When BET recruited Jay Ellis for Season 6 of The Game, the ladies yelled a resounding, “Touchdown!” His character, Blue, is the perfect blend of good looks, intelligence and charm. It’s definitely not hard to imagine two women as beautiful as costars Lauren London and Ciara falling for the sexy newcomer.
You won’t get to see Jay grace your TV sets in new episodes of the hit series until next March, but we’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ to help hold you over until then. Over the weekend, UrbanBridgez.com caught up with the star at the annual GBK Gift Lounge in honor of the American Music Awards at the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills. The event had a host of amazing sponsors, including Liquor Whipped, Contraband Hats, GrandeLASH MD and Alto Collective, and was followed by a celebrity poker tournament benefitting Model Citizen Fund.
Since the star-studded occasion was celebrating the year in music, UrbanBridgez.com reporter Danielle asked Jay about some of 2013’s much buzzed-about moments, such as Miley Cyrus’ MTV Video Music Awards performance, Drake’s highly anticipated Nothing Was the Same album, TLC’s biopic and Rihanna receiving the Icon Award at this year’s AMAs. Of course, there’s also exclusive tidbits about the upcoming season of The Game and scoop on what it’s like acting alongside singer and UB favorite Brandy!
UrbanBridgez.com: Which artists do you listen to?
Jay Ellis: I listen to a little bit of everything. I love Drake. I love Rick Ross. I love Fun. I might have a Miley [Cyrus] record or two on my iPod, but don’t tell nobody! [laughs]
UrbanBridgez.com: What song do you consider to be the single of the year?
Jay Ellis: “Blurred Lines!” I love that song because it makes everybody feel good. If “Blurred Lines” came on right now, all 300 people in this room would start dancing! It’s got a nostalgic feel to it. It’s fun. I feel like everybody can just let their guard down, let their inhibitions down, and just have a good time.
UrbanBridgez.com: You mentioned both Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke…what did you think of their VMAs performance?
Jay Ellis: It was hot! They’re doing them. They’re out to—I don’t want to say shock people—but they’re definitely out to entertain and catch people’s eye in a different way. And I definitely think they did a good job with that.
UrbanBridgez.com: Which albums of 2013 were your favorites?
Jay Ellis: Nothing Was the Same. Drake! I just think he’s a good dude. I like that he’s got a clean-cut thing about him. He’s not afraid to talk about his emotions in his raps. You know what? I like Fun’s album this year, too, though. I will say that! I really love Fun’s album. Their music is super cool. I saw them at the Greek [Theater] a few months ago and everybody was standing up the entire time. They just got records where, even if you don’t know them, you just want to be a part of them. You just want to be up and dancing around. I think that’s what music is about.
UrbanBridgez.com: The TLC biopic was a big moment in music this year…
Jay Ellis: Huge!
UrbanBridgez.com: What did you think of the movie?
Jay Ellis: The biopic is amazing. I think it definitely showed us a side of the industry, of their struggle, of their career that we never saw. We look at TLC and we think “Waterfalls,” big videos and them traveling and doing concerts, but we obviously had no idea what their struggle was really like and how they were being taken advantage of, for sure. It was really cool because I think it put a spotlight on the music industry and made them say, “Yo! This can never happen again.”
UrbanBridgez.com: The girls all gave amazing performances in the movie. Who impressed you the most?
Jay Ellis: All of them! They’re all women that I know. It was cool to see each of them step into another person’s life. It’s one thing to step into a character who’s never existed before, but to step into someone’s life and do it justice is a completely different thing. There’s a lens for what people can judge it against. I think the girls did a really great job.
UrbanBridgez.com: Which musician are you dying to see a movie be made about next?
Jay Ellis: Jimi Hendrix. I think they’re working on a Jimi Hendrix project, but I would love to see that because Jimi had such an interesting, amazing life for just 27 years.
UrbanBridgez.com: The AMAs are honoring Rihanna with the first-ever Icon Award. She’s an artist who’s accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. What do you think of her receiving such a huge recognition at a young age?
Jay Ellis: What I appreciate about Rihanna is that she just goes for it. She’s 100 percent about her craft and reinventing herself and that’s a very important thing in the music industry. I just love the fact that she does her.
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s your favorite Rihanna song?
Jay Ellis: The one where she goes, “Oh na na…” I love her song “What’s My Name” with Drake. She moves very well in that video. She moves well all the time! Nobody can be mad at that!
UrbanBridgez.com: What kinds of music do you listen to when you’re getting ready to shoot The Game?
Jay Ellis: It depends on what my scene is. If I’m shooting a football scene and I need to be hyped up, I’ll listen to 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Jay Z, Kanye [West], T.I., Eminiem…the usuals. If it’s a love scene, I’ll do like an Anthony Hamilton. Miguel is super huge on my playlist. Justin [Timberlake], of course.
UrbanBridgez.com: What can we expect on Season 7 of The Game?
Jay Ellis: This season of The Game is going to be amazing. We’re bringing back an old character, Kelly Pitts, which is going to be really amazing. We start the season with my character Blue and Lauren London’s character, Keira, not together. They’re trying to figure out what dating in this city is like when they’re not together, but they’re constantly crossing each other’s paths.
UrbanBridgez.com: You costar with singer Brandy on The Game. How is it working with her? Based on her Instagram videos, she sings a lot on set!
Jay Ellis: Brandy sings every single day, and it’s the most amazing thing ever. She sings everything! It’s not like she’s just singing Brandy songs. Actually, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard her sing one of her own songs on set. She’s a person who loves the craft. She is so inspired by so many other artists—whether they’re from today and are relevant and current, or from the past. She’s constantly walking around singing songs that are 30-, 40-, 50-years-old and three- or four-days-old. It’s really cool to see that, to see her inspiration and to see her be touched by so many people. And then when she does it, she then touches us and inspires us.
UrbanBridgez.com: Wow! Did it take her a while to be open and sing around everybody or was she always singing on set?
Jay Ellis: Since I’ve been there, she’s always been like that. She was on The Game a season before me so I don’t know what she was like before, but for me, she’s always been that way. She’s very, very open, giving, kind…she always wants to have fun. At the end of the day, we get to have fun when we go to work. We get to make pretend that we’re these other people. Although we do have heavy moments on the show, we have far more light moments and I think we always remember to have fun on set because of Brandy.
UrbanBridgez.com: Lastly, with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, what song gets you in the mood for the holidays?
Jay Ellis: I love “White Christmas.” That’s one of my favorite songs. I also love Destiny’s Child “12 Days of Christmas” son