Trevante Rhodes: Taking The Road Less Traveled

(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Netflix)

Chances are, you’re one of the millions who have seen Netflix’s blockbuster hit, Bird Box. It has broken viewing records, becoming the streaming service’s most streamed movies in its first seven days. It’s even spawned a weird “bird box challenge” on social media. But the highlight for many, especially women, is the film’s co-star, Trevante Rhodes.

Rhodes plays Tom, a marine among a group of end-of-times survivors including co-star Sandra Bullock’s character, Malorie. Tom’s character has military background and ties right into Rhodes’ muscular building and striking figure. At first glance but immediately establishes himself as a calm, collected voice in the crowd, one of the only cool heads in a room full of terrified civilians.

“I wake up at 4:30, I meditate, then I go to the gym for a couple hours, do abs, whatever muscle that is for the day, we jog, and we start our day at eight,” Rhodes tells Men’s Health of his highly regimented regimen.

It’s said that successful people start their day before the early bird, or “the early bird catches the worm” or something like that. That’s one among many possible explanations for the increasing success of Rhodes in the last two years following his breakout role in Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning “Moonlight.” His routine is therapeutic, he says. “I think it’s kind of like a chicken-and-egg thing,” says Rhodes. “But I think everything starts mentally. Everything starts mentally and spiritually, emotionally, all of those things. Everything is, for me at least, inside out.”

“I’m human,” Rhodes offers. “The alarm goes off, I’m like, ‘Ah, I want to sleep!’” But the days when sleep prevails, he notes, are the days when he simply doesn’t feel the same. It’s a matter of lifestyle. “I know that personally, I need this, and I need to get up, I need to drink my water, I need to do all these things for me to continue the quality of life that I like.”

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Rhodes was “discovered” while jogging around the University of Texas at Austin’s campus. Rhodes, a native of Little Elm in North Dallas, came to Austin in 2008 to study corporate communications with the hopes of becoming a petroleum landman. But during his senior year at UT, where he ran for the Longhorn track and field team, he was stopped during a jog and invited to audition for an acting role. He didn’t land it, but he was hooked. Deciding to put his corporate plans on hold for a little bit to give acting a shot, Rhodes moved to Los Angeles months after graduating in 2012.

So what’s next for the handsome 29-year-old star?

“I have no interest in doing anything that doesn’t give me that ability to breathe in the character and…