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Trinity Whiteside On Family, Starring on ‘Sistas’ and Never Being Discouraged

Trinity Whiteside originally entered the universe of Tyler Perry’s Sistas for six episodes. In season one, Danni (Mignon Von), one of the four sistas, lassoes herself a cowboy named Preston, played by Whiteside, who urges her to “let her walls down.” Coming back for more in season two, their new on-screen romance has everyone engulfed by the North Carolina native’s performance. The audience is looking to know more about Whiteside and how his guest appearance landed him a continuous role on the BET’s hit show. 

Tyler Perry Studios was the first to construct a whole series during a global pandemic. A space they call “Camp Quarantine” was established looking to keep everyone within the studio COVID-free. Whiteside reflected on the testing procedure that went on during set takes, he said, “…we take two tests prior to traveling to Tyler Perry Studios, and then we take one when we arrive.” Whiteside continued, “We quarantine for up to about 24 hours, waiting on those results. And once they get back, we are able to travel about the studio grounds.” No one is allowed in the so-called ‘bubble’ except for the talent and the crew. And so far, the experiment has been successful with no positive cases detected.

Whiteside was born in Asheville, NC. He was named after his father’s favorite old western movie character in They Call Me Trinity. In his childhood years, the actor displayed an array of intellectual and artistic gifts – he scored in the top eight percentile on California Achievement Test and was considered advanced in mediums of illustration. Although Whiteside reflected many various academic talents early in life, during playtime, when it was just “make-believe,” Whiteside dived deep into those roles.   

It was the gentle push from his wife, Nikkia, that put him on the path of acting, first appearing on BET’s The Game. After that role, Whiteside flourished and exercised all different parts of his acting chops. Other appearances he made include The CW’s The Originals, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Lila and Eve, Masterminds, Barbershop 3, and The Fate of The Furious, which earned Whiteside his first screen credit.

Whiteside reflected on the deep conversation he had with his wife that aligned him with his destiny, “I was actually in the dental program. And I came home one day after being in class and I was just like— you know… I only do this to have a career. It’s not something I want to do, this is not something I see myself doing day after day, year after year. And we just had the conversation and she asked what I wanted to do, what would make me happy, what I see myself doing, and I told her I want to pursue a career in acting.”

On-screen, one can see how devoted Whiteside is to his character, but he pursues his role of being a father to his three children with all the passion living in his heart. He mentioned his concern for his kids, before finally taking the first step toward his purpose. Whiteside shared, “if I was to pursue a career in acting, I didn’t want to do that at the detriment of their mental health. In their early developmental years, I didn’t want them to go ‘where’s my dad’, ‘I want my dad’. I wanted them to be old enough to understand that if dad is gone, it is his job, he will be back.”

With season 3 of Sistas now underway and Whiteside as a series regular, it is hard to imagine him not playing Preston. The actor unveiled that he originally auditioned for The Oval, a different Tyler Perry series, but did not get the role. Whiteside recalled that after that audition he texted Perry and thanked him “for the opportunity.” He was disappointed, he said, but never discouraged. Shortly after, Perry reached out and offered him to audition for the role of Preston.

“I had those times when I didn’t get the role and wasn’t chosen, and I always told myself, “It’s okay to be disappointed, as long as you’re not discouraged.”

It seems that when Whiteside entered into the realm of Sistas, he was able to hold his ground effortlessly. Whiteside was surrounded by female powerhouses, and yet he captured the heart of the viewers, creating an opportunity to become a series regular.

Whiteside reflected on his foundation, crediting the Black women that shaped him to be the person he is today. Whiteside stated, “There are things at times that I draw inspiration from – what I’ve experienced at home, and with my father’s side of the family, all those being strong African American women that I grew up around, who were an intricate part in my upbringing. I do draw on those inspirations and from those experiences.”

One can catch Trinity Whiteside on Tyler Perry’s Sistas every Wednesday on BET.

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1 Comment

  1. Eleanor Deshauteurs

    March 4, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Im Trinity Whiteside biggest fan I love the show Sistas I never miss it can’t wait till the next week . I pray this pandemic gets under control so I can meet him one day.

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Christian J. Simon Talks ‘Under Wraps,’ Comedy and Disney Legacy

Best known for his role as Max’s best friend Leo in family comedy Sydney to the Max, Christian J. Simon is now starring in a reboot of Disney Channel’s first original movie, Under Wraps. Just in time for Halloween!

The story follows small-town teen friends Gilbert (Simon), Marshall (Malachi Barton), and Amy (Sophia Hammons), who accidentally revive and release a 4000-year old mummy in the days leading up to Halloween.

At first terrified, the friends quickly learn that the Mummy, who they affectionately name ‘Harold,’ is actually nice and in dire need of assistance. A group of criminals captures and intends to sell the mummy. To save the life of their friend, the trio has to come together, face their fears, and rush to return Harold to his sarcophagus before midnight.

Christian J. Simon, Malachi Barton, Sophia Hammons in 'Under Wraps'

We chatted with Christian, a rising comedic star, and talked about the movie, the legacy of Disney, and what it means to be a part of it.

HM: Tell us about your character, Gilbert.

CS: Gilbert loves to have a good time. He is smart, funny, gets scared very easily; he doesn’t like horror movies, which is funny because he is the total opposite of his best friend Marshall, who’s always pushing him to face his fears.

HM: What was the scene you enjoyed filming the most?

CS: Every scene was fun to shoot. There was something in every scene. But I remember how fun the car scenes were, and I say the last scene. I’m not gonna say too much cause y’all gotta tune in.

HM: How familiar were you with the original movie?

CS: No, I didn’t know what Under Wraps was when I got the audition. And I actually ended up watching it after I booked the job with my castmates in Vancouver, Canada. Which I think was great cause it was after we already put our own spin on the characters and what we thought they would be.

HM: With Disney as a brand known for creating a lot of original movies and you are a part of this legacy, which has a lot of significance to generations coming after you. How does it feel to be a part of this legacy?

CS: It feels amazing. I grew up watching Disney Channel, so to be on a network like this and [do] not just one but two things. Oh gosh, God is so good! I say to all kids out there, keep working hard and don’t give up. If you believe in something and have something that you wanna do, don’t stop. You gonna face a lot of rejection [for] whatever you choose to do. But you gotta let it be fuel for your fire and keep going and know that you can do it.

Watch our full interview above, and make sure to check out Under Wraps on Disney+ on Friday, October 8.

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Racing Against the Times in ‘Fast 9’ with Nathalie Emmanuel

Game of Thrones actress Nathalie Emmanuel sat with Hollywood Melanin to discuss the upcoming addition to the Fast franchise. Her character, Ramsey, is a super intelligent, tech-savvy ‘hacktivist,’ showing women in a powerful light.

 Emmanuel revealed what she did to prepare for her role and what it meant to play such a strong and crucial character in the Fast & Furious series. During this critical time of social change, Emmanuel stressed how important it was to have a powerful representation of women in roles that break social stigmas.

Ramsey is a woman-mastermind and a cyber genius. Using her expertise and intellect, she was able to join Torretto’s crew and take them to the next level. Having an expert hacker like Ramsey contributes to Dom’s (Vin Diesel) ability to fulfill missions by applying science to the need for speed.

(from left) Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Dom (Vin Diesel) in “F9,” directed by Justin Lin.

During our conversation, Emmanuel reflected on her role, and what technologically advanced representation does for the overall narrative. “I think it’s a great representation for women and women of color in tech—it’s really not something that you hear about.” She continued, “I think it’s really important that you have that representation, that she’s not only just into tech and she’s good at it— she’s exceptional… Maybe it can inspire people to go off to do things that maybe they think, ‘someone like me cant do that.’”

Emmanuel described her character in F9 as “hyper-focused.” Ramsey is able to pinpoint a solution amid the chaos of cars flying in the air. “I think she is one of these people who are hyper-focused, and this is what she’s good at, this is what she enjoys—so she had to note every single thing about it, and obviously technology is changing all the time, this sort of learning and on-changing. She’s just so obsessed with it that she knows as much as anyone can know; it might just explain why she hasn’t got her license because she was literally doing technology her whole life.” Emmanuel really immersed herself into her character, even relating to the fact that she can’t drive in reality!

Catch Nathalie Emmanuel in ‘F9: The Fast Saga‘ on June 25 in theaters near you!

by Betti Halsell

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Going Full Throttle in ‘F9’ With Tyrese Gibson

‘F9: The Fast Saga’ hits theaters on June 25

by Betti Halsell

Iconic character Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) has made it through major milestones in the Fast and Furious series, and his character is always testing new extremities in the Fast Saga. Gibson gave HM an exclusive breakdown of his character and what it means to be a part of the Fast & Furious family.

In our conversation, the R&B legend turn-action-movie-star has shown the breadth of his talent, shared his perspective regarding the franchise’s contribution to ethnic representation, and explained why the forthcoming installment is an absolute must-see!

As a reminder, Roman entered the saga as the childhood friend of Brian O’Conner (played by the late Paul Walker). The audience meets him as a convict on house arrest, a sentence he received for harboring stolen cars.  O’Conner convinces Pearce to team up and take down the Argentinian drug lord Carter Verone (Cole Hauser).

When first introduced to viewers in 2 Fast 2 Furious, Pearce wants nothing to do with the operations. By the ninth chapter, however, we see a total shift – he is no longer foreign to danger and now fearlessly drives a military-grade tank-like vehicle through fatal war grounds.

Fast 9 pushes the limits of every character and is filled with a great deal of action! “It was a lot of movie to sit through because it’s just so much action, wall-to-wall humor, comedy, history, backstory,” Tyrese told HM.

The six billion dollar franchise has always emphasized the meaning of family and consistently put diversity to the forefront. When asked about the cultural narrative of the film, Tyrese said, “We’ve been carrying the diversity and inclusion torch for 20 years–and when we say diversity and inclusion, we’re not just saying Black and Brown, we’re saying women in movies shouldn’t be just holding on the super hero’s arm and being saved.” He continued, “We’ve always pushed that narrative–they may not want to give us the credit and that’s actually ok, but when you see the level of diversity and inclusion–and the multi-ethnic Asian, White, Black, Latino, Brazilian…we checked off every box there is, and I think there is something really powerful about people going to the movies and seeing someone that looks like them or where their from, talk the way they talk.” 

The Fast & Furious veteran promises – fans will not be disappointed, “Whoever grew up with us, whoever was raised by this franchise, they’re gonna be very happy with Fast 9.”

Catch Roman explore the theory of being invincible on June 25 in theaters near you.

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