Lance Gross is making major moves these days. No longer only known for his funny guy character Calvin on House of Payne, the Oakland, California native recently starred alongside Jurnee Smollet-Bell in the smoldering and scandalous film Temptation, directed by Tyler Perry. Lance is also the newest celebrity ambassador for Magic Shave, a razorless shaving cream that promises to leave skin smooth and smelling fresh. Lance sat down with EBONY.com to talk about Magic Shave, his current and upcoming roles, and his secrets to being smooth.
EBONY: As the brand’s celebrity ambassador, what is the “magic” in Magic Shave?
Lance Gross: It’s an honor to be a part of Magic Shave as their new ambassador. One of the problems that some African-American men have with shaving is razor bumps. Magic Shave is perfect because once you eliminate the razor, you eliminate the bumps, and it’s so easy to use. You just rub it on, and four minutes later, you wipe it off. You actually get a cleaner shave with Magic Shave than you would from a razor, and you don’t have to worry about cutting yourself. It lasts four days, too, so it’s perfect. When I was clean cut and working on House of Payne, for instance, I had to shave everyday, or every other day, because the stubble would start to grow back. I have sensitive skin, so I would have to worry about razor bumps also. Magic Shave is perfect for getting that clean look.
EBONY: Tell us about the Magic Shave Facebook game!
LG: It’s called Work Ur Magic. It’s geared toward men, and it gives them an opportunity to work their smooth. I introduce the guy to a girl online, and then step back and let them Facebook chat. It’s kinda like the movie Hitch. If the guy gets the girl to go on a date with him, he can get a chance to win a trip for himself and three friends to Las Vegas. It’s fun, and it’s interactive. I think it’s a great idea for Magic Shave.
EBONY: What sorts of things do you do in your daily grooming routine to feel smooth?
LG: I just do what’s comfortable for me, whether it’s getting fresh haircuts, or the clothes that I wear. It’s simple; I’m just me. I don’t really go out of my way. I do make sure my face is washed and moisturized, though. [After a bit more prodding from EBONY’s associate beauty and grooming editor Janell Hickman, Lance admitted that he is a fan of Kiehl’s exfoliating face scrub.]
EBONY: Let’s talk a little bit about your most recent big screen role as sweet, well-intentioned, slightly nerdy Brice in Temptation. If Brice were a real person and a close friend of yours, how would you advise him on how he could “work his magic” a little better?
LG: I would have told him to man up a lot quicker than he actually did! Brice, he kinda ignored the signs. He was the victim of getting too comfortable in his relationship. I mean, this was a woman he had known since childhood. It’s easy to fall into that, but I’m the type of person who goes out of my way to make sure my woman is satisfied, that it’s new, that I’m doing the types of things that I did when I was trying to get her. So I guess I would tell him to spice it up. He was a little soft.
EBONY: What can we look forward to in your upcoming role as a Secret Service agent in an NBC drama? The show opens with you trying to recover the president’s son on the first day of the job.
LG: The working title, is the Rand Ravich Project, but I think they’re gonna call it List of Demands. It’s an NBC pilot directed by Phillip Noyce. Basically, it’s NBC’s answer to Scandal. It’s a political drama, and I play a Secret Service agent who’s assigned to the president’s son’s detail. The president’s son goes to an upper crust school with privileged kids; all their parents are high and mighty. They go on a field trip, and along the way, the kids get kidnapped. I get shot, but I manage to save one of the kids who isn’t the president’s son. Basically, it’s the bad guys chasing me, trying to catch me. That’s pretty much what the pilot is about. It’s good. It’s my favorite pilot that I’ve read this season.
EBONY: Sounds exciting! It seems like you’re increasing your range in terms of the characters that you’ve been playing recently. How do you like the action role?
LG: This is totally new; I’ve never done action until now. It’s a lot of fun; I’m doing my own stunts. I’ve caught the bug, and now it’s all I want to do. I love comedy, but this was my original plan, and I’m finally executing it.
EBONY: What kind of advice would you give to men on how to be smooth, for those who aren’t just born with the ability?
LG: I like to tell people to be themselves. I mean, it’s a 50/50 chance: they’re gonna like you, or they’re not. Don’t try extra hard to be something that you’re not, because it’s gonna show down the line, and then it’s just going to be a bigger problem for you. It’s simple.