BET knew it had a hit when it first premiered Being Mary Jane. The show was met with critical acclaim, as it portrayed the life of a single and successful middle-aged Black woman as she struggled to balance her personal, professional, and romantic life. Over the past two seasons and part of this season we watched Mary Jane Paul (MJ) deal with some hot, but less than stellar guys. First we had Andre the married man she was having an affair with, then she was on and off again with David her ex and still possibly the love of her life, then there was Sheldon—witty, intelligent, charming—and juxtaposed with a fear of commitment and cohabitation. Now, in the third and latest season it looks like MJ is ready for someone new, but nonetheless just as hot as her past love interests—meet MJ’s “Gorgeous Guy,” James Lee Taylor!
James hails from the across the Atlantic in merry ol’ London. His love affair with acting began after seeing his father on stage doing standup. From there, he decided he wanted to spend his life on the stage, acting in front of others. “I love acting…you get to be someone else for a little while…the experiences you have and the part you have in the story that is being told I feel is amazing.” Over the years he has perfected his craft and become a rising star that also gets a rise out of the ladies! Just check out his pictures. With those eyes, abs, and smile it is no wonder MJ will fall for his character, Eddie. “ He [Eddie] spots her [Mary Jane] at a club, then the second time he talks to her and they end up making out…that was actually my first time meeting her [Gabrielle Union]…it was like ‘hi I’m James and she introduced herself and we went at it [he laughs]…she’s a great kisser!” James definitely feeling more than his role of “Eddie,” admitting he loved filming in Atlanta too. “The city is beautiful and I really enjoyed the warmer weather, but I spent most of my time in the hotel when I wasn’t filming…the cast is really nice, especially Lisa [Vidal]…she didn’t know who I was until I walked up to her at a bar and was like ‘Hi, I’m Gorgeous Guy!”
Interracial relationships are on the rise in the United States, especially between African-American men and Caucasian women. It is no surprise MJ would dabble in “vanilla.” After all she did give the brothers a try. James admits he too is no stranger to interracial dating. In fact the girl he went to the prom with was Black, hailing from Ghana. “That’s [interracial dating] something I’m familiar with…she was and still is a beautiful woman, who I am still good friends with…love is what matters, race shouldn’t be a factor…here [the United States] race is so stratified and it really shouldn’t matter, love matters. Don’t get me wrong we have racial injustice in London too, but it’s really terrible with what’s happening to people because of their skin color and the police brutality…We see it and it isn’t right…” The current racial climate and some of the show’s subject matter does seem to play the race card quite a bit. James even had concerns on how the show’s audience would receive him. Based on the teasers of his debut posted around the web, the response has been mostly positive with many fans praising his aforementioned features.
Besides being the new eye candy of Being Mary Jane, James is gearing up for the 2015-2016 television pilot season. He reveals he may be a part of two big shows next year, but cannot reveal their subject matter or which one he is going to accept. He is definitely a rising star to watch and one we will definitely enjoy feasting our eyes on. He has plans to become James Bond in the future. “That is my dream role! I definitely want to be James Bond—but after Idris [Elba]—him first, then me [he laughs]!” Be sure you catch Jamies as”Eddie” in tonight’s new episode of Being Mary Jane at 10:00 PM EST, only on BET!