On the syndicated TV show "Mr. Box Office," Bill Bellamy plays Marcus Jackson, a big-time movie star with a soft side.
The role seems a natural fit for the 47-year-old comedian, who got his start in show biz on MTV as the host of "MTV Jamz" and "Beach House." He later starred in movies such as "Any Given Sunday," "How To Be a Player" and "Brothers," in which he got to showcase his multifaceted abilities as a comedian and serious actor.
We chatted with Bellamy, who is bringing his Ladies Night Out tour to the Fort Lauderdale Improv this weekend.
Tell us about "Mr. Box Office."
We're shooting 104 episodes, which is a big deal to get that order for a TV show. And we have an all-star cast: Vivica A. Fox, Gary Busey, Rick Fox and Jon Lovitz. My character has two jobs. I teach during the day, and am also this big-time movie star. So I have to always balance being the star that I am and then try to make a difference in the inner city. I think teaching is the only real thing [Marcus] has done. It's what gives him a sense of pride and achievement.
As an actor, it's probably not hard for you to jump into character.
Yes, because I relate to him on so many levels. The fun part is telling the story of what my character is going through. I get an opportunity to be this real down-to-earth guy, and then, the next minute, I get to be a big-time movie star who is smooth and likes to pull up on the ladies.
Speaking of the ladies, we know you're a married man, but some might consider you a ladies' man, too.
I think a lot of people think I am because I did "How To Be a Player." I think it's just my swag. I just have a certain kind of vibe, and I don't know if that's just me being more comfortable at my age and in my life. You know, I'm comfortable being Bill Bellamy, so maybe that makes me more desirable … or interesting. I'm like the Dos Equis Man — I lived an interesting life. Stay thirsty, my friends.
But just who is Bill Bellamy?
Bill Bellamy is this amazing, crazy, funny, sexy, dirty kind of dude. I got bad-boy swag. I got street swagger. I got education. I've got a good heart, and I care about people. You know, there are a lot of little windows that make the whole picture for me. I'm a dad, I'm caring, and I have a wife. I think I have a well-rounded kind of life. Then, the ladies say I'm hot? You've got to love that.
Which do you like more: acting or stand-up?
I enjoy both for two different reasons. The actor in me is the guy who gets to be somebody else and bring pieces of myself in to interpret the writing that someone does. When I'm doing my stand-up, I get to be Bill Bellamy, and how I think and feel. That's the beauty of being a comic. It's my script that I'm writing on my life or life how I see it. I think that's rewarding. Then, I've got people who want to see me just do that. That's the sh-- right there, I love that.
Bill Bellamy will perform Friday through Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5700 Seminole Way, in Hollywood. Tickets cost $25. Go to Ftl.improv.com.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun