New Orleans native Marcel Spears honed his acting skills on the stage before landing his first screen work as a series regular in the short-lived 2017 sitcom The Mayor on ABC. His big break came in 2018 when he got the role of Marty, youngest son of Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) and Tina (Tichina Arnold), in the CBS comedy The Neighborhood (Mondays at 8pm ET/PT), now in its third season. Spears turned on the Southern charm for this edition of our “5 Questions.”
1. What’s been your strangest or most interesting fan encounter?
I was back home for Mardi Gras right before COVID forced everyone into lockdown. I wear glasses normally, but I don’t wear them on TV — plus I’m still fairly new into my career so I don’t get recognized, ever. But this particular day I was at a gas station and I went in to get a snack. I guess the woman behind the counter recognized me when I was checking out, because when I went to pump gas, she kept staring. As I’m finishing up, she comes up to me without saying a word and stares me dead in my face. She says, “Take off your glasses for me, baby” in a very thick New Orleans accent. She looks real hard, then suddenly turns to her coworkers and yells, “Girl, that is Cedric’s son! I told you!”
I love my TV parents! https://t.co/9n0IMxIWdm
— Marcel Spears (@mrmarcelspears) December 21, 2020
2. Can you tell us about a time you were starstruck?
Cedric is always trying to teach Sheaun McKinney and I about the business in little ways, so he invited us to this kind of financial literacy and investment seminar he was cohosting. Cedric had invited so many dope Black folks in the business to share their experiences. One of them was Nia Long. I died. Nia Long has been a crush of mine since before puberty. I died! She maybe said three sentences to me. I died. I am a ghost.
3. What’s a movie that you can watch over and over again?
Hands down, Harlem Nights starring Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor.
4. What’s your favorite sports team?
WHO DAT, BABY! I’m a New Orleans Saints fan all day!
5. What’s a job you had before acting?
I’ve had so many weird jobs over the years, but after I got my MFA I worked as a teaching artist in NYC shaping young minds and introducing reluctant teenagers to Shakespeare.