The New Edition Story: Algee Smith
SS: The person you play is Ralph Tresvant. How would you describe him? From his personality to his work ethic?
Personality first, Ralph is a selfless person. He makes a lot of sacrifices. He is just a solid man all around. Work ethic wise, it’s kind of when you go from 12 years old to still doing it at 40 years old then your work ethic kind of speaks for itself. He’s just a machine. All of the guys are. They have been doing it since before they knew even who they were.
SS: What are some of the obstacles that you had to overcome in order to portray Ralph to the best of your ability?
A couple of things that I had to overcome were things that I have not dealt with in my own life. For instance, his parents not being there and his mom passing away. Those are things that I have not had to deal with. Those are detrimental things, and those are probably the biggest obstacles, while trying to put myself there emotionally and feel what he felt, even though I have no idea how that feels.
SS: What is something that you did not know about New Edition before filming this movie?
The amount of fights they had. It was good though because back then after you fight you get over it. It’s like whatever we are still brothers. Also, the amount of turbulence they had throughout their career. I did not even know about that. That is probably the most shocking thing to find out.
SS: What do you admire about New Edition? How has playing in this movie inspired you?
The fact that until this day after everything that they went through they can still come together as a unit as one and still be brothers and not let the industry get to them and the hate, the people that tried to turn them against each other. They still stand like 30 years later as brothers and that’s something that’s real special. It has inspired me tremendously because I am also a singer, and so looking at the process that they had to go through. When we first started and I found out that I got the audition, I had to go to a boot camp. The boot camp was 8 hours a day for a month and a half, but I feel like that help prepare me for my own career. Just watching them, looking at their story, and seeing how they handled things, that inspired me to go about my career in certain ways, especially with Ralph and the way he just carries himself.
SS: Out of the entire New Edition group who do you think is the most influential? Who helped the group move forward despite any negativity that they encountered?
In that sense, I would say it was Mike, in which he helped start BBD. His business mind seemed further than what everyone else saw, and I feel as if he was the most instrumental in keeping the group going through the tough times.
SS: Did you know any of the other cast members who are playing the other members of New Edition before filming? Did you feel like you were in an actual male group with them?
I did not know anybody. I knew of them and everybody knew of each other. I did not know anyone personally. It’s kind of funny because now we are like brothers. We talk in the group chat every single day. I have never had that in a cast before, so that’s super dope to me.
SS: Did you feel like you were in an actual male group with them?
I was Ralph for the time being. The clothes and the energy on set made it that way. When the actual New Edition came on set to be with us, we felt like we were in a time warp.
SS: Do you think you could have been a New Edition Member or a part of a male singing group in general?
I think I could have been a part of a male singing group, but its just that God wanted me to be solo, so yes I could have if I really wanted to.
SS: How do you think this movie has helped your career?
Already it’s just a blessing to be able to be noticed for the things that you can do and be able to do. Other than that, just to be put around the right people and relationships and being able to meet the people that I look up to and have real conversations with them. It’s helped me tremendously and the movie has not even come out yet.
SS: What can we expect next from you? Any more movies, music, etc?
I am dropping a project at the top of next year. So after the movie comes out, you can expect a lot of music from me. Then, I have another movie coming out later next year. It’s about the Detroit Riot in 1967. I am super excited for that as well.
SS: Is there anything else you would like to add or talk about pertaining to you or The New Edition Story?
I just really want everyone to really pay attention to the story, because there is so much that can be taken and used in daily life, especially with friends and relationships. It is a story about family and I want people to watch it with an open eye.