From his breakout role as Zende Forrester on CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful to feeling the vibes as Santiago Zayas on Prime Video‘s With Love, Rome Flynn has been taking charge of his narrative. While he’s got his eye on joining one of the biggest movie franchises, it still can’t compare to his greatest role, being a father to his young daughter Kimiko Flynn.

Here, Flynn shares the rules of growing up in a big family and why parenthood is the world’s great equalizer.

I’m one of eight; we all grew up in the same house. I’m the second oldest and the eldest boy. They’ll never be able to catch up to me, and I’ve always gone through things before them. So I had a little bit more knowledge of certain things. Having that at a young age meant I had to act like I knew what I was talking about early on in life. 

Being a father, that’s a job that you sign on to forever. It’s such a special thing to try your best to make a person that’s 10 times better than you.

Rome Flynn

Parenthood is the ultimate equalizer when it comes to our lives. No matter who you are, it vehemently affects you when you have a kid. You’re afraid, and you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. But I feel, and people don’t realize this until it happens, that it just comes naturally as part of human nature. You will always be a father and have contributed to our evolution and the human race. It unites us, no matter what race we are. It’s one of the few things that connects us, and it’s definitely one of the most important roles I’ll ever play.

Rome Flynn for EBONY
Rome Flynn. Image: Keith Major.

The consensus in society is that Black men don’t express their feelings, but a lot of Black men out there are very in touch with their emotional side and can be vulnerable with people in their lives. Tapping into our vulnerability is about breaking those social constructs that prevent us from allowing ourselves to feel whatever we feel. I try not to suppress my feelings because life is beautiful in that way, to feel everything. And my occupation is to be pretty dialed into my emotional state.

To bring more Black stories to the screen, the key is to be at the forefront of telling our own stories. That’s going to give us the liberty to break that metaphorical cycle. We can’t depend on the system to change because it’s not going to. For Hollywood to embrace Black stories in general, there have to be people who are willing to take a chance on telling those stories and actively creating them. We need people who come from our perspective and then put those people in positions of power to make those stories happen.

Whenever they say there’s no money and Black people don’t go to the cinema, we always show up when we have to.

Rome Flynn

Take Black Panther; many industry people didn’t think it would be a lucrative film. We know the history that it made. It’s not about whether or not people go to the movies to watch Black stories; it’s about control. The only way to defeat that is to slowly become the people in control of telling and producing our stories. 

My dream role is to be a predominant character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That would be dope.