ACTOR OF THE DAY: MICHAEL EALY
Next in: Seven Pounds coming out December 19 2008
His Character: The brother of Ben Thomas (Will Smith)
The Buzz: Michael Ealy, soon to appear in the widely awaited Seven Pounds is an intense actor that display amazing potential. Under the right circumstances (i.e. Better movies), he can even become a movie icon a la Brad Pitt.
Michael Ealy was born Michael Brown in Silver Spring, Maryland. He grew up in the suburban Maryland neighborhood of Stonegate. He attended Springbrook High School and the University of Maryland, College Park.
Michael Ealy started his acting career in the late-1990s, appearing in a number of off-Broadway stage productions. Among his first film roles were Fast Company and Kissing Jessica Stein. His breakout role came in 2002’s Barbershop, in which he plays reformed street thug Ricky Nash, a role that he reprised in the 2004 sequel, Barbershop 2: Back in Business. In 2003, he played the role of Slap Jack in the second installment of the Fast and the Furious film series, 2 Fast 2 Furious. Later in 2004, Ealy appeared in Never Die Alone with DMX. He also appeared in Mariah Carey’s music video for her hit single “Get Your Number” from her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi.
In 2005, Ealy co-starred in the telefilm version of Their Eyes Were Watching God, produced by Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, and starring Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry. The same year, he starred in the independent film Jellysmoke, directed by Mark Banning. He starred in the Showtime television series Sleeper Cell, the first season of which aired from December 4-18, 2005, and the second season, Sleeper Cell: American Terror, which aired December 10-17, 2006.
On December 14, 2006, Ealy was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role in Sleeper Cell: American Terror in the category Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.