How Tyrese Changed His Game. (Actor, Model, Sex Symbol, Singer)

By Gilbert, Marsha | Ebony, April 2003 | Go to article overview

How Tyrese Changed His Game. (Actor, Model, Sex Symbol, Singer)


Gilbert, Marsha, Ebony


IN the Secrets nightclub just outside Chicago, screaming women call out and reach for singer/model/actor Tyrese, who ignites the crowd by singing his ballad, "Sweet Lady," and by leading the women in a chant, "I want to go home with you, Tyrese." As the frenzy grows, he gives out his cell phone number, saying, "The first woman to get through can come on stage." Then he adds: "Do you want me to come closer?"

"Yes!" they scream, and he jumps offstage and lands on his back in a sea of arms at the performance for women only. The scene turns into a tug-of-war between screaming, clutching women and the club's security team, with security trying to pull Tyrese back to safety and the women trying to pull him to a different place. In the melee, one woman helps herself to one of his pierced, diamond earrings, which she later returned for a hug.

This libido-charged scene, which ended when the women ripped Tyrese's T-shirt to shreds and inflicted scratches and other close-contact damage, is one of several recent events that have moved Tyrese into a new orbit of stardom. One of these events was the release of his new CD, I Wanna Go There, which sold almost 250,000 copies in the first month, and which he is promoting in a series of personal appearances at Secrets and other nightclubs. Another was his surprise selection to replace action star Vin Diesel, who won't appear in the soon-to-be released Fast and Furious 2. The movie gives him a chance to work again with John Singleton, who directed him in Baby Boy, and who recommended him for the role.

In Fast and Furious 2, Tyrese plays an ex-con who is totally different from the brooding character that was projected for Vin Diesel. He told EBONY that he is no con artist, but that the character reflects a lot of his personality. "Smiling, joking, getting gangsta sometimes if necessary, and being easily irritated by women who disrespect him, is all of me," he says.

Although Tyrese replaced Vin Diesel and although the setting of the movie moved from Los Angeles to Miami, Fast and Furious 2 will still be a movie of souped-up cars and street races. Tyrese drives a Mitsubishi Eclipse Spider that was custom-made for his character. He liked the car so much that he had a replica made to keep at his home, which sits on 12 acres, just outside L.A. He says that since his motorcycle crash last spring, he is more into cars than motorcycles. He still has scars on his arms and shudders at the memory of his three-week stay in the hospital.

Whether the 24-year-old is acting in movies, posing for GUESS? ads or singing explicit lyrics, he projects an aura of sexuality. …

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