Brandon Micheal Hall is the Juilliard graduate from South Carolina that you need to get familiar with.
The twenty-five year old renaissance man is starring in CBS’s new drama series GOD FRIENDED ME alongside Joe Morton and Javicia Leslie. The show delves into belief systems as they exist today, portraying Atheism and Christianity through generational frameworks like social media and mental health. With unfaltering determination and a beautifully positive outlook, Hall talks about his new show and growing career.
The Knockturnal: How did you get involved with GOD FRIENDED ME?
Brandon Micheal Hall: Once The Mayor had went away, I was around LA and explored a good bit and enjoyed myself. Then I got a phone call during pilot season from an agent. To make a long story short, that was Justin, Bryan, and Steven and they were very, very passionate about working on this new project that they didn’t really have a name for at the moment and they wanted to bring me on board. They really wanted me to come on and try out this character Miles. I was a little hesitant at first because I was playing an Atheist and also it was a very religious show I felt at the time. Then I picked up the script and read it and I was like, “Oh, this is perfect. This is absolutely perfect. It’s not preachy. They’re actually saying something from a good perspective and wanting to help people.” And when I talked to them about it and how passionate they were about using this platform as a springboard to talk about issues that we all really care about, I said this is the one for me. I need to sign up for this project.
The Knockturnal: Religion plays a huge role in your life and in Miles’ character, how does it feel being integrated into your career?
Brandon Micheal Hall: Yeah, it’s a little scary actually. It’s actually really scary because you’re taking on a role that, one, a lot of people when dealing with religion they want you to pick one side or the other. You gotta be hot or cold. They either want to you to believe or you don’t. This one I knew with playing an atheist, I’m gonna have my non-believers backing me up and then I’m gonna have some believers not going for it. What’s really beautiful to me is that everyone, a majority of people, are actually digging it. They’re actually enjoying seeing the world from Miles’ perspective. Seeing the world told from an atheist perspective. That’s what’s so great about this show, even thought it’s told from that perspective, we’re not preaching Atheism. We’re not preaching Christianity. What we’re preaching is hope and some type of method of trying to get people out and helping, honestly. Get away from the social media screens and go out and actually do something. I think that’s what people are picking upon. Now we’re actually doing something and people enjoy that. That’s really exciting and happy for me. We’re doing our job and people are responding to it.
The Knockturnal: Miles’ character has a super hard relationship with his Mom and in real life you’re very close with your Mom. That can be very sensitive, what’s that like for you?
Brandon Micheal Hall: Me and my mom, we have a really good relationship. Miles and his Dad, the relationship is interesting because they’re the same person – they literally just have two different religions. That may be the only thing they don’t have in common. The biggest thing they have in common is the hurt of the loss of his Mom. Loss of his wife. That’s where they’re having a hard time seeing each other’s differences is that Joe’s character, my father, ran to the church and my character decided to run towards non-believing because he just couldn’t handle it. And to have that relationship and that dynamic, it’s great. Because me and Joe get to talk about really, really good stuff on set and also I get to have these conversations with my own Mom.
The Knockturnal: Hip-hop was a big thing for you, you had your mixtape growing up and was also big in your last show, is it still an influential force to you today?
Brandon Micheal Hall: Oh, absolutely, hip-hop is everywhere. It’s everything to me. I think everything has a beat, has a rhythm. When people walk. When people talk. When I’m reading scripts sometimes you can find the rhythm of the character. And sometimes, to be completely honest, I like taking my lines and taking them out and putting them on a beat just to see what it sounds like. Because that’s what hip-hop does, it’s just poetry rhymed over music. And people do really interesting and exquisite things with it. Hip-hop still plays a huge part for me. Also, style and fashion, the culture of it. I play that hugely into Miles. And Bryan and Steven, they also love the music and the culture. We can see in the episodes, they actually use it. We’re using 2 Chainz. We’re using different hip-hop, underground, indie artists in our show. Giving them a platform to use as their outlets to tell their stories as well.
The Knockturnal: Do you think the show being set in New York City plays to that?
Brandon Micheal Hall: Oh, big time! This is where it started. Some people will argue it started out in the Bronx. Some people will argue it started in Brooklyn. But, this is where hip-hop started, so it’s nice to film in Harlem and feel that energy. It’s definitely prominent.
The Knockturnal: I know it’s common to be asked what advice you’d give your younger self, but I’m wondering what you’d tell your older self. Your career is exponentially growing and it can be easy to forget certain things as new priorities develop, so what would you want to remind an older you?
Brandon Micheal Hall: Stay humble and budget. That’s what I’d tell myself. When I meet myself when I’m 30, my first question would be, “Alright, so how’re your finances? Did you budget? Did you stay humble? How’re your relationships with your friends and your family, you still keeping close? How’re you doing? Have you found things that you enjoy doing? Are you still working on things that you’re passionate about?” Because I never want to get to that age where I’m like, “Oh, I’m just tired. Oh, I just want to be complacent.” I want to die working. I want to die doing things I love doing. That’s the message I would give my older self. “You alright?”
Watch GOD FRIENDED ME Sunday’s at 8pm on CBS.