love, is Empower Atlanta's 2023 Entertainment Edition cover star.
Da’Vinchi is on his way to becoming a household name.
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The extraordinary Haitian-American actor has taken Hollywood by storm with his magnetic charm and undeniable talent. In just 5 years of acting, Da’Vinchi has proven himself to not only be a force for good, but a phenomenal actor. Da'Vinchi's journey to success started on the streets of NYC, where he honed his artistic skills as a spoken word artist and rapper. His natural flair for performance led him to explore acting, and he soon discovered his passion for the craft. Under the guidance of his mentor, Marc John Jeffries, Da'Vinchi polished his acting skills and opened doors to exciting opportunities in the entertainment industry. Below is our conversation that was had prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Jada Alexis: You first started out as a spokenword artist and a rapper. What inspired you to tap into that?
Da’Vinchi: I’ve just always had a love for music. Everyone around me was doing music. I grew up playing instruments. I was always infatuated about lyrics and the sounds of music so I was like yo, I could really do this. So, I just started doing it.
Jada Alexis: So, even with the spoken word, was it the same for that?
Da’Vinchi: Yeah, it’s just poetry, when people call it spoken word, it sounds like something completely different from music. It’s just music. Music just has a beat behind it.
Jada Alexis: So, you did that while you were in college?
Da’Vinchi: Yeah, I’ve been writing since I was about 12, so I’ve always been writing.
Jada Alexis: What about your first role? Did you get that after you graduated?
Da’Vinchi: Yeah, so I got a two-year degree in criminal justice,and I moved back up north with my mom and then I started husting and doing music, taking it more seriously, and then I started training for acting. About 3 years after graduating is when I broke my first role which was Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
Jada Alexis: What did you want to do when you chose your major?
Da’Vinchi: I wanted to understand the law. I got arrested when I was 13 and black people, we’re always getting in different weird encounters with the law when we just don’t know it. So, I was like, if I know this game, then I know what to say when I’m in certain situations. So, I was going to join the Air Force, come out probably start becoming a detective or something like that. Something in criminology for sure.
Jada Alexis: What made you start focusing on acting over music?
Da’Vinchi: It’s just clean. Music is a dirty game. It’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind music and I think if the devil is in control of the entertainment business, it’s for sure music. It’s a real thing. I would say that for sure.
Jada Alexis: So, you wouldn’t do music at all?
Da’Vinchi: I would, but now it’s like for fun. That’s how I was originally doing it. It’s just when the business aspect started getting involved, then it’s like ugh, but I’ll still do it for fun but for right now, I’m off it. I still write, but as far as going to the studio, recording, and putting it out, I’m jaded from that process.
Jada Alexis: You’re here now filming season 3 of BMF. How is filming going.
Da’Vinchi: It’s going good. It’s smooth. I feel like everyone is in a rhythm now after filming season 1 and season 2, so now it’s just like clockwork. We’re just getting out stuff done.
Jada Alexis: What do you think people can expect from the new season?
Da’Vinchi: It’s gonna be different cause Meech and Terry are split up a little bit. Their love situation and Terry love triangle is getting worse. Meech is getting his love situation and this is the first time they’re really becoming BMF. So, it’s like Atlanta is a huge part of Season 3 because that’s where Meech and T got alot of respect in this city, so it’s going to be very different from Seasons 1 and 2 because it was all Detroit. Now, it’s like, we’re in the A.
Jada Alexis: Did the real Terry Flenory ever give you any advice or have any comments regarding your performance?
Da’Vinchi: Yeah, he was very pleased by how I portrayed him, and he loved it. His words, I mean, he had no notes. To me, that was a hell of a compliment. That was like receiving an Emmy. You know to hear it from the man that you’re playing being like, “Yo, you’re killing that.” That’s an award in itself.
Jada Alexis: Did you get any advice or feedback from Big Meech?
Da’Vinchi: Yeah, I’ve talked to Big Meech, but it’s kind of tough to talk to him for a long time because he’s incarcerated. He definitely let us know that how things were back then as far as the wardrobe, the lingo, and what they wanted out of the drug game. Hearing it from him is like, wow. It’s very helpful and certain stories that I’m not gonna say right now.
Jada Alexis: So, how did you prep?
Da’Vinchi: I just looked for as much information that I could possibly find off Google and it’s also good that I have Lil Meech, so he’s like a personal Google because he knows stuff that Google doesn’t. I also talked to the family, and even with that, just creating the character and going to work.
Jada Alexis: Did you feel any pressure when you first started playing him?
Da’Vinchi: Yeah, I think playing a real person is tough because this person is still alive. He’s relatively young. He’s only like 50, 51. So, he’s definitely able to see, hear, and watch the whole project.
Jada Alexis: You talked a lot about your mental health inother interviews and what you went through growing up, so do you ever get triggered? Does anything happening on set ever remind you of what you’ve previously went through?
Da’Vinchi: Yeah, for sure. A lot. A lot of the shootout scenes and other stuff. I don’t want nothing pointed at me. Whenever we have gun scenes, I make sure I check the bullets a lot. Like if we have a crazy shootout, during the season, I’m like forget all this art stuff right now, we have to make sure we feel safe and stuff like that. So, we definitely have conversations like that. There are definitely a lot of trigger points filming the show.
Jada Alexis: So, what are some of the things you do to keep yourself grounded?
Da’Vinchi: I just keep my head tucked, mind my business, meditate, read a lot, and I’m with nature. I love studying, watching, and learning about nature. Just sitting in it and to me that’s like so humbling because you realize how small you are when you just see how powerful nature is. Like you really don’t matter at the end of the day and that’s humbling.
Jada Alexis: What do you do outside of acting?
Da’Vinchi: I work out, writing a lot of jokes because I started hosting comedy shows and doing stand-up. So, it’s been a real interesting world for me to tap into and it’s been fun, you know. Just trying new things and sometimes people don’t laugh at something, and some people laugh at this and just seeing what makes brains go crazy, it’s like it’s kind of dope. So, I’ve been doing a lot of that. I’m working on a bunch of stuff completely outside of acting. So, that keeps me busy.
Jada Alexis: How do you prep for stand-up?
Da’Vinchi: It’s definitely a process. I have a whole notebook. I study with some great comedians such as Chris Spencer. He mentors me and drops a lot of jewels. Then you also have Rickey Smiley. I was just with him last week and he was mentoring me and dropping jewels on certain things. I’m studying things and reading certain books on it. If you’re doing it well, you get up there and it looks like you’re winging it, but in reality, you’re really not.
Jada Alexis: You’ve been around some big stars like Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Monique, Ben Affleck, etc. What’s something you’re learned by being around so many successful people.
Da’Vinchi: Um, it’s a lot. All the people that’s like great or just doing well, they’re disciplined. I think that’s one of my biggest takeaways. The people that’s at the top, that’s doing really well, they’re very disciplined. They don’t B.S. A lot of people, they come here and they’re gone tomorrow. It’s like they don’t take it serious, but the people that’s having longevity, they’re disciplined as hell.
Da'Vinchi's journey is a testament to his talent, perseverance, and dedication to the craft. Moreover, his commitment to using his platform for philanthropic endeavors showcases a heartwarming desire to empower the youth and create a brighter future for the next generation. As Da'Vinchi continues to shine brightly, his impact both on and off the screen is bound to leave a lasting legacy in the entertainment industry and beyond.
Be sure to keep up with Da’vinchi on all social media platforms @davinchi and be sure to check out BMF on Starz