“Resort To Love” Star Sinqua Walls Is A Lover, Not A Fighter

Sinqua WallsPhoto Credit: David Higgs Photographer: David Higgs
Stylist: Apuje Kalu
Groomer: Gabriela Lara

Sinqua Walls is a lover, not a fighter — although he does play both as an ex-military member in his latest project, Resort to Love. In the Alicia Keys-produced film, which premiered on Netflix in late July, Christina Milian plays a woman who ends up at her ex-fiancé’s wedding after reluctantly taking a gig at a luxurious island resort while in the wake of a music career meltdown. But there’s more in the pipeline for Walls — who has appeared in shows like BET’s American Soul and Starz’s Power: he is currently filming the indie thriller Nanny alongside Michelle Monaghan and is also developing a feature film with Mandalay pictures based on a novel he fell in love with and optioned (and in which he’ll also star). Here, we go one-on-one with Sinqua to talk about his current project and his fitness tips — because he definitely works out!

Sinqua Walls Photo Credit: David Higgs

You have an extensive resume that includes many dramas such as Friday Night Lights, American Soul and Power. What was it like/how have you grown through your role in Resort to Love, as a rom-com?

Shooting “Friday Night Lights,” “American Soul,” and “Power,” those were all great and amazing experiences for me. They were an opportunity to learn from really great actors and to be in the space of what it takes to create quality content. I learned what it meant to be on set from a successful point of view and saw how all things on set need to work together – different departments need to be in sync and communication needs to flow. From an acting point of view, I learned how to continue to be a leader and how to be an asset to the process, not just making it about you but about the entire story. Going into “Resort to Love” I carried those same lessons and made sure I was able to give as much as I could not only to my character but to my fellow castmates and filmmakers throughout the process.

Has there been a favorite project to date? What, if so, and why?

I can genuinely say that on the top of my list right now are “Resort to Love” and “American Soul.” “American Soul” was one of the first times where I could step into a leading role and anchor a show. I learned so much about myself as an actor and about the legacy of Don Cornelius. I gained such reverence and respect for his story and his family, what he had to overcome, and the trail he blazed so that myself as a black artist could have the vehicles to be successful on and behind the camera. With “Resort to Love,” we were working with great people, a great crew and staff, shooting in a beautiful location, and the community, the culture, is an experience that I will never forget. I am so grateful that I could be a part of it. I would happily do another one in that location as many times as I could.

Which role in which film do you most identify with (it doesn’t have to be a movie you were in) and why?

Right now, I identify most with Caleb and Don Cornelius. They are the most recent, but they are the most nuanced. I think they have so many things they are trying to overcome to be successful and be good people through the process. With Don, you see him struggle to stay grounded and authentic while he becomes successful and a celebrity. Caleb, after being displaced as a military man, is trying to figure out his next stage of life. I think in each stage of life we go through, we revisit the same lessons and see what we’ve learned. Those two revisit a lot of the same lessons and grow with each step.

What drew you to this project?

Ultimately, I think it was another opportunity to work with Netflix and to work with Christina Milian and Jay Pharoah, who I’ve watched consistently over the years and I love their work. Also, just the ability to tell another great story. To be a part of something, that despite of everything going on, is positive, uplifting, inspirational, and motivating was a gift to me and what made me gravitate to the opportunity to be a part of this story.

This particular film was shot on location in Mauritius. What set that experience apart? Did you enjoy it more than being on location in LA, Toronto, etc?

Fun fact! I actually have rarely shot in LA. Most of the projects that I’ve done have been shot on location, which I feel so grateful for as it has given me the unique experience to learn from different demographics, geographical locations, communities and societies. I always look forward to being able to jump to a different space to shoot on location. It is one of my favorite things about the industry and job that I get to do. I’d say that by far the most beautiful location I’ve ever shot in is Mauritius hands down! I would go back there to shoot any and as many movies as I could.

What is your dream role?

It’s funny, I saw an old interview I did that I don’t even quite remember doing but I said I would love to do a Marvel film. I have to say that’s something I’m still waiting to check off my bucket list. To be a part of a Marvel, DC, or superhero franchise is an amazing goal and another story I would love to tell.

Do you dream of playing a superhero? Which one?

Yes, I do. I would love to play a superhero. One that comes to mind is Superman or any other character that dons a cape, saves people, and has complex life emotions.

Sinqua Walls Photo Credit: David Higgs

What are you most excited about with the film’s release coming up and what do you hope people take away from this film?

I’m excited for people to see it. Anytime you get the opportunity to shoot something and create something you always want to make sure it has legs and has the opportunity to draw an audience. So first and foremost, I am excited for people to see it, hopefully enjoy it, and to stream it, and then stream it again! I hope that what people take away from it is that life is continuous. You can fall down one day and get back up. It is not about the falling down it is about the getting back up. All of our main characters go through struggles in this, which I think is great and so unique to a rom-com. They all have something they are struggling to overcome, and they do this, not by finding a silver lining but by pushing forward. There is a lot of heart in it and it is like real life, in that we’re all gonna go through things but we have to keep persevering and keep being consistent. There’s a great quote that I love: “Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.”

What are your thoughts on playing a heartthrob? Is that you or is that against character?

I don’t really know to be honest. The biggest thing I try to do is lead with authenticity and continue to grow and be honest. I have found that people find that attractive or at least appreciate it. If being grounded, real, authentic, and 99.8% honest makes me a heart throb then I’m cool with it, and I will continue to carry the torch of “hearthrobness!”

Do you consider yourself to be a ladies man? Explain!

I would say no, I don’t know why but I look at the ladies’ man moniker as having a negative connotation. Maybe I’m skewed in that perception, but I’ve always thought a ladies’ man couldn’t focus on one woman. I’d like to think I have been able to focus on one woman at times in my life. If being a ladies’ man is a good thing, meaning that he can be attentive and perceptive to the one that he cares about and be a good partner, which I feel like I’ve done the work to be, then yes! But if it’s the negative connotation that I’m thinking of then I’d say no.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

I’m proud of the fact that I’m able to give each character a grounded level of humanity. I’m proud that I’ve been a part of projects that can reach a lot of different people and that I haven’t been marginalized or only stick to one genre. I’m proud of the fact that people have trusted me to be a part of so many different genres. I’m proud that I’m in a place now that I can begin to help others that have come up with me and believe in the same things that I do. It takes a village. I’m proud of my village and I’m proud that I’m able to be a part of others’ villages as well.

Who is you biggest inspiration as an actor?

I’d honestly say that my biggest inspiration as an actor is my grandmother. She always told me to follow my dreams and said “if they mess with you, mess with them and if they don’t mess with you, F ‘em!” I always hold that true because at the end of the day I try to live my life in a way that my grandmother will be proud of. The fact that she can watch the things that I do and appreciate the man that I’m growing to be, not only in life, but also in this business makes me very proud.