Jensen Atwood was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. After time in the military he caught the acting bug and was featured in music videos for Destiny’s Child, Toni Braxton, Ashanti, Lil Mo, Heather Headley and Chante Moore-Kenny Latimore.
People started to sit up and take notice of the impossibly handsome Atwood. He played opposite Halle Berry, in Oprah Winfrey Presents Their Eyes Were Watching God and has become an audience favorite for his role of Wade on Noah’s Arc. Fans of the supernatural soap, Dante’s Cove can look forward to the temperature getting even hotter at the Cove when Jensen joined the cast for the third season.
Charlie David: You joined the cast of Dante’s Cove for season III in Hawaii. Tell us about your character.
Jensen Atwood: I play the role of Griffen, the bisexual warlock who is a representative of the Tresum Council and has come to Dante’s Cove to set things straight. No pun intended.
Charlie David: This is your second role on a “gay” show and this time you play a bisexual role. Do you have any concerns about being typecast?
Jensen Atwood: As long as I don’t play the same role I’m happy. The roles of Wade and Griffen are very different. As well as Johnny Taylor and Snoop. I’ve been blessed to have a pretty diverse career.
Charlie David: How would you describe Dante’s Cove?
Jensen Atwood: Dante’s Cove is like a gay Charmed but pushes the boundaries of what you’re used to seeing on television.
Charlie David: Your character, Griffen, has a very generous attitude when it comes to sex. Basically the world is his convenience store. Was it strange to move to such a promiscuous ‘flower-child’ role after the monogamy of Noah’s Arc?
Jensen Atwood: What was strange was creating meaning for things that have been created. I know that may sound a little confusing. Like Tresum Magic for example. I know this will be a shock to some… But I can’t really do magic. So to make it as real as possible was a fun challenge.
Charlie David: The cast has exploded with new and familiar faces like Jenny Shimizu, Jill Bennett, Reichen Lehmkuhl, and yourself. Now all the boys and girls liked to toss around the football except for you and Reichen… Care to explain yourself??
Jensen Atwood: I had a great time with all of the cast. It was torture to watch you guys toss the football around. I love football. But as you know I chose to keep my finger nails long for the character. So playing catch would have jeopardized the continuity.
Ok, ok, so BASICALLY I didn’t want to break a nail. The first description sounded better though.
Charlie David: What’s it like to act alongside the infamous Diva, Tracey Scoggins?
Jensen Atwood: A pleasure. She makes really interesting choices. And I feel I’m a better actor from working with her.
Charlie David: You’re most well known for your role as Wade on Logo’s Noah’s Arc. The show was a landmark showcasing the lives of gay African American men. What was it like to work on the show?
Jensen Atwood: Working on the show felt like being with family at times. Together we started a project we believed in. No money involved. Just a love for the art and a belief in each other.
Charlie David: I thought Noah’s Arc was so hot. I begged Patrick Ian Polk to create a role for a skinny white boy… ‘Let me be a pizza delivery boy or Dude playing checkers #2!’ I didn’t care! And now there’s a movie!! Will it be like Rachel and Ross on Friends? Will Noah and Wade get hitched? Will ‘Dude playing checkers #2’ finally get a date with Wade? (fingers crossed!)
Jensen Atwood: I wish I knew. I am so out of the loop. From what I understand the there’s a happy ever after…. but I’m not sure if Dude playing checkers #2 is part of it.
Charlie David: In Noah’s Arc, Wade goes through a coming out process which starts with a gay guy and straight guy as friends. Then curiosity takes over… Do you think it’s common for straight guys to consider having an encounter with another guy, especially in light of gay and alternative culture being so chic right now?
Jensen Atwood: No I don’t think that’s common for a straight guy at all. But because of the gay and alternative culture becoming more mainstream I think it leaves room for those that aren’t sure of there sexuality. Or for those whose sexuality isn’t as simple as gay or straight.
Charlie David: There’s a whole DL or Down Low phenomenon that is sometimes relegated to the Black and Hispanic community. Do you think with shows like Noah’s Arc and the DL Chronicles there will be a change in the community? Will more men just cut the middle ground and come out?
Jensen Atwood: I think some people feel comfortable in the middle ground. It’s a trip how DL has been demonized. I think the question is, why would a man have to pretend to be something that he is not? I think it could be easily answered knowing the history of our society.
Charlie David: For some it’s becoming common for both straight and gay couples – either married or living together – to seek out extracurricular activities on the side. How much does our generation need to adhere to society’s traditions or are we at a place where it’s suitable to set our own rules?
Jensen Atwood: I would like to think living in America I have the right to be free. And any union between consenting adults is between them two, them three, or however many you can manage to have a productive positive and loving relationship with.
Charlie David: Is it hard being one of the most beautiful men in the world?
Jensen Atwood: Thanks Charlie. It is difficult becoming a success in Hollywood. But it’s easy to maintain my roots. I love my family. And they love me enough to not allow me to get lost on Planet Hollywood.
Charlie David: Who’s a better kisser – Tracey Scoggins, Darryl Stephens, Gregory Michael or Halle Barry?
Jensen Atwood: Tough competition but Halle takes it!
Charlie David: We played a lot of poker when not shooting. You’re such a sweet guy I can’t imagine you bluffing… Which is probably why you beat me. You smile and I fold – here, just take my chips! Since we’re almost done, fill me in on your most common play – fold, check, or bet?
Jensen Atwood: You know me Charlie, I’m ALL IN!!!!
Charlie David: Die hard fans will know you don’t only act and possess dimples to rival Antonio Sabato Jr. but you also sing. Where can we take a listen?
Jensen Atwood: I’m still at the very early stages of my music project. And I feel like things are moving in slow motion sometimes. But I’ll be sure to keep you shoulder to shoulder with progress on my Instagram.