LaMonica Garrett is a man on a mission. The former athlete has been steadily building his acting career while co-starring alongside film and television heavy hitters. His determination, talent, and rugged good looks will undoubtedly have him on everyone’s radar in the coming years. Sheen Magazine had the pleasure to catch up with him to discuss how he is carving out his star in the wonderland of Hollywood.
Tell me about your background?
I was born in San Francisco, and then I moved to L.A as a teenager. I played football, basketball, baseball. I went to college in Central State Ohio, a smaller school on a football scholarship. I played and tried out for NFL teams and when that didn’t go the way I hoped it went. I moved back to L.A. [and] tried to pursue acting.
I got a job with FedEx [and] worked there for a few years. I booked a commercial, that’s how I got introduced to the business, and I was able to leave FedEx. I did a lot of print jobs here and there. Around 2008, I focused on my craft, and I have been working pretty consistently ever since.
You’re on a series called the Hot Wives of Las Vegas on Hulu where you play the character ‘Adonis.’ What attracted you to this role?
I worked with Paul Scheer in New Orleans on a film project in January. We had a couple scenes together, and he’s a cool guy. I recognized him for his other work; I didn’t know he was also a producer as well. Around May, he gives me a call, and he says that he has a project that he is doing, and there is a role for me if I wanted it. I looked at the cast that was involved, a lot of big names in the comedy world and I jumped on it. I don’t do a lot of comedies, even though I think I’m funny. I said, ‘this is exactly what I want to do.’ Once I saw the script, it was hilarious. It had great writing, great people involved, and I knew I needed to be a part of this show.
Is it difficult to move between comedy and dramatic roles?
I don’t think it’s difficult, but it is a challenge. I think with anything, if it isn’t challenging then why do it? The things that scare you, that’s what you want to do. That’s living, going after the stuff that is unknown. That’s what’s fun about life. If you wake up every day on auto-pilot, you might as well check out.
Describe your experience working with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell on Daddy’s Home? (Which comes out December 25th)
It was great! Mark has a real cool, laid-back, demeanor, and Will is a soft-spoken guy. You can see why they get along and why they are doing another film together. Their personalities mesh well together. When the camera goes on, Will becomes Will but when we were not shooting he was just a soft-spoken, humble great guy. You can sit there and talk to him and Mark was the same way. It was a fun environment to be around, and those are the jobs you hope for situations like that. Both of those guys were awesome to work with.
You were ‘Deputy Sherriff Cane’ on Sons of Anarchy and in some of your interviews you said that being on that set was like being in an actor’s camp. How did you grow as an actor after leaving that show?
I got to see day in and day out how professionals go about it at a high level. From the work they put into a character to the concentration and focus they have throughout the day. The cast had a brotherly kind of love for each other. They were always in character. The table read alone could be shot as [episodes]. Some table reads, actors just read the lines so the writers can hear them out loud, but on ‘Sons,’ everything was at a high level. Working with Jimmy Smits was amazing; Charlie Hunnam, Rockmond Dunbar, those guys have been [acting] for a long time, and I saw how it’s done following those guys around.
You also just wrapped XOXO directed by Walter Robot. In this indie film you play the character ‘Chopper,’ tell us about it.
It’s the world of DJs. The more people I talked to [and] do research for my character, it seems to be the common story with a lot of DJs coming up. You start out small, and then you make a hit, and you have everyone coming at you. Usually when you first start out, you have a friend of yours that is your manager. Then there comes that time that you get a name for yourself then these high power people start coming at you, and they are trying to get you to sign and it might not be the best thing for you to do. The best thing for you might just be staying with your buddy and going that way. The more people I talk to, that was the choice they had to come to, and that is the choice that Grant Philips character is dealing with in XOXO. Does he sign with a big management company or does he stay with his best friend and they grow together?
The roles that you have played have all been diverse. One of hardest things for actors is avoid being pigeonholed into playing a certain kind of character. How have you avoided that pitfall?
If I get a role that challenges me or scares me a little bit those are the roles that get you out of your box. They cause you to expand and grow. Each role you do you take on more life inside yourself. You’re better when you come out of it. I was working on Political Animals a few years ago. I was out at lunch with Ciaran Hinds, he is Irish and [the creator of the show] Greg Berlanti called him to play the role of the U.S. president “Bud Hammond.” He said that scared him more than any other job he has ever had. Initially, he said no, but then he thought about it, and he was like “It scares me so much, I have to do it.” I realized the weight of that and how much you grow going through something like that. And he did a great job, he is one of my favorite actors, he’s brilliant. That set the tone for me going forward [in my career].
What is an interesting fact about you?
[My parents] named me after an Oakland Raider, Daryle LaMonica and my first-born will be named Montana after Joe Montana, who is my favorite. I’ve got to keep the tradition alive.
photo credit to Bobby Quillard