Photographer: Ashley Sky Walker
You may not know his name, but you have certainly seen his face in the past couple weeks. He played Slim in Brooklyn’s Finest, which stars Wesley Snipes and Don Cheadle. Plus, he has a role opposite Oscar winner Matt Damon in the action-thriller Green Zone, which opens today.
The New Orleans native is making a name for himself with his strong acting skills, charismatic personality and good looks. Banks has already gotten comparisons to a young Wesley Snipes so we had to know more about the up and coming actor…
ON BROOKLYN’S FINEST VS. GREEN ZONE: “Brooklyn’s Finest is a one-hitter quitter — boom! I’m going straight for it, for the knockout. Green Zone, I’m going to float a little bit. Stick and move, stick and move. Brooklyn’s Finest was a bit more to the point. Green Zone, I am an entity. I exist, I’m there.”
ON THE MEANING OF HIS NAME: “Nicoye means ‘leader of the people.’ My mother is a fantastic, beautiful woman. I work every day to live up to the meaning of that name.”
ON WHO IS MORE GANGSTA, CHEADLE OR SNIPES: “Don! He has a very intense demeanor and posture. The scene that we are all involved in he’s experiencing what he’s experiencing so when they yell cut or we’re changing angles, he goes off to the side and stays in the zone. Wesley is a laid back, smooth cat, knows how to flip the switch. That’s somewhat indicative of the character that he’s playing, but also I’ve learned it lends itself to who he is as a man. Wesley mingles and seems to be a little more approachable than Don. Don was approachable, it’s just — do you want to go there and try to break down that mainframe? [Laughs]”
ON SNIPES COMPARISONS: “If I am being aligned with Wesley in any way, shape or form — I’ll take it! Wesley was the one who brought the resurgence of the chocolate! I’m from New Orleans — that brown paper bag thing — that was the real deal. So, when he hit — man, when I tell you, life changed dramatically. It was game over! I attribute a lot of that to Wesley and to Michael Jordan!”
ON CELEBRITY: “Celebrity is a state of mind. It’s the notoriety part that I feel like you have to grab the bull by the horns and try your damnedest to control. People know you, people recognize you — that’s cool, but it’s what you do with all of that stuff. I gave all thanks and praises to my family, my father and to the women that raised me. I was raised by all women; they made certain that I stayed grounded and never got a big head about anything.”
MOST EMBARRASSING SONG IN THE IPOD: “[Laughs] ‘Boom Boom Pow’ — I like the Black Eyed Peas, but the ‘Boom Boom Pow,’ I put that on there for my son.”
AFTER A FEW DRINKS: “I’m funny and even more fearless. I wouldn’t walk into traffic — I just wish I had a script!”
ON A TYPICAL NIGHT OUT: “Dave and Buster’s with friends — lady friends and homeboys. I love having the group fun. Let’s all kick it and have a good time!”
Brooklyn’s Finest is in theaters now. Green Zone opens in theaters today.