Zimbio's Fresh Faces of Summer TV 2015: The Gents

Handsome and talented, these are the guys who will be heating up the small screen this summer.

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Summer anticipation has reached its peak. We're longing for warm nights, weekend trips to the beach, and embarrassingly high levels of ice cream consumption. On top of that, we're also really looking forward to falling in love with new characters and shows on the small screen. 

May we present to you four talented, handsome, articulate, and all-around cool dudes who will certainly leave their mark on this summer's programming schedule. From intense scripted dramas about crime in the '60s, to a high profile drug lord, to the Texas Revolution, to a knee-slapping comedy about the embarrassing consequences of professing your undying love, these guys are the summer standouts who are hoping to take the small screen by storm. (When they're not surfing, making music, or eating BBQ, of course.)

Check out our full interviews with the fresh faces below, as well as a fun list of their favorite things about summer. We can guarantee that you'll be hearing more about these fellas soon enough! 

And if you're interested in our picks for the ladies to watch this summer, click here.

Rotimi Akinosho

Power (Starz)

Zimbio's Fresh Faces of Summer TV 2015: The Gents
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Zimbio: You're coming into the show during its second season. What are the challenges and benefits? Do you feel like you have a different set of expectations?

RA: The benefit of coming into a show at this point is that it's great to be a part of something that's already a hit and already moving. You're going into something with the anticipation of it being better in the second [season], especially with this type of show where we've been compared to other types of shows. There's more curiosity. The hard part is also coming into this show being the new guy and knowing that you're already part of a hit show. It's hard because they're looking for you to contribute in a way that no one else has already and it's already a well-oiled machine. You have to find your identity and fit perfectly in the groove so that you don't mess up the way the show is already moving. 

Summer Fast Five

A quick look at Rotimi's favorites. 

  • Summer Food/Drink

    I love the Sunset at Roscoe's. It's lemonade and fruit punch. I can also eat Jamaican curry chicken and rice all year. 

  • Summer Song

    Anything by Drake is great. 

  • Summer Vacation Spot

    Miami

  • Summer Activity

    Going to the beach

  • Summer Memory

    A backpacking trip through Europe with my mom

Z: Starz has really put themselves on the map with their original programming and they obviously love you after bringing you back for another show. How has it been working with the network?

RA: Starz is like home for me. Aside from CBS, it's the only network that I truly know. It's a blessing because it's still the same people and it's easy to have those conversations when we have those big meetings. It's like I'm their baby. They've known me since I was 21. It's a good fit. It's amazing.

Z: We've seen 50 Cent take drastic measures for the sake of acting, like in Things Fall Apart.  What was it like to work with him on set?

RA: I love 50 because he's bigger than just acting. He's an all-around businessman, he's an amazing person, super smart, and he shows you, as a man, how to be progressing in more ways than one. With him also being one of the executive producers, it really forced me to leave a mark with him. The majority of my scenes happen to be with him, so I'm able to follow his format. He's the biggest name on the show and he treats everyone the same. 

Z: Production moved from New York to Miami. Do you have a preference on where you like to film? 

RA: Both places have amazing women. Wherever they tell me to go, it's a win for everybody [laughs]. I love both places. New York is close to home for me, but Miami is Miami -- there's no better weather than that. It was good to take a break and go somewhere tropical because it was December when we switched. It was a good break from the cold. 

Z: You're a true triple threat. You act in TV and movies, you're a musician, you model...do you prefer doing one thing over the other? Or do you draw inspiration from each of your talents?

RA: I used to say one thing over the other, but at this point they work hand-in-hand because you have to be equally great at being very creative. Music is my passion and acting is my passion, but you have to basically draw from that place that nobody else has created from both platforms. In acting, you have somebody else's lines, but you still have to bring those words to life in a way the writer or director has never seen before. In music, you have to create something that they haven't heard before, as well. I used to say music, but I think they go hand-in-hand. I think both of them make me better.

Starz's Power premieres Saturday, June 6 at 9/8c. 

Grey Damon

Aquarius (NBC)

Zimbio's Fresh Faces of Summer TV 2015: The Gents
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Zimbio: Aside from Charles Manson, what artifacts, texts, people, etc. have you researched to immerse yourself in the '60s? What are your overall thoughts on the decade?

GD: I had three weeks to get some studying in from the time I found out I had booked the job. The producers had supplied us with many books and films and suggested we immerse ourselves in the content as much as possible before filming started. So for three weeks, non-stop, I watched documentaries, read books about Vietnam and the police during that time, and jammed out to a lot of groovy music. I've become a bit of an Otis Redding fan. It's such an interesting decade with so much going on that really shaped the way the world is today, in my humble opinion.

Summer Fast Five

A quick look at Grey's favorites. 

  • Summer Food/Drink

    An Arnold Palmer and any type of breakfast food

  • Summer Song

    "Human Sadness" by Julian Casablancas and The Voids

  • Summer Vacation Spot

    So far, I’d have to say Krabi, Thailand.

  • Summer Activity

    Outside dinners with friends in the warm air

  • Summer Memory

    When I was seventeen, I was lying in a field back home in Indiana and the air was the perfect warmth with a slight breeze that carried the scent of flowers. The stars were bright and fireflies danced around me. It was like something out of a movie.

Z: How has it been to work with David Duchovny? Were you an X-Files fan?

GD: The man is just a pro. He’s taught me a lot and always made sure to do it in a very helpful and encouraging way. I feel very fortunate to have him as a partner – both on the show as cops and in real life on set. My mother loved The X-Files. It was the one show the whole family could agree to watch together. I don't think I fully grasped the content at the time, but I've always had a strange love for ghouls and the unknown. My mom didn't always let us watch stuff like that, but she did let us watch The X-Files because it was well-made, smart, and ahead of its time. I look forward to the show’s comeback.

Z: We know there is a generational conflict between you and Sam. Do you feel like Brian always has something to prove? Aside from saving Emma, what is his primary goal in this series?

GD: He's a bit of an outcast and doesn't worry too much about what people think of him. He's a guy who really cares about what's important to him, like being a good cop, his family, etc.. In a way, I think he's just trying to prove whatever he needs to prove to himself.

Z: What's the most interesting thing you learned about this industry after appearing on Friday Night Lights?

GD: Kyle Chandler said something to me on our last shot of the last episode. He said "take what you learned here and share it with the world." I'm paraphrasing, but he's another great influence I've been lucky enough to learn from. I suppose making sure you listen to people who have your best interest at heart is something I've learned, too.

Z: We hear that you're a comic fan. Is there a character that you'd love to play?

GD: I’ve so desperately wanted to see 100 Bullets made into a cable show like what they did with Game of Thrones. I'd play any of those characters...they're all interesting. I would have also liked to play Wesley in Wanted. In the book, he's just the worst person. The movie made him into a hero, which completely defeated the purpose because it was supposed to be from the villain’s perspective. I feel like that would be my Jordan Belford of Wolf of Wall Street -- just an awful human who fully indulges. A very interesting ride to take.

NBC's Aquarius premieres Thursday, May 28 at 9/8c. 

Trevor Donovan

Texas Rising (History)

Zimbio's Fresh Faces of Summer TV 2015: The Gents
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Zimbio: Texas Rising boasts an all-star cast. Was there a certain actor/actress you were most excited to work with?

TD: Like you said, there are so many names. As the audition process was rolling out, each name came out individually and I was equally excited to work with each of them. 

Summer Fast Five

A quick look at Trevor's favorites. 

  • Summer Food/Drink

    Sushi is year-round for me. I am addicted to it. For drink, I'm a fan of microbeers. They're always very seasonal. I like a light summer beer.

  • Summer Song

    "Summer Nights" from Grease

  • Summer Vacation Spot

    I grew up in Mammoth Lakes, CA, a ski resort town that is known for its snowfall. After living there my whole childhood, I really enjoy going back. It's amazingly beautiful in the summertime. I'd split my time between Mammoth and Mexico. 

  • Summer Activity

    Surfing

  • Summer Memory

    A surfing trip with my dad and  brother. It was one of the last trips we went on together. We ended up in a place called Scorpion Bay down in Baja. 

Z: Prior to production, how familiar were you with the Texas Revolution? Had you visited Texas before? If so, what were your thoughts?

TD: It's big. And everything's bigger there. I've only been there a couple times in short stints for work prior to this. I think the majority of the nation isn't familiar with this part of history. Everyone's familiar with the fall of the Alamo, but not the next six months or even 10 years afterwards. The acquisition of the Texas territory from Mexico -- unless you grew up in Texas, you weren't familiar with the Battle of San Jacinto. The research for this was a huge learning experience for me. Texas was its own republic...it was its own country for a while. It's a very interesting part of history to begin to shed light on. I think it's going to be a great thing. 

Z: A project like this seems like a departure from something like 90210. Is there a genre that you prefer?

TD: Yeah, a little bit [laughs]. The cowboys and indians, Old West, I think almost every young boy grows up playing that. They get those cap guns, running around and hiding behind trees. This was like a childhood dream come true. When you're doing one of these types of projects and you're riding a horse and there's real gunfire going off, cannon fire, the acting goes out the window. You're just doing it. This genre was, like you said, quite the departure from 90210 and such a passion project for everybody. We just had such a blast doing it. 

Z: We know that you're quite the skilled snowboarder and skier! Have these athletic abilities helped with any physical demands you've had on set? Perhaps with the horseback riding? 

TD: Absolutely. I did all but one of my own stunts. Riding a horse, diving off of a horse into a river, all sorts of stuff that I didn't even dream of doing. Riding is a balance game, as well. It's a balance sport like snowboarding. I think that's why my background definitely helped. 

Z: We hear that you're a big Hillary Clinton supporter. Do you have any interest in joining her on the campaign trail?

TD: Here's the thing with me and politics: it's new. I'm learning. I've been fortunate enough to become friends with the Kennedys and the Clintons and I'm really starting to expose myself more to the political arena. You might see me in the background in a couple of her speeches. We'll see how it rolls out. I'm excited about it. 

History's Texas Rising premieres Monday, May 25 at 9/8c. 

Noah Reid

Kevin from Work (ABC Family) 

Zimbio's Fresh Faces of Summer TV 2015: The Gents
ABC Family

Zimbio: Tell us about the challenges and benefits of a single-camera setup (we love that the show is doing this, by the way!).

NR: Well I’ve never worked on a multi-cam show, so I don’t know a lot about that process, but as a viewer I tend to prefer a single-camera show. It feels more like real life. It uses real locations and has a kind of spontaneous feeling that’s hard to come by in multi-cam. I also think the single-camera setup allows for a more subtle style of humor. It’s less about a punch line and more about the individual viewer’s response to a situation. Different people find different things funny, and a laugh track can feel like a guide for an audience. 

Summer Fast Five

A quick look at Noah's favorites.

  • Summer Food/Drink

    Anything that goes on a BBQ

  • Summer Song

    "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones

  • Summer Vacation Spot

    My cottage on Lake Huron

  • Summer Activity

    Taking a break from playing a game in the park

  • Summer Memory

    Being buried in sand at the beach by my dad

Z: What are your thoughts on Kevin's decision to write a letter? What do you think is the best way to profess your love to someone?  

NR: I love the choice of the handwritten letter. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. I think receiving a letter or a handwritten card just feels meaningful. There’s personality in our handwriting and there’s no delete button on a pen. I’d say vocal communication isn’t a bad method of expressing your love to someone, but if that feels too bold, and sometimes it does, maybe a letter’s the way to go. Or, like, a painting, I don’t know. To each their own.

Z: Aside from love and regret, what are going to be some of the biggest themes and takeaways from the show? How did the show change the way in which you now view relationships?

NR: Something I think about a lot in my own life is the risk to reward relationship. No risk, no reward. Taking chances is important, and it’s easy to feel paralyzed by the idea of things not working out. That fear of rejection reaches into so many different spheres of our lives, and it’s true that sometimes when we take a risk, it doesn’t pan out the way we’d hoped. But sometimes it does, and really there’s only one way to find out. A teacher of mine in theatre school would say “If you’re going to fail, fail brilliantly." Kevin takes a risk in writing that letter, and I’m proud of him for that. 

Z: Are there any actors or actresses who you are dying to work with? Which TV actor do you look up to most? 

NR: There’s so much good work happening on television these days. It seems a bit like the days of the “TV actor” are over, with performers from all different mediums showing up on our screens. Take a guy like William H. Macy. I wouldn’t call him a TV actor, given his background in film and theatre, but there he is, absolutely crushing it as Frank Gallagher in Shameless. That’s the kind of career I look up to, playing with all the toys. 

Z: We love your extensive voiceover background. Is there a specific character that was your favorite? 

NR: It’s got to be Franklin the Turtle. As a kid in Toronto, I read all those books, all the life lessons that little guy had to go through. I still have people asking me to do the voice. Bit late for that now, though. I lost the job at 13, in spite of my insistence that they do a “Franklin Hits Puberty” episode. 

ABC Family's Kevin from Work premieres Wednesday, August 12 at 8:30/7:30c. 

I am the former TV Editor at Zimbio. I enjoy spicy tuna rolls, Pinot Noir, Beyonce, sloth gifs, volleyball, Adriana Lima and the beach. I also used to be a TV publicist. Follow me: Google
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