Effie-award winning actor, Mike Whaley is known for his breakout role as Malick, on the CBS’ hit series, Under the Dome. He’s worked on numerous series such as FX’s Atlanta, Chicago Blue and Netflix’s The Oath, which is produced by rapper, 50 Cent. There is no surprise that his love for the industry shines from within but we got to know the actor past the camera. In this exclusive interview with Sheen Magazine, Mike Whaley gives us the inside scoop into his life as an award-winning actor and how he’s connected being a new father to one of his roles.
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? What is an Effie Award? Why do you love being the “Under the Radar Actor.” How did you get into acting?
Well, I’m from Charleston, South Carolina. I’m a huge WWE/cartoon fan. It was in third grade when I first picked up a pen and pad wrote my first comic script. I started to draw a lot of cartoon characters that I would see on Saturday morning cartoons from my memory and detailed each expression as I recalled. My first-ever publication in elementary school was a comic that was similar to Bevis and Butthead, it was a comic strip. What really got me into acting was outside of my parents, in their eyes I was good in church plays and reciting church poems. They saw that it came naturally to me all while having fun with it. Where I get a lot of my character choices and expressions for commercials would be from cartoons. I studied them religiously. It’s not for the entertainment value, as actors, we use our mouths, eyes, and face to showcase all emotions. What better emotions to grab from than cartoons? I’m humbled to be have received the Effie Award for my work In the commercial world. It’s equivalent to the Oscar. I received that for my work as the Walmart Guy after 4 years.
Was there a point in time you could tell us about in which you knew that the entertainment industry would become your world? You portray your characters effortlessly on screen. How hard do you work to crest such great portrayals?
I would say when I left for 8th grade to study in England for about three months. I got to learn the cultures; the history of theater and I just knew that this was going to be something that was going to keep me wrapped up in. Even as I got older, it was like something was always pulling me back. It was my true love for film and theater. You just have to continue to work. I love the idea of being the “Under The Radar Actor” because it doesn’t put too much pressure on you to perform. It keeps you from taking yourself too seriously. I learned something from a good friend and casting director, of many years. When asked about social media, she stated that she hated it and this was years ago when it was just getting started! The reason why she hates it is that when actors post, they about their success, they forget about the other actors who aren’t working. At that moment I made a choice to never post a project that I’m working on without having something motivational or inspiration behind it. You have to take into consideration the people that are not working. That made me realize that she was right. I lived with that concept ever since.
You’ve worked on numerous series such as “Under the Dome,” “Atlanta,” and “The Oath” with 50 Cent. How was the overall experience? Do you have a favorite by far?
I do have a favorite; I would say Under the Dome would be my most polished. All of those were wonderful. Atlanta was by far the most relatable. My favorite is Under the Dome because of the family on set. I’m a huge fan of Stephen King even when IT came out long ago. Being able to work with him and see the magic that he brought to his first tv series was amazing. Shout out to CBS for giving him and us the opportunity. Playing the role of Malick on Under the Dome was by far the most challenging fun I’ve had.
Congratulations on your recent role on Bounces hit series, Saints and Sinners.” What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
One thing I do love about the role of Parkers Stephens on Saints & Sinners is the joy I get to play a father figure. For the most part of my career, I’m either an FBI, detective, or police officer but this time I get to play a father. It’s awesome because I just became a father six months ago. Being able to book this, I don’t have to do too much research to get the drive of this character. This is my most relatable role because I have something I can pull from emotionally. Its great and I’m honored and blessed to be apart of the series.
You are working on a new movie this year with one of the biggest names in production and directing. What can we expect to see from Mike Whaley in the future?
In the future, you can expect to see a lot of projects some I can’t really speak on right now, unfortunately! Without saying too much, You will be seeing a lot more of Mike in front of the camera. Just be sure to stay tuned!
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All Images by: Erika Coleman | Instagram | all images provided by Mike Whaley