Comedic actor Dorien Wilson has had a successful career on both stage and screen that spans over 25 years. He is well-recognized for his roles in such hit series as Dream On (1990), The Steve Harvey Show (1997), Sister, Sister (1994) and Friends (1995), but is best known as Professor Oglevee on The Parkers (1999). This role earned Wilson an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and solidified him as a mainstay in American television.
I wanted to welcome you and thank you for allowing this interview. Here we are coming up on your fifth season of the hit original comedy series In The Cut, that’s going to be premiering Monday, July 15. How does it feel to be in your fifth season of this comedy series and what can we expect?
It’s a great show and I¹m so very proud of it. This is my sixth television show where I’m a series regular. And this is the first time that I did an actual lead of carrying a show, but it doesn’t feel like that at all because it’s such an ensemble cast. There are very, very long days. We shot 13 episodes in 11 days, so being one of the leads I have anywhere from 14 to 17 scenes a day so it’s challenging, but the beautiful part is everyone in the cast is veterans. They’ve been on television for many, many years. We all worked with each other in the past, and by that third day we have our niche and we’re rolling. We play off each other and it doesn’t seem like work at all and luckily we get a paycheck too.
That was going to be my next question. What is it like working with your fellow castmates?
With this schedule, it’s crazy and the fact that we all worked together at one point. John Marshall, who plays my sidekick in the barber shop, this is the first time we worked together. We’ve known
each other over the years. Kelitta Smith, my wife on the show, we go way, way back to Sister, Sister days when I was dating Jackée and she was dating Tim Reid, so that’s how long we’ve known each other, but to be working together again is amazing. I love our scenes together because it shows black love and we’re not fighting all the time. You can see the affection and admiration for each other. We’re growing and learning together. So this is the first year you’ll actually see us living together and the challenges that come along, so just great stuff coming up.
Ken Lawson is back and, of course, everybody recognizes him from The Parkers as well. Neither one of us knew we were going to be connected to this show. He plays my illegitimate son that I didn’t know, 30 some-odd-years old, and shows up at my door and says, ‘Hey, guess what?’ So he moves in and you know, how do you parent a grown ass kid? He’s an adult. So it¹s all his stuff, him adjusting to everything, so it’s a lot of fun. We have an amazing cast this season.
Angie Stone plays my sister for the second season. But like I said, I’m so excited about the whole season.
One question I wanted to ask, how do you stay in shape and keep your energy?
Here’s my schedule. I get up at 4:30, I am at the gym at 5 a.m. and get to the studio at 7 a.m. I’m there till 10:30 at night. I go home and try to learn my lines and then around 12:30, I’ll pass out. I’ll wake up at 3:00 going, ‘Oh, my gosh, I gotta learn my lines’ and by 4:30 I’m back in the gym again, so that’s my life for 11 days. When I’m not filming I’m at the gym twice a day.
Also with that, do you have a special diet that you follow?
Well, I do for the most part eat what I like. I try to stick to my dietary plan which I plan on Sunday. So in the morning, I will have something to put on my stomach, something that will give me a little energy. I try not to eat after 8:00. If I can stay close to those parameters, I’m doing well.
With your guest stars, what would you say was one of your favorite seasons of the show that had a guest star? Who would that particular guest star be that you worked with?
Well, there are so many. This person wasn’t a guest star, she was a regular. That would be Jackée Harry because I worked with her on Sister, Sister and here we are playing the ex-husband and wife 25 years later, so we already had a relationship established. We just have incredible chemistry together so I have so much fun working with her, so that’s what I would say.
Did you see this show having as many seasons and continuing to go on and the longevity its had?
I had no idea, but every year the show gets better and better and we really found our niche. I would say the third season we really hit that stride. And we can attribute most of that to our executive producer, Bentley Evans, who’s the creator of The Jamie Foxx Show. But he has a full history with everyone in the cast. That is our family. All of us have worked with him before. The writers are amazing. The writers this year are so in tune with us as actors and our personalities that they’re writing for Dorien the person, not just Jay the character, so they know what my strengths are. They incorporate that in different scenes so I think it’s that much funnier.
Are there any other projects you’re working on before 2019 is over?
I have so many projects that are out. I almost forget half the time because it takes so long to put things together. One of the projects that I’m so very proud of is moving into producing. And I don’t know if you know that I am one of the executive producers on In The Cut. I recently started doing a film entitled ‘His, Hers and The Truth’ coming up in 2020. I’m one of the executive producers on that and I am also in the movie. It’s a romantic comedy and that will be out this coming year, I am so very proud of it. I will continue to act because that¹s my first love. I have two other sitcoms that hopefully will come to fruition.
I play a pastor of this church that is falling down. My daughter and I are trying to gather funds to refurbish it and put the church back on its feet.
The other one, I can’t talk about yet because it hasn’t started.
We¹re also picked up for our sixth season of In The Cut and we start that at the end of October.