You’ll be starring in How We Roll, a tv series premiering on CBS March 31st – tell us about your character and what viewers can expect from the show?
Tahj: How We Roll is a sitcom that has the perfect blend of comedy and heart. The cast is amazing, and the show is based on professional bowler Tom Smallwood’s life. I play a character named Lew, and I work at the bowling alley with Chi McBride and Pete Holmes, who plays Tom Smallwood. My character Lew is sort of a jack of all trades – you never know what he’s going to do or say, and he’s full of surprises. He’s such a fun character to play because every week I never know what he’s going to be pulling out of his hat.
You also have a major film coming out on Netflix this summer called Me Time with Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg. What can you tell us about Me Time and your experience working on the film?
Tahj: Believe me when I tell you, I have never had that much fun on set. Ever. You know, there’s this thing called imposter syndrome, and the first day on set seeing Mark and Kevin, I was like, “What is happening!?”. They are so cool to work with, and it’s always so nice to meet people that you admire in business, but to work with them and see that they’re super down to earth and welcoming is incredible. The movie was written and directed by John Hamburg, co-writer of Zoolander and Meet The Parents, and we busted up laughing countless times on set.
The movie is hilarious, but it’s also about real life and coming out on the other side as a better friend, father, husband, and just learning how to have “me time”. I can’t wait for people to see it.
You are well known for playing TJ Henderson on Smart Guy – what was your favourite episode to film and do you have any memorable moments you can share?
Tahj: I had so much fun on that show. I would say my favourite episode to film was called “The Code”. In this episode, I had to sneak into the principal’s office to change grades, and I entered the office “Mission Impossible” style on a cord like Tom Cruise. I remember being so excited that week to be able to pretend I was Tom Cruise, and so that was probably my favourite. But on the other hand, the shows that we did dealing with underage drinking or strangers on the net were episodes that I feel were very pivotal. I think kids even today can learn from some of the topics we explored on the show.
Smart Guy Reboot – What can you tell us?
Tahj: Smart Guy reboot is in the works, but there’s a lot of moving pieces that need to be worked out. We do have a network interested, and the idea that I was able to come up with has a really fresh take on it that I think will blend the old with some new as well. The goal is to make the diehard Smart Guy fans happy, but also create room for a new audience to enjoy it. I want it to be a series that can live for years to come. So it’s going to take some time, but I know the fans want it and I think it will be a beautiful thing. We will not stop until we make it happen.
You’ve been in the industry since you were a child. Did it make a difference for you having your older sisters Tia and Tamera [Sister, Sister] to help guide you through and keep you grounded?
Tahj: I think it’s important to have a good group of people around you and to surround yourself with people that ground you. I’ve been very blessed to have a family that’s as tight-knit as mine. My parents made sure that all of us had a life outside of acting and Hollywood. One of the most important elements that have helped me in this business is having my family around.
You are so young and have accomplished so much in your life. Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you want to do?
Tahj: I’m so thankful for the career that I’ve had, but I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I would like to accomplish and where I would like to go.
I keep my goals in mind and maintain a grateful attitude because I never want to take anything for granted.
Next up for me will be directing a film that I co-wrote which is now in development. I’d also love to act in more films and continue television. Doing television is my comfort place – I love it [television] and I’ll never stop doing television. I have a real passion for acting and for the greats, like Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. I would love to win an Oscar one day and have to keep going. I don’t ever want to stop doing what I love.
This interview has been shortened for brevity.