“A dream is a wish your heart makes…” Disney Princesses know this statement well. The wisest people seem to know it too. Whatever you want out of life seldom happens without a bit of a struggle. It is almost like some divine force pushes the notion that “no good deed goes unpunished!” Still, believing in yourself and staying the course no matter what the road ahead may throw at you; is the true route to success and happiness. Few people know this better than Hollywood’s newest leading man, Cleo Anthony!
When it comes to heart throbs you might be over them. If you have seen one virtually perfect guy, then you feel as though you have seen them all, right? Wrong! Cleo is not your average “Beautiful Beau;” in fact, his rise to fame began as anything but glamorous. Cleo, named after his maternal grandfather, has always been a man of humility, with big dreams and an even bigger heart. “My grandfather was a wise and respected man…a pillar of his community…my mom wanted me to be just like him…so you know I have a lot of good in me…” Most children go through a series of “future occupation decisions” in their youth. Cleo, however, always knew his place was in front of the camera. Like a moth to a flame, the illustrious flicker of Hollywood drew him in after watching Bad Boys (1995). “I saw that movie and said to myself I am going to be in the sequel…I had no idea how, or even if they were making a sequel but I just put that out there in the universe…”
Years later, tiring of college; and ready to make his mark on the world, he moved to Miami at a close friend’s behest to help him get his acting career off the ground. “People always told me I should be modeling or doing something in entertainment…school had become a whole other story…so when my boy invited me to come stay with him [in Miami] while I got on my feet and pursued my dream, I jumped at the opportunity…I packed a few of my belongings in a bag and got a plane ticket and when I got there he never came! So to make a long story short I was homeless and sleeping on benches…the little bit of money I had in my pocket I could have gotten a hotel room for a night or try to make it work…I didn’t want to call anyone or go back to what I was doing before…I came to that city to make a change and that is exactly what I was trusting Him [God] to do for me…” Indeed, his faith was tried as he was homeless for weeks, walking aimlessly for so long at times he lost track of how long he was there. “It’s an interesting thing about being homeless… the days just blur together because you don’t have a watch or phone…”
Just as his luck seemed to run out; he was passing by a shop when a photographer approached him about modeling and gave him the number to a woman at a modeling agency that could help him. Naturally, he was skeptical at first, but he followed through and soon found himself with a deal. From there, the life he dreamt of having became the life he actually has. When asked about the friend who failed him, Cleo pauses and replies; “…I was working in a club and he came in and I saw him…he tried to pretend like he had been trying to find me and explain himself but I was at work and I didn’t need him messing my first regularly paying gig up there so I left it at that…I have not spoken to him since and have no interest to…”
Modeling may have given Cleo notoriety, but acting is his true passion. “I definitely respecting modeling and the fashion industry, but there’s just something about being an object to be used and discarded at a moment’s notice just doesn’t sit well with me…it’s all about the client or photographer’s vision…you’re just apart of that…” Cleo’s acting style is fluid and captivating, making you forget in that moment who he is and instead focuses on the character he is portraying. Needless to say, the man makes acting look easy! However, he humbly admits he is still perfecting his skills and openly admits to failing an audition to be a male lead on VH-1’s “Hit The Floor.” “I have to admit I was bad…I totally bombed it…I was reading a scene with the main girl [“Ahsha Hayes,” Taylour Paige] and I was horrible…I used it as a learning experience though and really worked on my craft…” Cleo has been featured in a number of popular projects like Bad Boys 2 (2003), Divergent (2014), and recently Lifetime’s Seasons of Love.
Seasons Of Love is a made for television movie starring Cleo as “Amir,” a dashing gentleman in a fledgling relationship with “Kya” (Letoya Luckett). Their love is tested at the sudden passing of his father and the reappearance of her ex-boyfriend, Miles (Rob Riley). The movie is directed by Princess Monique, and beautifully filmed with a motif that garners a certain color for each season. Surprisingly, Cleo was not originally cast as Amir, nor was he to be featured in the film. Days before production was to begin the original actor had to drop out of the film. Cleo auditioned and was called back within a day. He began filming the movie almost immediately after shooting scenes on CSI. “I was literally zigzagging across the country for like a week…but it was worth it…I loved the film and I loved my cast mates…Letoya Luckett is just awesome!”
There is more to this Hollywood Hunk than his looks and promising career. When he is not working he enjoys staying fit and spending time with the people who matter—his family and close friends. “When it comes down to it they are who will be with you when it really counts…and not because of what they can do for you…” Ladies there is still hope for you yet, as Cleo admits to being single. However, is not quite sure he is ready to mingle. “I recently got out of a six year relationship and I’m just going to take some time to focus on my career and what I really want out of life…” He admits his ideal girl is confident, attractive, has a great sense of humor, driven, and understanding of how important his career is to him. For this final reason he admits he is open to dating women who are also in the entertainment industry. “She [a woman in the industry] would understand what it’s like to have a hectic schedule with places to be, fittings, media events and so on…” He spills that his co-star Letoya Luckett, is his celebrity crush and would love to be with a woman like her. God has definitely been listening to his prayers; as aforementioned he said he wanted to be in Bad Boys at a young age and sure enough he appeared in the sequel. Perhaps God is listening as he discusses Letoya.
From rags to riches, Cleo Anthony is truly a story of success, faith, and how things can change for the better when someone simply notices what you are capable of. Cleo believes in speaking good things into the universe, so we in turn will speak good things on behalf of him—he will be a legendary actor with more Oscars than Wendy’s has chicken nuggets! You can catch him currently on Seasons Of Love on Lifetime (check your local listings) and in a few upcoming projects that must remain a mystery in 2015. One of these “mystery projects” may have him in line to play a superhero (Marvel Comics’ “Luke Cage,” here’s crossing our fingers)! You can follow Cleo Anthony on Twitter @HuhCleoWho, Instagram @CleoAnthony.