Hometown: Wilmington, DE
Current Role: A Broadway debut as Joseph Asagai, the charming Nigerian student who sweeps Beneatha Younger (played by Anika Noni Rose) off her feet in A Raisin in the Sun.
Stage and Screen Cred: After starring in the teen flick Save the Last Dance, Thomas appeared in Barbershop, TV’s The District, the 2008 small-screen remake of A Raisin in the Sun and Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte. He also plays real-life dad to Lola Jolie, 6, and Luc, 4.
"Growing up in Wilmington, on one hand, was great—it was clean and simple and family-oriented. But we were the only black family in our neighborhood, so it was a little isolating. I never felt 100 percent like I fit in."
"My first speaking role was Asagai in A Raisin in the Sun in college, but I didn’t take acting seriously until my fourth year. I had a great teacher named Richard Warner and he told me, ‘If you really commit to it, this is something you could do.’"
"I filmed Save the Last Dance and thought it was fine, but I didn’t realize it would get as big as it got. I started hearing things about myself I’ve never heard before: 'You’re so charming, sexy, handsome…' It was weird, I never viewed myself that way."
"During the first performance [of Raisin], my heart was thumping. Broadway has always been on my bucket list, and to know that I was actually about to do it for real, for the first time? I was definitely very nervous."
"Sometimes I see Denzel while I’m offstage warming up or getting ready to do a scene, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God. That’s Denzel Washington!’ I get this overwhelming sense of gratitude to be able to watch him and learn from him."
"If my kids decide [they want to be actors], my gut instinct is to say, ‘No, it’s too hard. Please try to pick something else.’ Then again, if my mother had told me that, I wouldn’t be here!"