There’s a calm and inviting demeanor about Lamman Rucker. Maybe that’s why he’s a force to reckon with in Hollywood right now. With new movies hitting theaters soon including “The Man in 3B” and “Service to Man,” fans are in for some of his best work yet. But he’s so much more than an actor. “Courage. Optimism. Discipline. Excellence” – the code in which he lives by. Lamman’s goal is to be a living example of everything he preaches. From founding The Black Gents of Hollywood, to partnering with The American Heart Association to help combat hypertension in the Black community, to sharing his story in the book REACH: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading and Succeeding, Lamman is sowing seeds of knowledge back into the community and setting up the path for others to follow. Lamman took some time to share his story with Black Fitness Today and his thoughts on health, personal development and what you didn’t know about the “Why Did I Get Married” series.

Along with several of your memorable roles, Lamman is a fan favorite from the “Why Did I Get Married” movies as Troy, Sheila’s “knight in shining armor.” What we loved was the type of man Troy was to Sheila. She was even inspired to take his lead in living a healthier lifestyle! We asked Lamman what he would say to so many women (and men) out there who may not love the skin their in and struggle with self-image…

When you think about it, its like well what’s the real problem? Was the real problem the weight/health and therefore low self-esteem, or was the problem the low self-esteem that led to issues with weight or health? One of the things that exacerbated the self-esteem issue for Sheila (played by Jill Scott) was the fact that she was in a relationship with someone who didn’t acknowledge or encourage her (Mike, played by Richard T. Jones).

I have to correct people sometimes when they’re like, “oh, (Troy) saved her.” No, no, no – he didn’t save her from nothing [laughs]. If anything, he encouraged her so that she could see it for herself, you know, and that’s what has to happen. Other people can love you and support you but it still has to be your own choice to see yourself in a different light and find the balance between accepting yourself as you are and desiring to improve.

Lamman believes the films would have been even better if we saw more of the storyline between Troy & Sheila.

You would have fallen in love with them even more if you would have been able to see the process and that’s where I feel like people were kind of cheated, because you just saw how they were checking for one another and before you knew it, they were married. If you could have witnessed the process; if you could have seen them becoming friends, just literally enjoying each other’s company – gradually the friendship grew and intimacy on a higher level started to evolve.

What else don’t we know about the films?

One of the things that you also don’t know is that Troy was married in the initial script. Part of what takes him up to the mountain is for him to heal and to lick his wounds from what he had already gone through… he wasn’t sheriff of that town his whole life. He was a wealthy business tycoon, a philanthropist and a hometown hero.

Although Sheila showed us the “I’m feelin’ myself” aspect of the transformation, Lamman points out that it all began on the inside.

When you see Sheila in that scene talking to her girlfriends and when you see her walk in the bathroom and she’s like “oh, you” (talking to Trina, played by Denise Boutte) the power that you saw wasn’t coming from the need to diminish anybody — and she was very honest about the fact that she was like, I would take this to the street years ago, but you know what, I’m past that, not because of what that man [Troy] was able to help me do for myself, but I’m past that because of where I am with myself. Let’s say Troy and Sheila aren’t together anymore; she would be like “I’m okay, because I’m nowhere near in the place that I was when I lost the first man as when I lost this last one.” BUT hopefully that doesn’t happen and I’m even not going to dream that up [laughs] because hopefully we don’t see that in Why Did I Get Married Three – here I am making up story lines already!

Flip the page to learn about Lamman’s newest role with the American Heart Association! 

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