Tony Frederick – Hollywood’s Triple Threat Of The South
Tony Frederick’s comedic antics are nothing short of genius and has earned him the long-standing six-year title, one of the top-five funniest comedians of the Gulf South; but don’t think his accolades stop there. Tony is an accomplished American Actor, Writer, and Comedian acting in over 50 Films, Television, Commercials and Equity Theater productions; acting opposite seven Oscar winners. He is best known for his roles in Monster’s Ball (2001), Girl’s Trip (2017) and Terminator: Genisys (2015).
Native to Louisiana with Creole roots, Anthony Michael Frederick or Tony as his friends, family and fans endearingly call him, was born in Covington and raised in the 7th Ward, New Orleans where he still resides. He is a former high school two-sport athlete in football and track & field. Tony is no stranger to breaking records and winning competitions; starting in high school holding a record in Javelin.
We caught up with Tony to get some real talk…
The Lyfe… Tell us a little bit about how you grew up.
Tony… I grew up dragging the streets in the 7th Ward. It was fun until my friend’s parents got bougie (bourgeois) and moved to New Orleans East. I come from a hard-working family. I always had a hustle because I wanted my own money so I always had some sort of job.
The Lyfe… What are some of the differences between New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina?
Tony… Where I’m from, the 7th Ward used to be filled with all the light-skinned people in town until Section 8 opened up. Then a few years ago, white folks started gentrifying it so now it’s just strange. And on a side note, there are just as many bike lanes as potholes.
The Lyfe… Are you close with your parents?
Tony… Yes, we were. My mom died in 2004 but in my dad’s heart, they’re still together. She used to love those old black and white films so I would sit and watch them with her. She loved soap operas and movie stars, too. When she passed, I wasn’t ready.
The Lyfe… Do you have any siblings?
Tony… Yes. I have a younger brother.
The Lyfe… How did you get into acting?
Tony… An ex-girlfriend’s sister was into it. She talked me into modeling and that transitioned into acting.
The Lyfe… How do you prepare for your roles?
Tony… I look for the character in myself. If I can’t find it I break down everything doing a character analysis, scene analysis looking for my scene objective, overall objective, asking a ton of questions, the main one being WHY?
The Lyfe… Name all of the hats you wear in the entertainment industry.
Tony… As an actor, we all become photographers, videographers, lighting, sound, editors, directors, writers, location scouts, wardrobe, makeup and producers which just goes into self-taping auditions.
The Lyfe… Who inspires you in the industry?
Tony… I used to be inspired; not so much anymore.
The Lyfe… What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
Tony… Monster’s Ball, Girls Trip, The Young & the Restless, Treme’, Queen Sugar and Terminator Genysis.
The Lyfe… What is your most loved movie role of all?
Tony… Working opposite Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball. I always wanted to meet her. Her energy was top-notch. Great actress. She won the Academy Award for best actress for her role in that film. Being the first black woman to win an Oscar for best actress. It feels good to know I had some sort of role in that.
The Lyfe… When did you know you were talented?
Tony… Who said I was talented?
The Lyfe… Besides acting, what are some of your other passions?
Tony… My only passion is to become independently wealthy. Right now, I’ve grown too desensitized by society to be passionate about anything else. I hope this changes. I really hope it changes. I miss being excited about things.
The Lyfe… Do you prefer acting or being a standup comedian?
Tony… I prefer acting over comedy but I do enjoy the control I have performing comedy, over acting.
The Lyfe… In what type of venues do you perform your comedy?
Tony… I perform paid shows so the venues vary. There’s no official comedy club in New Orleans so I have to either travel to Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio and other places or perform in my hometown’s restaurants, bar’s, casino’s, Bourbon Street, hotel ballrooms and even churches. You might even catch me on the back porch of someone’s yard if the money is right.
The Lyfe… What are some jobs you had before becoming a successful actor?
Tony… I still work regular jobs. I’ll be working in a hotel restaurant where the actors of the movie I’m in are staying. They’ll come down to dine. I’ll bring them toast and then be on set with them in a scene the next day. It’s surreal.
The Lyfe… Which celebrity is on your bucket list to work with?
The Lyfe… Are you working on any new projects in the near future?
Tony… Yes, but I’ve signed NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements) which forbid me to talk about them.
The Lyfe… What would you say to inspire an aspiring actor?
Tony… Nothing; because I don’t like competition. And, besides that, unless you enjoy rejection, lack of control and being broke, do something else.
The Lyfe… If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
Tony… My cynical outlook on things.
The Lyfe… What is your favorite food?
Tony… Free Food.
The Lyfe… What is your favorite vacation spot?
Tony… It’s hard to hold down regular jobs because every four to five months either acting or the job forces you to choose between acting and the job. I never build up enough time to take a paid vacation or earn enough money acting to be able to afford to take a vacation and not work. So I never take vacations.
The Lyfe… What is the most important humanitarian or philanthropic cause you care about?
Tony… My child support payments.
The Lyfe… In one sentence, what is your philosophy on life?
Tony… Every decision you make affects every other decision you’ll make until you run out of time.
The Lyfe… Share with us something that you’ve never shared in any previous interview.
Tony… I’m really a hopeless romantic at heart. Either that or a manic depressive narcissist. I can’t tell which.