Between battling V-loving Vamps in True Blood and making an impact in Calvin Klein’s “X Marks The Spot” boxers campaign, Mechad Brooks isn’t the arrogant sex symbol you’d expect him to be. In fact, he’s quite the scholarly nerd… who tends to take his shirt off. VIBE hooked up with the 29-year-old actor to pick his brain about uncomfortable conversations with his mother, America’s big obesity problem, and why he can’t wait to turn 30. —Katie Hintz-Zambrano
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What did Mama Brooks think of those new Calvin Klein ads? Are you doing another season?
It goes from March to March. I’ll find out in Dec if they want me back. My mom has seen me in my underwear probably a lot more than any other woman, just from growing up and always running around in my drawers. So it’s nothing different for her. The one thing she said is, ‘I don’t know if I should watch this because people are saying it’s X-Rated. Is it really X-rated?’ I’m like ‘Mom, no.’ And the one time she saw a sex scene from True Blood she called me and said ‘Hey, this is really embarrassing, but… do you guys really do it?’ I’m like, ‘No, no, not at all!’
Are you comfortable with being branded as a sex symbol? Is it easy to embrace?
It’s a double-edged sword in some way. I really haven’t embraced it, but at the same time, I have to be mindful and cognitive of it and appreciative of it, because it does mean that I’ve gotten to a level of recognition and respect that I’ve always wanted. With that, I have to be level headed and appreciative. I don’t think of myself as sexy. The thing is, whether you want it or not, you have to be prepared for it, if you want to be successful.
You’re close to hitting 30, are you ready to leave your 20s behind?
I am ready to get the hell out of my twenties! I feel like your twenties are when you have all of these great ideas about things you want to accomplish, but you don’t have the inclination to do it. It’s like “I can’t wait to do this…let’s go to the club!” Your twenties is where you have this wonderful mind, but not the patience to let things happen. Your twenties, especially in our society today, are just an extended childhood. You get away with a lot of shit in your twenties that adults aren’t able to do. And I want to be an adult in every way.