Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing a creator, writer, director, executive producer, and actor behind the critically acclaimed web series The Rules of Messin’ Around(TROMA) and this amazing individual is Willie Robbins III! For those who don’t know, The Rules of Messin’ Around is a web series focusing on a seemingly happily married man who is the role-model to his three bachelor friends. Although the bachelor life is more enticing, all games must come to an end. Willie also has Strong Will Entertainment, a production company made up of a team of like-minded filmmakers that are dedicated to providing audiences around the world with unforgettable compelling stories through the art of film.
Besides being behind the camera, Willie made a guest appearance in one of the episode of The Rules of Messin’ Around and he was tremendous! Wow—a top notch actor on top of all the other hats he wears? I think it’s safe to assume that Willie is EXTREMELY talented and he is definitely on the rise to stardom. Check out my interview with Willie where he discusses The Rules of Messin’ Around, what fans can expect for season two of the show, what’s next for him, and more below.
-Growing up, did you always want to pursue a career in the entertainment field?
The first movie I remember watching in a movie theater was The Lion King, as any child I was captivated by the big screen. I would go as far to say I wanted to be Simba. So, of course, I knew exactly what I wanted to be—a Lion! (Lol) I wanted to be a Lion who would grow to be a King!
-As far as acting and directing is concerned, who are your inspirations?
Acting is what got me to the point of wanting to create. No one has ever given me a chance in front of a camera. I figured why not create my own opportunities; and in doing that, I found a passion in directing my own projects. I get better every time! TROMA was merely an experiment that people just happened to like. In my case, I feel that my acting ability has created a decent director/ writer and on the other end it makes me a better actor. So, if I had to choose one to follow I’d love to continue directing, although the actor in me will never die!
-How did you come up with The Rules of Messin’ Around?
I always knew I wanted to do a web series. I’m heavily rooted in the church world, and with that being said; I found Lawrence’s storyline fascinating and sadly realistic. From that story I wanted him to have real friends. Pete was originally supposed to be a best friend, but the actor who I wanted for the role wasn’t available as often as needed. This is how Percy Bell’s character (who plays Pete) was altered to be Lawrence’s nephew because he looked younger. Again, it was just an experiment and to let people know Willie Robbins III is a storyteller! (Lol)
-What do you think it is about the show that keeps viewers/fans coming back episode after episode? People love drama Philip! At least they love drama in entertainment! I’d love to see TROMA on Starz or HBO with a runtime of 50 minutes at 8 episodes!
-What can viewers/fans expect for season two of The Rules of Messin’ Around?
In Season two, fans can expect new characters and twists of tangled love webs. New secrets will be born and people will be hurt… That’s all I can say!
-You recently shot a short film called Abort that you not only directed & co-wrote but you also star in the film. What is Abort about?
Well, my most recent work was a film we shot during the 48hr Film Project competition, Circumvent, which can be viewed on our website www.strongwillent.net. But, to answer your question, I can’t take credit for co-writing Abort. I was more of an editor of the script. The writer is Robert Vickers. Abort, is a faith-based film. It explores the guilt of a young upcoming hip hop producer who pays money for his girlfriend to abort a life. I will stop there… It’s one of those films you just have to watch. I don’t think I did it any justice to say the least. (Lol) Its a great story!
-Which actor/actress would you love to cast in one of your projects? Why?
That’s a hard question! It’s difficult to narrow down to one actor. I’d love to work with Omari Hardwick. I first saw his work back in 2009 on a short lived TV series, Dark Blue. He’s a well rounded black brother who has serious chops and has made a name for himself!
-Are there any plans to do more web series in the future besides The Rules of Messin’ Around?
I plan to do more series in the future. I even plan to create and let others write. I would even go as far as putting quality work created by other artist and filmmakers on my channel. The idea is to have a slate of work for networks to choose from (lol)… Eventually someone will bite on one of these old projects.
-What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into acting and directing?
The only advice I could give in my position is, DO IT YOURSELF!!! There are no excuses in not being able to produce films. Technology has advanced to make all things possible for even the newest of storytellers!!! Actors, find out where these filmmakers hang out! Take acting workshops and classes! NETWORK! NETWORK!! NETWORK!!!
-What is NEXT for Willie Robbins III?
Well only God knows what’s really next for me, but I will say MORE FILMS!!! I’ve written my first feature film which we will be going into preproduction (hopefully) real soon! Two of my films (one I didn’t write, but shot, directed & edited) have made it into the International Black Film Festival (IBFF). Questions dialogue strictly relying on questions to tell the story of an addict. Then we have Masquerade, a silent short film, written by Meleisha J. Edwards. So, I’m ready to take the industry by storm…not taking NO for an answer!
Photo Credit: Strong Will Entertainment Facebook/Instagram