Photo by: Michael Bezman
HBO Max‘s critically acclaimed DC superhero series Doom Patrol is back with season 4, and part 1 premiered on Thursday, December 8th with the first 2 episodes. The series reimagines one of DC’s most beloved groups of superheroes: Robotman aka Cliff Steele (voiced by Brendan Fraser), Negative Man aka Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer), Elasti-Woman aka Rita Farr (April Bowlby), Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), and Cyborg aka Vic Stone (Joivan Wade). This season, Elijah Rashad Reed (Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty) joins the cast as the recurring character Deric.
We caught up with Elijah about his Doom Patrol role, his acting career, and what we can expext from season 4. Check out our conversation below.
When did you decide that storytelling and acting was something you wanted to do?
Elijah Rashad Reed (ERR): My sophomore year of college I was cut from the basketball team and I was left at a point of limbo. After trying a few things, I started to think back on times in my life where I had as much enjoyment and fulfillment as I did playing basketball. What kept popping up was acting. I’d done it as a kid, and continued on and off during my years of schooling, but basketball took precedence. But soon enough, an intro acting class, performing in several plays, and flying back to LA for an open casting call for Straight Outta Compton, during the school week, I knew acting was the path for me.
What advice would you give to people pursuing acting?
ERR: Take time and define, to the best of your abilities, what you want from acting and how you want your career to look. This will change over time, but initially, it’ll give you a target to focus on. There’s a lot of potential distractions on this path and having that focus will help you filter what serves your goals and what does not.
Don’t burn yourself out. I’ve been asking myself this lately, do you want a 10 year career or a lifelong career? Thinking it all has to happen now will cause you to overextend yourself and lead to burn outs. Those points can be very hard to come back from, and more than anything, when your time comes you want to be ready for what it will require from you. Acting is only one part. On the business side, there are many other aspects that you want to have the conditioning for because when it’s your turn, it’s time to go. Ask for help.
While we may be on our own respective paths, collectively, we are all on the same journey. And to that, lean on those that our pursuing this with you. Long stints of no work are crushing enough, so express yourself when you’re having those low moments. That’s why community is something you should look to create for yourself as soon as you can. The right group of people around you can elevate your life, art, and career to heights you alone could have only imagined.
What do you enjoy the most about acting?
ERR: I’ve really enjoyed the collaborative process of acting. Whether it’s TV, film or theater, I really enjoy the collaboration process. There is nothing like coming together with a bunch of my peers, all of us on our A game, and bringing a story to life. I also enjoy improvisation. The ability to make something out of nothing with your acting partner or team is an adrenaline rush that can only come from improv. My improv group, A Tribe Called Melanin, always keep me and my acting sharp.
What can you tell us about your character in Doom Patrol?
ERR: I play Deric Hayes in this season and he is the best friend of Vic Stone aka Cyborg. A lover of robotics and DND, Deric is a blerd through and through, who at times acts as a BS meter, of sorts, for Vic.
What was your first acting role?
ERR: To my knowledge my first acting role was in a music video called, “C’mon Y’all” by Motion Man feat. KutMasta Kurt. I was in elementary school and was cast to portray a kid who plays with a Motion Man action figure that is secretly alive.
What can people expect from season 4 of Doom Patrol?
ERR: More than anything, I’d say people can expect a lot of heart from this season. The journeys these characters go through individually, and collectively, will speak to the hearts of audiences. Because like life everything seems crazy each day but what grounds and connects us is our hearts. Outside of that, a whole bunch of crazy, brain scratching, funny, touching, and wtf moments are throughout S4 of Doom Patrol.
Why do you think people love Doom Patrol so much in your opinion?
EER: Touching back on my previous answer, I think it’s the heart and humanity of these characters that resonates with people. The creators, writers, and actors give all they have to honor the lives of these characters. And when you’re that specific in the telling of these stories they can quickly become universal. It may not be a direct connection but there’s something people can relate to in each character in one way or another.
A new episode of Doom Patrol season 4 part 1 will drop on HBO Max on Thursdays until January 5th, 2023.
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