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An Interview with Mo McRae (Tyler, 'Sons of Anarchy')


An Interview with Mo McRae (Tyler, 'Sons of Anarchy')
Photo Credit: Joe DeAngelis
Not every actor is destined to become as famous Tom Hanks, Angelia Jolie or Johnny Depp and of the 120,000+ members of the Screen Actors Guild, only a small percentage will become household names. Being a successful actor has very little to do with recognition as it does with the roles they choose and how well viewers respond to the characters they play.

Landing a regular gig on a television series is not as easy as one might imagine and consistently working in this area is as much about luck as it is about talent. Rising star Mo McRae has been fortunate enough to have worked on series after series for the last 12 years. His latest role on the hit FX drama Sons of Anarchy showcases his incredible talent.

Having appeared on series such as CSI: NY, The Shield and Detroit 1-8-7 (just to name a few), Mo has had the opportunity to really challenge himself as an actor and has made each role better than the last.

I had the pleasure of chatting with this very sweet and funny actor about becoming an actor, his most embarrassing moment and his role as Tyler on the hit FX drama Sons of Anarchy.

Q: Did you grow up knowing you wanted to become an actor?

"You know, in retrospect, I realize I did. I was in a play when I was in middle school, but it was in high school that I knew that this is what I really wanted to do and went to my high school's drama department and it felt like home."

Q: What was the worst job you ever had?

"I really only had one other job and it wasn't that bad. I worked at Ralph's, which is a grocery store. I bagged groceries and pushed the carts around the parking lot in 105 degree weather."

Q: Who was the first big celebrity you met?

"The first celebrity I met was Marg Helgenberger from CSI. I grew up with someone who was a mentor to me and they were related."

Q: What was your most embarrassing moment?

"There are so many...Ok, I was riding a bike on Venice Beach on the path and this beautiful woman made eye contact with me and I don't know why, but I thought it would be cool to reach down for the water bottle and the path curved and didn't know because my attention was divided between this young lady in a bikini and the water bottle I'm reaching for and I slipped off the bike into the sand. I had sand all over and she laughed at me."

Q: You've appeared in a number of TV series, which role challenged you most as an actor?

"It's a project that has not come out yet and I play a guy in a wheelchair. It was the most challenging thing I've had to do -- before production started, I rented a wheelchair and I would go out in the real world. I went out on a date in a wheelchair and would blackout times to go out and have training in the wheelchair. One of the producers on the project was a woman named Carolyn Adams, who was an extremely hardcore acting coach and she was totally honest with me and pushed me to the limit."

Q: Which cast was your favorite to work with?

"I did a movie with The Rock called Gridiron Gang and that was the most fun I ever had on set. We did football camp and I never had an interest in playing football and I got to play with these former NFL guys. The Rock is a great guy and so much fun to be around."

Q: Tell us about your role on Sons of Anarchy...

"I play Tyler, who is a member of another gang who doesn't ride bikes but we interact with and had issues from time to time with the other gang. This season, Harold Perrineau was on and he was a boss over everyone and everything and he decided to seek revenge against the Sons of Anarchy because they killed his daughter. He killed the previous leaders of my gang right in front of me and he then appoints me the leader of the one-niners, which is a position not sought after what happened with the previous leaders."

Q: What similarities do you share with Tyler?

"I think I share all the basic human qualities of my character -- my character has loved, desired, feared... you just have to find out where to accomplish your goals and manage those other elements."

Q: Do you follow any TV shows on a regular basis?

"Yes I do. One show in particular that I get stressed out of I miss is that show Boss with Kelsey Grammar. I also watch Breaking Bad and Girls."

Q: Do you use Twitter or Facebook to keep in touch with your fans?

"I use Twitter - @therealmomcrae"

Q: Do you have any projects in the works?

"I have The Butler, which was directed by Lee Daniels and stars Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Cuba Gooding Jr., Robin Williams, Jane Fonda, John Cusack -- I am so humbled to be a part of it. I am also going to be on an upcoming show on Showtime called Ray Donovan."
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