Tall, dark, and handsome: those are the things a woman looks for in a man. Heck, most of us would be happy with one or two of those out of the three! So what do you get when you add in soul-searching blue eyes, pillow-like lips, and a mesmerizing on –screen intensity? You get Michael Ealy. (And if you’re me, you get a decade long obsession.)
The Silver Spring, MD native’s breakout role came in 2002’s Barbershop, where he played former thug Ricky Nash, a young man trying desperately to turn his life around. While the movie is filled with comedic genius (most notably in the form of Cedric the Entertainer), Ealy stands out from his castmates with his genuine portrayal of a man caught between the life he has and the one he wants. While it wasn’t the type of role that would win an actor an Oscar, it definitely hinted at an untapped depth in Ealy.
One of Ealy’s most pivotal roles came opposite Halle Berry in 2005’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, for which he received an Image Award nomination and a Black Reel award win. Ealy is no stranger to award shows, having racked up 9 nomination and 2 wins. His most notable win came in 2007 when he won a Golden Globe award for his portrayal of an undercover FBI agent in the mini-series Sleeper Cell.
After flying under the radar for so many years, and assembling an impressive body of work, Michael Ealy is finally starting to get the attention of mainstream Hollywood. In early 2012 Michael co-starred in the romantic comedy Think Like a Man, where he portrayed Dominic, a man on the verge of being too old to chase his dreams of becoming a chef. Playing Dominic, Ealy expertly walked the line between being a sensitive dreamer and being a strong partner for his love interest, Lauren, played by Taraji P. Henson.
After enjoying a stint in romantic comedy, Michael will take another dramatic turn in Unconditional, which opens in theaters September 21st. He plays Joe, childhood friend of Samantha, who recently lost her husband to violence. With Joe’s help, Samantha learns to let go of her anger and pain and embrace the beauty of life.
If dramatic tear-jerkers aren’t your cup of tea, never fear! Ealy can be seen every Friday night in the USA Network buddy-cop comedy Common Law, which follows police partners who can’t get along and are sent to couples’ counseling. Ealy’s happy-go-lucky, rules-were-meant-to-be-broken charm is a perfect comedic fit to Warren Kole’s straight-laced, by-the-book rigidity.
For some of us, Michael Ealy has been a cinematic treat for years. For others, he is dish newly discovered. Old fan or new, however, I think we can all agree that the future looks very bright for him indeed.
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