Don’t let Brad James’ pretty face fool you; if you step to him and you might get knocked out, tackled or end up with a broken limb.
“I went to the Marines after high school,” says James. The Augusta, Georgia native admits he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life but knew that the armed forces were in the background of many successful adults, including his grandfather. “I come from a patriotic family,” he adds. Raised by his maternal grandparents, James, whose mother is Black and dad is White, spent four-years serving our country before returning to civilian life. In his early twenties, the former soldier tried out several professions, including sales, before hooking his big fish: acting.
“I was walking in Atlanta and a woman stopped me and asked me to attend an audition,” he shares. “I was chosen for a part, but she wasn’t. We still became friends.” After a small chuckle, James adds: “Acting is something I always wanted to do. But I didn’t know how to get started in Augusta.” Things changed once he hit the ATL. He had more cash for classes, life experience and finely chiseled good looks. It all helped.
Now, before you singles begin a full court pine over the budding superstar, there is something you should know: He’s happily attached. “My girlfriend is actress Jasmine Burke,” he boasts to EBONY.com. “We’ve been together for over a year now.” Love, much like work, is all about planning for James, 31. Most important, the handsome actor has a blueprint for success that encompasses both. He’s making entertainment, not simply acting, his business.
“I opened up offices on Peachtree Street,” says the Atlanta-area resident, who currently co-stars as Todd, on TBS’ hit series, 'For Better or Worse'. “It’s for training and coaching actors and talking to people about raising project funding.” With more studios opening up on the southern city, James recognizes that Atlanta is growing Mecca for all Black entertainers—not just musicians. The entrepreneur is offering a service that isn’t just in demand, but that can be career changing, with his company, James and Burke, Inc.— take a guess at his partner?
After spending the last six years establishing himself as an actor James, who’s been featured in movies (Champion Road), web series ('Osiris') and television shows ('The Vampire Diaries'), is devoted to making moves in front of and behind the scenes. “My company is also launching a television festival in Atlanta,” he adds.
Despite all of the work ahead of him—he’s currently filming an indie flick, When I Hold My Ears—James is focused on touting praise on the second season of "For Better or Worse".
“It’s revamped. Even the first season was re-edited, so there are a lot of changes. The energy is going to higher and the storyline is fun,” he says. “My character gets to go on adventures too.” Like what? You have to watch to find out.