Anthony Alabi is an actor, writer and former NFL player with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. He left the NFL in 2010 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his true passion, acting. He was born in San Antonio, TX of a Puerto Rican mother and a Nigerian father. Anthony Alabi is a series lead in a new Netflix comedy called “Family Reunion” which debuted July 2019. His other credits include a recurring role on Amazon’s “Bosch” and Disney’s “Raven’s Home,” guest-starring roles on CBS “NCIS,” ABC “Modern Family,” Fox “The Mick,” and a supporting role on Netflix feature film “Pee Wee’s Big Holiday.”
1. For the people who might not know you, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Anthony Alabi and I’m an actor/human being.
2. How did you become involved in the entertainment industry?
I’ve wanted to be an actor since I was a kid. After retiring from the NFL, I came to LA to do it. I even gave up an NFL contract offer for a non-union $300 job. It was my first one.
3. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
Marrying my soulmate and adding two great people to this world.
4. You are a former NFL player. Did you ever think you would switch to acting?
Absolutely! It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Football is just something that kind of got in the way.
5. How would you describe “Family Reunion” to someone who hasn’t seen it yet?
A nostalgic traditional family sitcom that has been updated with the relevant topics of our time. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it will move you.
6. What does this show mean to you?
It represents the culmination of a lot of hard work, passion and all the people who helped me get to this point.
7. What is your best memory from any set?
That’s a tough one to answer. There are so many great moments that we had filming this season. I’d say the filming of episode six was my favorite week. We were in an RV the whole time and all we did was play all day.
8. What would be your dream role?
I have a lot of characters I would love to play. But, none more than an officer in a Star Trek series. I’m such a huge fan, that playing a Vulcan or a Klingon or a federation officer would be a dream come true.
9. What are some misconceptions about your job as an actor?
Well, I think a lot of people watch actors and say, “I can do that.” There is so much more preparation and skill than they think. This is an art, but it’s an art form that requires touch. That touch is developed with some talent, but mostly an insane amount of hard work.
10. Who are some artists that you admire and why?
I admire great artists, but more so artists who also create. Seth Rogen, Don Cheadle, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Brian Cranston, and Donald Glover are all artists I try to emulate. They are brilliant actors but go beyond that to create worlds that I want to see or live in.
11. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Patience. You’ll get there.
12. Do you have any advice to aspiring actors who want to get started in the industry?
Make sure this is exactly what you want to do and what you’re doing it for the right reasons. Fame and celebrity fade. At the end of the day, all that matters is your work and your passion.
13. What do you have in mind for the future?
I’m going to create content. I want to create shows and be in some. Constantly performing and creating. That’s the goal.
14. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring more awareness to in the future?
My mother died of breast cancer back in 2001 and my wife used to be a teacher. So for us, we would love to start a charity to help children who lost a parent to breast cancer pay for school.
Thank you so much to Anthony for the lovely interview. You can find more about him and his work on:
Photo credit: Diana Ragland