Actor and Model Mike Merrill is set to star in the upcoming BET miniseries The Bobby Brown Story. The series showcases the life of infamous Bobby Brown and the highlight publicized events centered around the R&B singer. Acting alongside Mike is a host of grade-A Black Hollywood actors including Luke James, Mekhi Phifer, Laz Alonzo, Lance Gross, and Gabrielle Dennis as the late Whitney Houston. Actor Woody McClain who also starred in The New Editon Story is reprising his role as Bobby Brown in The Bobby Brown Story.
A Detroit native, Mike began his acting career in 2016 after moving to Atlanta. He has starred in numerous stage plays with numerous entertainment professions like Carl Payne and Tamika Scott. Within the last year, he’s increasing appeared in more television series and snagged a couple of upcoming film roles. Mike is an up-and-coming talent who’s climbing his way to the top, while steadily building his acting muscles.
Salute: How did you get the call to be apart of production?
Mike: I got chosen to do the audition after my agent submitted me. I originally was going in for the role of Steven Sealy and ended up doing a cold read for Manny. A cold read is when you get there and they ask you to read for a character on site. So you really have a short amount of time to go to that character and see what he’s about. Then you go back into the room and do it again. I ended up booking it two months later.
Salute: How long did it take for you guys to film?
Mike: It was about two and a half months that we were filming. We were done about a month ago now. It was filmed here in Atlanta in multiple locations.
Salute: Production did a great job of bringing together a lot of talented actors. What was the feeling like on set amongst you guys?
Mike: It was one of the best sets I’ve ever been on. It was always positive vibes. The scenes felt real. Bobby [Brown] was on set literally every day. Every time I was there, he was there. Even when I was visiting. It was moments that were supposed to be real and felt so real.
I remember one time when I was there and they were about to film Bobbi Kristina part. You could just see it on Bobby’s face, him wanting to break down and he had to leave off the set. Every moment was there and it was hitting on point so good. It was just positive vibes. It felt like an honor to be acting with Lance Gross, Mekhi Phifer, Gabrielle Dennis. I finally got to meet Woody [Mclain]. It was a feeling that I didn’t want to end.
Salute: Which one of your co-stars were you most impressed by or who gave the performance that impacted you the most?
Mike: I would have to say Woody. Only because I got to see most of Woody’s scenes and a lot of his reactions. I knew that he knew how to act, but being right there with him is different. I didn’t know he had the range that he has. He surprised me a little bit. Woody definitely shocked me the most, because I didn’t get to see most of Mekhi Phifer’s scenes or Lance Gross. I only saw a little of Lance’s scenes.
Salute: What were some of the things that you did to prepare for this role?
Mike: Everyday, before I left the house I would say my lines. Right after I brushed my teeth I would say my lines to myself in the mirror. I would say them while driving or when I’d think about it. Just so I know that I’m familiar with them. I make sure that I’m ready so that when my day comes to film, I will be even more ready. It works for me. Though I was given more lines on the last day and it still worked out perfectly fine.
Salute: With filming being over, have you had a glimpse of the final product yet or are you still waiting?
Mike: I have to wait with everyone else. Even though the editing process takes a minute, for this project they’re actually editing it pretty fast for it to be coming out in September. They already have the first small trailer out now, but it’s not the final trailer for the mainstream. We’re all waiting and everyone is anxious.
Salute: While you’re waiting for this to come out what are you doing in the meantime time? Do you have any other projects that you’re currently doing or that are coming out soon?
Mike: Yes indeed. I have a few feature films that I’m shooting. One is a television series that I lead on called “Side Chick”. It’s a web series and I play the lead role of James. I’ll actually start shooting that soon, and a film called “First Reunion” and another one that I can’t remember the name. I’m still auditioning and have other projects coming my way. God is really blessing me.
Salute: Being that you are a professional model and actor. What are some of the things that you do on the daily to make sure that you stay on point for what may come?
Mike: My thing is working out. I’m working out every day and making sure that I’m staying fit, and the right weight for lead roles. That also falls in the line of modeling. My biggest things are my body and my smile, so the only thing I have to keep up is my body.
As far as acting, I study every day. I give myself at least an hour and then I go to the gym. After that, I’m mostly enjoying my day. Maybe saying some type of line to myself from auditions that I’ve done if I’m driving or not doing anything.