In today’s world of entertainment, it’s not uncommon for a new actor to start out in either web series or short films. After some time, one only hopes that the new actor will gradually move to mainstream productions and that is the case for actor/rapper Terayle Hill. From 2014 to 2016, Hill starred as Demauri’A Watkins in the popular web series, College Boyfriends. Created by Tina Shakiyah & Donte Rose, College Boyfriends chronicled five college male students at Clark Atlanta University as they struggled with being a “boyfriend” during college. After the web series ended after its third season, Hill graduated from Clark Atlanta University in May 2016 and has been pursuing his acting & filmmaking full-time.
In addition to College Boyfriends, Hill’s resume includes various films & TV series such as I Am Homicide, Taboo-The Unthinkable Act, and No Regrets with Monica Calhoun, Sharon Leal, Brian White, Loretta Devine, and Elise Neal. Hill’s most recent role is Jalen in BET’s newest series, The Quad, which follows ambitious yet troubled Dr. Eva Fletcher(Anika Noni Rose), the newly-elected President of the fictional Georgia A&M University. Upon arriving, Eva is charged with saving the prestigious HBCU from bankruptcy and her twenty-year marriage from crumbling while managing a tumultuous relationship with her rebellious only daughter. A diverse group of freshman also promises to keep Eva’s hands full.
Check out my interview with Terayle Hill where he discusses The Quad, College Boyfriends, what his dream role is, and more below.
1-Growing up, did you always know you wanted to become an actor?
Growing up I could see myself doing A LOT. Acting was on that list but it was far from the top of the list. It wasn’t until Sophomore Year of college (2014) when I decided to get serious about acting. That’s when I began actively auditioning, finding representation, and practicing my craft. I was not, nor am I a “trained” actor. I didn’t go to acting classes and some kind of seminary for this. Though I plan to, I haven’t and I always thought that would put me at a disadvantage. I am happy to be where I am now and hope to only grow from here!
2-You were part of the successful web series College Boyfriends as Demauri’A Watkins. How was that experience?
Playing Demauri’A Watkins on College Boyfriends was probably my biggest burst of confidence over the years. Many people don’t know but that was actually one of my first projects. I was on like 30 episodes. The internet doesn’t hold their tongue on what they think is quality acting or not. I got some of my best criticism from Twitter. I thank God for opportunities to get better because I was CONSTANTLY in front of a camera and every Wednesday, I was in front of some critic which forced me to bring my A game.
3- Where do you think your character would be in 2017?
My character now? In 2017? Well you saw the show so I mean…I could either be behind bars or running a non-profit. My character was all over the place.
4-Besides acting, you are a rapper and song writer. Do you plan on releasing any new material this year?
I love music. I actually have a few songs on Apple Music right now. But I have a film Degree and a strong passion for being a Director and Film Maker. Many of the scores in the films I make are written and created by me or someone I am sitting next to the ENTIRE time. Music got me through some pretty rough times so I don’t think I’ll ever abandon it; however I am not really in a rush to release an Album or win a Grammy. I just want to combine my love for Acting, Film Production, and Music into future projects.
5-You are also part of The Quad. How did you get involved with the project?
The Quad came across my agent’s desk and they had many roles I could audition for (which was dope). At the time, I was actually a student at Clark Atlanta University so I felt like I HAD TO BE ON THE SHOW. I was actually at an HBCU. They ended up FILMING The Quad at Clark. I couldn’t live it down if I hadn’t booked it. So I auditioned and got a callback… then another… then another… I kept getting called in for one role. At the Director’s Session, I was asked to forget about that role and read for JALEN instead. I ended up getting the offer later that night for JALEN and I was so excited to have booked a show while in school, being filmed on my campus, and to have a role that would end up being recurring. God is good. I thank every day for the opportunities He makes available so I’m just excited to see what He has next!
6-Besides Anika Noni Rose, The Quad also stars Jasmine Guy and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. How was it being in a project with these seasoned actors?
I’ve met everyone except Jasmine Guy, but I hear she’s the one of the coolest people on set. I can’t wait to see for myself. But Miss Rose and Mr. Santiago-Hudson are dope! It’s just crazy to see them in person sometimes. I grew up watching them. I just saw Anika on Law & Order and all of a sudden we are on set together. It’s hard to really take in sometimes. I haven’t been doing this my entire life like most of the people on set. It’s still weird sometimes because I feel like I don’t belong. But I’m not as quiet as I used to be so I’m making progress.
7-How would you describe your character, Jalen?
In the Pilot episode(Movie), Jalen is one of the few guys in the Frat on campus. He also strolls with the Frat so he’s new to the Fraternity. You see him working and trying to get people registered to Vote. But later on in the season, more of his personality comes out. He’s a pretty confident guy that has his own since of humor. I hope he’s a memorable character and hopefully you will see more of Jalen in season two.
8-What is your dream role?
I want to play a role that will impact the way someone thinks. I want an opportunity to show my range. I don’t want to be stuck in the same role my entire life. I’m happy to say that I’ve booked projects that are coming out later this year that show me acting on a different level; not just comedic. However, I want to have a role that will change someone’s perspective on life. Cuba Gooding Jr. changed my life with his role on Radio. It made me look at life differently. It’s cliché to say I want roles that Denzel[Washington] or Will Smith have played…But I do. I really do. Those are the roles that have made me forget who they were. Will Smith was not The Fresh Prince[of Bel-Air] in The Pursuit of Happiness. Denzel Washington was John Q! Watching these movies was bigger than just entertainment. The roles they have played require range, focus, talent, and a skill level that I hope I can reach one day.
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into acting?
You have to have tough skin. I am Blessed to say that I have some pretty notable credits on my resume; however I still wish I would’ve started earlier or trained because now it’s a passion of mine. You will be told no way more than you will be told yes. The same casting director that booked me on my biggest credit on my resume so far is the same casting director I embarrassed myself in front of just two years ago. You can’t be afraid. You can’t procrastinate on mastering auditions. While you sleep, someone is working harder than you. If you can afford to train, do it. I didn’t but it’s because I could not afford it. Don’t cut corners. Good headshots are expensive. But they are an investment. And don’t forget that there is ALWAYS someone better than you. You have to be humble; God gave you the opportunity. Be thankful. Don’t be arrogant.
10-What is NEXT for Terayle Hill?
Actively auditioning-I have three movies that come out in theaters this year! You can read more about those on my IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7570216/. I’m not sure what I am allowed to talk about so whatever it says on those pages, I assume is a longer a secret. I mentioned that I love writing and directing. I’m currently preparing for the Film Festival circuit so I’m hoping to win more awards with the films I am working on now. I have the GA Entertainment Gala coming up and I am nominated for the “Person to watch in Georgia Entertainment” award! But more than anything, I am getting ready for my life changes. I’m turning 23, I’m engaged to be married to my beautiful fiancé Loren Lott, and I am getting close to God every day. Hopefully I can show everyone what I can do! Keep God first everyone! Peace!
Photo Credit: Terayle Hill