Darius McCrary (Pt. 2): Actor takes on roles as soap star, dad, and musician.
By Kenya M. Yarbrough
January 4, 2010
*Darius McCrary is most recognized from his role as Eddie Winslow on the long-running sitcom “Family Matters,” but the actor has picked up a few new roles since the popular 90s television show; as the new Malcolm Winters on “The Young and the Restless,” as a music artists, and as a dad.
McCrary is resurrecting the soap opera role Shemar Moore made famous. He was introduced as the new Malcolm Winters just last week.
“I’m ecstatic about it,” he said. “It’s a great group to work with; it’s a quality show; and it’s something new for me.”
The actor told EUR’s Lee Bailey that he always wanted to do daytime television so scoring this coveted role on one of the most popular soaps ever, was a dream come true.
“I hope that as an actor I’ve got something in me that I will be able to bring to it that will be a ‘realness.’ This is an incredible group of actors. Kristoff [St. John] and Peter Burgmen, these guys are phenomenal at what they do,” McCrary said of his new cast mates. “I’ve been blessed to work with some great actors – Robert DeNiro, Willem Defoe, Gene Hackmam – some heavyweights – by the grace of God. So what I intend to do with this role is bring my experience from past situations and be a solid actor and possibly treat this as I would a feature film, not a soap. I am trying not to have any soap moments, and in watching this show, there are very few of those anyway.”
Speaking of feature film, McCrary explained that under today’s terms, he feels that being on a daytime drama is just as significant as being in a blockbuster film.
“This industry has changed,” he said. “It’s changed so much that there are no more blockbusters. The world of sitcoms is pretty much a wrap. Back in the day, families would sit down together and watch a block of television. Today, Suzy’s got an iPod, Billy’s got a Wii, Dad’s got a desktop, Mom’s got a Mac, and everybody’s is Tivo-ing something.”
McCrary went on to say that with the Internet, cable, young networks and a plethora of other outlets, there are just too many options for audiences.
“For me, signing on to this is just as big as signing on for a movie with Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt. This is huge for me so I’m extremely happy.”
And just as McCrary’s 9-seasons role on “Family Matters” happened, this just happened, too, but he said that he really wouldn’t have it any other way.
“That’s how you know it’s right, in my opinion,” he said. “I just happened in this industry. I wasn’t a kid whose mom was toting him around to auditions. It just happened. It fell in my lap. I think that when that happens you’re a bit more appreciative of it. After you’ve been working hard at something and you finally get it, it’s a bit more difficult to know what to do with it.”
McCrary believes that sometimes when you are particularly focused for something and you’re constantly working for that goal, moving beyond it might be elusive.
“You kind of feel like, ‘I’ve been working for so long, it’s easy to get discouraged.’ When it just fall in your lap, it’s kind of like just walking. Then the next thing you know you’re running and then you’re flying.”
McCrary is decidedly flying. With a new role on a hit daytime show, with a schedule that will give him time to work on his other talent, music.
“The scheduling is wonderful; it does leave me time. I have a music career and it allows me time to do my music and it leaves me times to be the dad that I need to be to my son. This is definitely where I want to be.”
McCrary is father of a precocious two-year-old whose mom is not the infamous Karrine “Superhead” Steffans of with whom McCrary (among many others) has been linked. According to a number of reports the actor married the “Confessions of a Video Vixen” author and other stories followed suit about the couple’s stormy relationship, allegations, domestic abuse disputes, and restraining orders.
McCrary was particularly tight-lipped about the relationship and did not care to speak on Steffans, his estranged girlfriend (?)… wife(?), only offering up the cryptic non-answer to whether or not they are together of “We’ll always be together.”
So in addition to daddy duty and on-again, off-again exploits with the vid-gal, McCrary is the lead for the group D-List, named by the fact that each of the five members’ names begin with the letter ‘D’. The new album is titled “D-Listed” and is currently getting the finishing touches.
“It’s been a pleasure working on this album,” McCrary said. “It’s truly a labor of love. This is one of those things that I’ve had to work for and it’s been a long time coming. I had to find the right sound, had to find the right production team, I had to find the right songs.”
And not to mention, you’ve got to overcome your sitcom stigma.
“They don’t give actors the same fair shake if you’re an actor coming up as a singer,” McCrary said of his struggle to become known for his singing talent. He referred to other actors who have also had to hurdle the actor moniker in pursuing music including jazz artist Malcolm Jamal Warner from “Cosby Show” fame, and comedic actor Orlando Jones.
“You get locked into these characters and people have a problem seeing you in another light. I’m hoping that people will accept the growth –- ‘Young and the Restless’ and my music,” he said. Hopefully, me being able to do what I do as an artist, I can bridge some of those gaps and make it easier for those coming behind me.”
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