Actor Michael Anthony (Raising Dion, Chicago Med) stars in the BET+ original film American Gangster Presents Big Fifty – The Delrhonda Hood Story. The film is the acting debut for Remy Ma in a leading role as the notorious Delrhonda Hood, aka “Big Fifty,” with Anthony playing her husband ‘Ricky,’ a hustler and muscle in the streets of Detroit who falls hard for the rapper. Directed by award-winning Radio Broadcaster/Writer/Producer/Director Russ Parr, Big Fifty – The Delrhonda Hood Story premiered on streaming channel BET+

See the trailer HERE

This real-life drama snatched from the BET+ original series, American Gangster: Trap Queens tells the true story of the unbelievable life of Bronx-bred rapper Delrhonda Hood aka ‘Big Fifty.’ In her own voice, Big Fifty navigates the twists and turns of her fast-paced, dangerous journey that leads to the ultimate story of redemption. Hers is a story of a notorious American Gangster, which stems from the traumatic events from her childhood, and leads to a life of crime, violence, and the repercussions from bad decisions.

Audiences will not only have the opportunity to receive Remy Ma as a talented, dramatic actress, but they will also hear her new single, “The Godmother,” the title track for the film. Starring alongside Remy Ma and Anthony are R&B singer/actor Durrell “Tank” Babbs, Ta Rhonda Jones (FOX’s Empire), comedian/actress Pretty Vee (making her theatrical acting debut and from Nick Cannon’s Wildin’ Out), Mike Merrill (CW’s All American), film/television veteran Debbi Morgan (ABC’s All My Children), Marquita Goings (BET’s American Soul) and introducing internet sensation Rolonda Rochelle. Big Fifty – The Delrhonda Hood Story was written by Gabrielle Collins, and produced by Washington, D.C.-based OCTET Productions. 

Furthermore, Anthony can be seen in several high-profile TV and film projects through 2022. He will be featured in a major recurring role as ‘Gary Stafford’ in the highly anticipated second season of Raising Dion. Netflix’s official premiere date announcement is forthcoming. 

In addition, he stars as ‘Wisconsin’ in Paramount’s upcoming family action film Secret Headquarters, co-directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. 

He was named the “Fastest Growing Actor of the Year” in 2020 by the Atlanta Actors’ Collective (AAC), Anthony Is a successful actor and writer originally from Akron, Ohio. Prior to finding his passion for the arts, he spent four years in the US Military Special Forces, including serving in Operation Enduring Freedom (following 9/11) back in 2001. His military rank was E-4/ SRA for the United States Airforce. Anthony then spent 16 years in the Music Industry as a Writer and Producer. He is also trained in a variety of combat arts, including Muay Thai, boxing, and ground fighting, making him a favorite to be cast in combat arts-related series and movies. Some of Anthony’s most notable film and TV credits include American Soul, Kings of Jo’burg, Raising Dion (Netflix), Chicago Med (NBC), MacGyver (CBS), and Dynasty (TheCW). He currently resides in Atlanta.

Hustle and Soul Magazine got an exclusive interview with Michael Anthony.

Tammy: You portray Big Fifty’s husband in the BET+ original film American Gangster Presents Big Fifty — The Delrhonda Hood Story. What was it like working with Remy Ma on this project?

Michael: Remy Ma is my sister’s favorite music artist of all time. When I got the gig my sister was so excited. Remy is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met as far as celebrities are concerned. She is just a real and wonderful person. 

Tammy: Did you know about Big Fifty before taking on the role and what did you learn from being in her world as an actor?

Michael: One of the shows I like to watch is American Gangster. I watched the documentary and I remember thinking that this woman does not play at all. I was excited to be able to tap into that world. 

I have family members from Detroit. My uncle was on America’s Most Wanted. He comes from that world as well. Growing up in poverty I was familiar with those stories as most of us are. 

Tammy: What went into your decision to transition from a music producer to an actor?

Michael: I was in the music industry for about 16 years writing, singing, writing, rapping, and anything else that I could do pertaining to music because I am just a natural-born entertainer. 

As a kid, I loved watching muppet babies. Since then my imagination has always been my strength. With music and acting you have to at times go back to your childhood skill set and I’ve always secretly wanted to be an actor. I got the opportunity when I was working on the soundtrack for a movie called Magic City in Miami. The director that was sitting next to me told me that I looked like one of the characters and asked did I want to read for the role. I went to the audition and tried it out. I didn’t know what I was doing but I got the role and ever since I was bit by the acting bug. It was instant love. 

Tammy: Thank you so much for your service as a veteran! How do you use your experience from the US Military in your acting?

Michael: You’re Welcome, Thank you! Being in the military you are in the position to be more empathetic especially when you go overseas. We look at the world so differently as Americans but we really are so similar in so many ways. In the military when you go into another country, your life is depending on a person or their life is depending on you. 

You get to learn so much about other people, the dynamics of their family, and the things that they love or desire. The common denominator is love. You realize that more when you are in the military. Alot of times when you grow up in an area where you don’t really interact with other people you just see what you see on tv or on social media.

Being in the military helped me be a more understanding person and able to have hard conversations with other people from different cultures and sexual orientations.

Tammy: What’s a super fun fact about yourself that many may not know about you?

Michael: A fun fact about me is that people see me on social media and think that I am the life of the party guy, but I am really a homebody. I am always home. I train at the gym, go to my acting classes, and be at home. 

Tammy: What are some projects you can share with us that we can be on the lookout for?

Michael: Next year be on the lookout for “Secret Headquarters” which is a Paramount film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and is slated to be their number one film going into theaters next year starring Owen Wilson, Michael Peña, Jessie Williams, Dustin Ingram, and more. I was the newbie and learned so much from them. I love all of them. 

Another one that will be going back to Netflix is Raising Dion I play Gary Stafford in that. I can’t say too much about it yet, but it’s going to be an interesting twist. That also comes out next year. 

You can catch me on Covenant which airs on the ALL BLK app. Kaye Singleton, a black woman, is the writer, creator, producer. She has such a great vision and I was so excited because it was such a different role for me. I play an ex-football player having some family issues. Ashani Roberts also is a part of it. 

Right now I am currently filming “The Game. It’s a back and a reboot. It was on BET, CBS has it now. It will be on Paramount Plus and on a whole different level. My character is Demarco Brown. We touch on mental health illness in a few episodes that I am in. There’s so much love on that set. 

My favorite thing about being on set is the people. You meet so many different people and learn so many things especially being that there are so many creators locked in a space together. It’s like being a kid going to the playground with a bunch of other little kids just playing. 

Tammy: What do you want your legacy to be in the industry as an actor?

Michael: I just want to leave this earth as a free man. I look at Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and Dave Chappelle and I think about how greatness comes with freedom. There may be way more actors that have way more money or accolades than me but I just want to be free. Free to have my opinion, free to love the way I love, and freedom to create. As long as I am free, I am good. I will never take a billion dollars to be in prison in any type of way.

Tammy: You are truly inspirational and so accomplished. Your work has been seen on BET, Netflix, ALL BLK, and so much more. What advice would you have for anyone who aspires to become an actor?

Michael: You have to love it. If you don’t love it, then it’s not for you. Don’t do it for the money or because you want to be famous or rich. Those are the majority of the people who don’t make it. It’s just like you don’t marry a man because you want a wedding ring on your finger. Marry him because you both love each other properly and you both make a great team. It’s the same with acting. 

During my 16 years in the music industry, I spent 6 days in the studio, 12–16 hours a day, even when I had a job. I would have about 3 hours of sleep. I made thousands of songs and only 3 or 4 made it to the radio. Find out what you love. Don’t just do it because you want to gratification from it.

The process of acting is 98 percent preparation and 2 percent on camera.

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Tammy Reese

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