I recently got the chance to speak to Alimi Ballard about his role as Agent Fusco in ‘Fast Five’. Here, Alimi talks about what it was like working with some of the major players in the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise and his continuing role in ‘The Super Hero Squad Show’….
Hey Alimi. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. Of course, we‘ve got you here to talk about “Fast Five’, which is currently out in UK cinemas. What is the general plotline surrounding the film?
Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) are on the run in Brazil. They have been framed for the murder of two DEA agents. DDS Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his team of bad-ass agents (me plus three more) are sent to Brazil to bring them back!!! Needless to say ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. 🙂
You play the role of Fusco. What part does your character play in the F&F universe?
I play DDS Agent Fusco!!! He’s the guy most comfortable with a large Automatic Rifle in his hand. When bullets are flying and stuff is blowing up….he’s in paradise. Oh yeah….he’s also a smart ass.
Had you seen the other films in the series before you signed on? Did you rent them out so you could watch them all back-to-back to familiarise yourself?
I have seen them ALL!!! Before shooting I made sure to watch ‘Fast Four’. Justin Lin (the director of ‘Fast Five’) also directed that one.
You’ve been on-set with some of the major players behind the franchise, like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster – what was it like working with them?
They were ALL great!!! Jordana was sweet, kind and soft-spoken. Paul was as COOL and warm as he appears on-screen. Vin….reminded me of Sam Jackson. One SMOOTH BADASS MOFO… He was awesome!! Dwayne ‘THE ROCK’ Johnson, who I spent most of my time filming with was BEYOND GREAT!!! He is literally larger than life….and at the same time makes you feel relaxed in his presence. I felt lucky to be working with them ALL.
Ludacris both plays a role in the film and has produced a single for it – did you get to hang out with him? What’s he like?
I only saw Ludacris in passing, but he seemed like a down to earth guy.
Why do you think the franchise is so popular?
Uhhhmmmnnn…..FAST CARS, HOT GIRLS, MUSCLED UP DUDES…..and GOOD DRAMA!!! Kinda hard to lose with that. With ‘Fast Five’….you can also add in NEXT LEVEL FIREPOWER. You don’t wanna miss it!!!
Let’s talk about you, yourself, Alimi. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I started at the age of 16 at a community center in the Bronx, New York. On the request of a family friend I decided to give it a shot. One of the best decisions I could have made. Feel really lucky and blessed about that.
People know you for your roles in ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’, ‘The Super Hero Squad Show’ and ‘Numb3rs’. These are all quite different roles in terms of show context. Do you have a particular type of role you go for?
After six seasons on ‘Numb3rs’ as Special Agent David Sinclair and one ( fingers crossed ) mega-blockbuster as DDS Agent Fusco…..I must say having a gun and a badge make me happy. Hahahahahahahaahahaa…
Do you like to balance your TV work and film work – or are you inclined towards a particular one?
After ‘Fast Five’……I am totally psyched about doing more films.
As you’ve said, in ‘Numb3rs’ you played David Sinclair, who was a FBI field agent. Did you get any official training for the role?
Tons of it. Rob Morrow and I actually went to the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. and spoke with a lot of agents to get an understanding of what they do….and why. Then of course we actually had tactical training from former LA Swat commanders. Fuuuuuun stuff.
What do you think it was about ‘Numb3rs’ that set it apart from other TV shows of that particular genre?
I think the balance of drama, action and a sneak peek into the mind of a mathematical genius lending his talents to solving crime was fascinating.
Last year, ‘Numb3rs’ was cancelled. Why do you think this was, and do you think (like many cancelled shows of recent times, say ‘Family Guy’), the fans could bring it back?
I honestly have no idea why it was cancelled. As far as ‘Numb3rs’ being brought back….ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. 😉
Of course, you’re still working on ‘The Super Hero Squad Show’. Sources tell me that you’re an avid comic book collector. How does it feel to be working in that sort of universe?
Being the voice of Falcon for ‘Marvel Super Hero Squad Show’ is a dream come true. It’s an animated series, video game….there’s also collectables to play with. It’s a DREAM COME TRUE.
You’ve played ‘Falcon’ for almost 30 episodes. What is it about his character you enjoy voicing?
I love that he’s a wise ass. Reminds me of Will Smith in the first ‘Men In Black’.
If you could have one superpower in real life, what would it be and why?
TELEKINESIS. WOULD BE A FOOTBALL STAR!!!! A man can wish.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
The BILLBOARDS, RED CARPETS…..and FAMILY TIME.