Chosen as one of Variety’s “Top Ten Actors to Watch in 2009” and part of the new breed of emerging leading men in Hollywood, actor Laz Alonso can currently be seen top lining the A&E series “Breakout Kings” (March 6, 2011). The show premiered to record breaking numbers for the network and continues to draws millions each week. The show is about an unconventional partnership of U.S. marshals and a group of convicts who join forces to catch fugitives on the run. The show is currently in production in Toronto. The series is created and exec produced by “Prison Break” vets Nick Santora and Matt Olmstead. Also exec producing are Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope and Gavin Hood, who directed the pilot. Ray Zancanelli also stars. Production on the second season as recently began shooting.
In addition to BOK, Laz recently wrapped shooting one of the main lead roles in Sony Screen Gems Planet B Boy. The movie also stars Josh Holloway, Josh Peck and Chris Brown. Inspired by the award winning documentary, Planet B Boy, the film is about an all-star American b-boy crew training to compete in France at the “Battle of the Year (BOTY) International Championship.” After a decade of defeat, the crew and their coach must go against the best and greatest b-boys in the world, the Koreans, the Russians and the French who have dominated the original American dance form for the last 10 years. Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson and Amy Lo are producing the project.
On Mother’s Day weekend 2011, fans got to see a different, softer side to Laz in Columbia Pictures romantic comedy entitled Jumping the Broom (May 6, 2011) where he led the cast along with Paula Patton in a movie about the clash of two families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum meeting for the first time during a weekend wedding in Martha’s Vineyard. The movie opened to amazing numbers making it the #1 Romantic Comedy in the country! In addition to Broom, Laz also played the strong-supporting role of “Sheriff John Burke” in Rod Lurie’s remake of the Sam Peckinpah classic Straw Dogs (September 16, 2011) for Sony Screen Gems. The thriller starred James Marsden and Kate Bosworth.
Laz recently won a 2012 NAACP Image Award for “Best Actor in a Motion Picture” for his work in Sony Screen Gems Jumping the Broom.
Laz can currently be seen in the lead role of “Tsu’Tey” in the highest grossing film of all time, Avatar! Directed by James Cameron, this sci-fi epic released by 20th Century Fox stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver. The film is one of the most technically complex productions ever mounted, making extensive use of cutting edge 3-D, computer animation and motion capture F/X technology. In early 2009, Laz played the lead villain role of “Fenix” in the fourth installment of highly popular Fast and the Furious franchise. Fast & Furious, which reunited the original cast of Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez and posted the highest-ever April weekend opening. The movie went on to generate over $350,000,000 in worldwide box office sales and along with DVD sales and rentals, the film went on to be the highest grossing film in 2009 for Universal Pictures.
In early 2008, Laz executive produced and starred opposite Danny Glover in Alan Jacobs’ Down for Life (aka Por Vida), which ended up with a much-coveted position in the 2009 Toronto Film Festival for which it was critically acclaimed and is currently debuting in other film festivals around the country. In 2008, Laz starred in Miracle at St. Anna for director Spike Lee, in which he played one of four main leads opposite Derek Luke, Michael Ealy and Omar Benson. The film, which follows four black “Buffalo Soldiers” of the 92nd Infantry Division who get trapped in a small Tuscan village on the Gothic Line during the Italian Campaign of WWII, also stars John Leguizamo, John Tuturro and Kerry Washington.
His past movie credits include lead roles in the Sony/Screen Gems’ hits Stomp The Yard and This Christmas, a lead role in 2006 Roland Joffe psychological thriller Captivity, and a co-starring role in the 2005 hit Jarhead, opposite Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. The feature and was directed by Sam Mendes for Universal. Mr. Alonso’s past TV credits include guest-starring roles on “The Unit”, “Bones”, “CSI: Miami,” “The Practice,” “Navy: NCIS” and “Eyes” and in 2010 a recurring role in the TNT critically acclaimed series “Southland.”
Born and raised in Washington DC, Laz always knew he wanted to be an actor. He remembers at a very early age entertaining his family by imitating relatives and family friends. He graduated from the prestigious Howard University School of Business, earning a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. After college, he worked on Wall Street at an investment banking firm. He and two partners eventually started their own marketing business, promoting mainstream products to the trend-setting urban market. Owning and operating his own successful business freed up Laz’s time to finally explore his passion for acting. Laz began taking classes in the evening to hone his craft and it didn’t take him long to begin landing roles in commercials and videos.
From D.C. to New York, Laz feels his upbringing not only taught him how to deal with the school of hard knocks, but also prepared him for his biggest goal, his acting career. He credits the move to NYC as his move into manhood and the city holds many great memories for him. Laz also credits his acting ability to these life experiences, as he is able to bring a little of what he knows or has dealt with into his characters.