BOSSIP recently caught up with Tyler Lepley about the hard work he’s put into his acting career, appearing in “The Haves And Have Nots,” “P-Valley,” and more projects before becoming the leading man in “Harlem.” He discussed being the show’s “Mr. Big,” whether his character Ian and Meagan Good’s character Camille had too much history to work together.
“Ian is a very gifted, studied, artistic chef, but one of his biggest conflicts is he’s so passionate. He’s passionate about his work life and he’s also passionate about his love life and it’s left him in conflict between them and that’s kind of where we find him when we land on Ian and Camille,”Lepley told BOSSIP.
“There’s definitely a lot of history for them to be working together and one thing that I like about the trajectory of their relationship is we continue to see the relationship redefine itself. They start where they were, then they split up to chase their passions, then they find each other five years later, now they’re trying to work together, so that’s an interesting dynamic to see them try to figure things out, but there is so much history it’s difficult to try to compartmentalize those feelings with what you’re supposed to be doing at work.”
We asked Tyler about playing a chef on the show and whether those skills translate in real life.
“I can whip up some ones and twos, but I ain’t on no Ian level,” he told BOSSIP.
Lepley revealed he has some classics under his belt. “I can actually cook a good fried chicken. I’m going right in the pan, old school, and I cook a really good steak too. ”
“I’m a steak and potatoes guy. I don’t go rare but I don’t go well done either. I like it right in the middle. Medium.”
Ironically Lepley isn’t the only “Ty/e” to join the “Harlem” cast. Jerrie Johnson plays the masculine presenting queer character Tye on the show.
“Big shout out to Jerrie Johnson,” Lepley told BOSSIP. “She’s amazing in this project and she’s from Philly as well. We got a Philly love for each other so we remained close after production.”
Lepley described how the show leads all were able to bond during their down time, while remaining focused on the task at hand.
“We’re very chill, but we’re also, all five of us are very driven in terms of our artistry,” Lepley told BOSSIP. “On one side we can go out and turn up a little bit and have fun together… but we’re also very passionate and detail oriented about our work, we’re definitely here to work first. So it was a great contrast to be around people who are just like me in that sense.”
Much like Tyler’s character, Ian, the actor is currently hitting his stride professionally but despite his current wealth of opportunities, he told BOSSIP he is staying humble. We asked him about any big purchases he’s made with his “P-Valley” and “Harlem” checks and he joked, “I might be shining a little something,” as he held up his hand to show off his pinky ring and the watch on his wrist.
Lepley also said that, despite becoming a leading man with his role as Ian, he still approaches his roles the same way as he always has and knows some people will be seeing him for the first time on “Harlem” not understanding the grind it took for him to get here.
“The struggling artist, the successful artist, the audience looks at it like they’re different but they’re really one and the same. I break down the characters the same way. Ten years later my tool as an artist may be sharper than it was because of all the work that I’ve put in but it’s still the same process. People will wake up and they’re going to see me for the first time, who would not have watched ‘Haves and Have Nots’ and would not have watched ‘P-VALLEY’ they’re going to thing ‘Wow he got here overnight.’ But that’s not how it works.”
“Harlem” is currently streaming on Prime Video. What do you think of the show so far?