Bessie’s Bryan Greenberg

This weekend marks the premiere of HBO’s newest biopic, Bessie (starring Queen Latifah) so we thought it was fitting to sit down with one of its cutest male stars – Bryan Greenberg. Already a favorite of ours from his days on How To Make It In America, Greenberg also does incredible philanthropic work with his annual Olevolos Project Brunch Party (happening Saturday) providing scholarships for orphan children in Tanzania.

We chatted with Greenberg on what we don’t know about him and fiancée Jamie Chung, advice from George Clooney, and why his last meal would be Fluffernutter sandwiches…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

I love starting the day off with a strong coffee and an acai bowl. Lunch would be at Russ And Daughters Cafe, and dinner at Chalk Point Kitchen. Or, if I’m with a big fun group, maybe Catch or La Esquina.

What’s your idea of the perfect first date?

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been on a first date, but I always think the best dates are when it’s a new experience for both parties. Not the same old thing. Pick some place new!

What was your most memorable moment on the set of Bessie? 

The first day I came to set. It was a big tent concert scene with hundreds of extras, classic cars, cranes, three cameras, and Queen Latifah performing. I knew then this project was special.

Best thing Queen Latifah said to you? What was it like working together?

I like what she said about my character John Hammond. “He’s full of shit, but it’s the good shit.” She couldn’t have been more welcoming and easy going. I really enjoyed it.

Could you tell us a bit about your charity event Saturday? What should we know about it?

It’s the 4th annual Olevolos Project Brunch Party. This year we’re sponsored by Microsoft. The charity provides scholarships for orphan children in Tanzania. I just got back from visiting the children and I saw first hand the difference we are making, Microsoft provided tablets and it was great to see the kids light up while working with them. These children came to school with literally nothing but the clothes they have on. Now with our help they have food, clothing, boarding, schooling and technology. Some of them have become the best in their class!

If How to Make It In America was remade today, what do you think it would center around?

I don’t know. I’m pretty sure Ben and Cam would have graduated to running a media company like Vice or Complex. But who knows!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

George Clooney, when he directed me in Unscripted said, “Don’t ever let me catch you acting.” That’s always stuck with me.

Do you cook? What do you make?

I’m getting pretty good on the Vitamix. My smoothie game is strong!

Something we don’t know about you and your fiancée Jamie Chung…

A lot of people don’t know that we did a movie called It’s Already Tomorrow In Hong Kong together. We shot it in HK last year and now it’s going to premiere at the LA Film Festival this summer.

What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?

Fluffernutter sandwiches with my friends and family.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?

I think my favorite city to eat is in Tokyo. I like to drink beer and eat Yakatori in a steam alley called Omoide Yokocho.

If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?

I would order in Dinosaur BBQ, because it’s better than my cooking. I’d invite William Shakespeare, 2pac, John Lennon, Mark Twain, and Aristotle. That would be a good dinner conversation.

*Bryan Greenberg, photographed in Brooklyn, New York by Danielle Kosann. Bryan wears a Grungy Gentleman jacket, Rag & Bone shirt and pants, and Kenneth Cole shoes.