Larenz Tate: “It’s About Longevity, Not The Sprint”

Darius Lovehall, O-Dog, Frankie Lymon…the list goes on and on for all the memorable characters that actor Larenz Tate has played over the years. As each film role becomes cemented as a classic, the youthful looking Tate still has a killer smile and an incredible work ethic.

In fact, Tate started working as a professional actor at age 11, after his parents moved him and his two brothers out to Los Angeles. He got his breakout role at age 17, when the Hughes Brothers cast him as “O-Dog” in the classic film, Menace II Society.

Nearly 25 years later, Tate describes what it takes to make it last in this industry where many start off with big dreams, but don’t always make it.

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“It’s all about reinventing yourself,” explains Tate. “So I’ve had a great career in movies and I still have a lot more to go with the things that I’m doing, but you have to continue broadening your audience and your brand. A natural progression in movies was to start trying to tell my own stories. So now my brothers and I have a production company, and we have been laying down a foundation for years and years. And now we’re producing different projects for different platforms and movies and television and the digital space, so that has not stopped, in terms of keeping the body of work started in movies going.”
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“I gravitate towards roles that are about real life. To me it’s about longevity and not about the sprint. Because in Hollywood, that 15 minutes of fame and then you’re done. My father and mother made sure I had a balance and the helped me tremendously.”

On Managing Money Over The Years

“I live below my means. If everybody’s going on vacation. I might not be able to do the Private Jet…I’ll get there! If they want to do the yacht boat thing, I’ll put some ON the yacht! I got 3 kids and it doesn’t make sense. I’ve seen highs and lows in my career financially. When people are out there ballin’ out of control…I know the real deal”

When asked which role he could bring back if he could, Tate quickly said, “I would bring back Darius Lovehall in Love Jones and I’ll tell you why. Because Love Jones has touched a lot of people. I have met some real, hardcore dudes and they love Love Jones. If Darius Lovehall can make a thug fall in love, then I’m with it.”

On His Real Life ‘Love Jones’
This year also marks the 10th wedding Anniversary for Tate and his wife Tomasina. The couple has three boys and loving life living in Los Angeles.

“Marriage is great, but marriage isn’t for everybody,” admits Tate. “It’s something you have to make your own. What works in your relationship and marriage, may not work in your marriage. You have to find someone who is going to be in for the long journey and not the sprint. You give up a lot in marriage, but you don’t have to give up who you are. Find someone who is…