WRITTEN BY LINDA HOSMER
“I think grounded humbleness is the key to everything.”
Meet Roland Buck III – the “Chicago Med” actor who isn’t shy when it comes to sharing his life strategy.
Roland was born in Chicago but raised in Texas after his dad’s work moved the family there. He quickly digested how different Texas was from the South Side of Chicago. So he did what many kids do – he escaped into the movies. He clearly remembers one in particular - “The Wood” – because it was the first time he ever heard his name in a movie. He immediately connected to the character played by Taye Diggs. “I asked my mom ‘Is this a job? Can I do this when I grow up?’ And she’s like ‘Yeah you can do anything you want.’” So equipped with his mama’s emotional currency tucked away in his back pocket, he moved to L.A., applied to USC’s School of Dramatic Arts and got in.
“I always dreamt of being an actor, supporting myself and my family,” says Roland and he’s woven those words into his reality. For the past two years Roland’s been playing the part of Dr. Noah Sexton on NBC’s hit medical drama “Chicago Med,” a role he’s proud to carry out as a young man of color other young men of color can look up to.
“If you’re only represented in one category then that’s sometimes all you can dream of … but if you’re seen in all different types of light. You can pick and choose what your heart desires,” stresses Roland.
He brings up how in the era of his dad’s youth – people were focused on the Civil Rights movement. That was the dream – to be equal, to simply go to school uninterrupted. So while Roland was pursuing acting his dad always wanted to know his Plan B. That all melted away the moment his dad came on set. He realized his son was living the dream he worked hard to protect. “There’s a quote that helped bring it full circle ‘I am my ancestors wildest dreams.’”
And Roland is achieving that dream on an even bigger stage. He’s set to play with the big dogs, the seasoned shapers in his industry. Have you heard of Adam Sandler? Yeah. Roland’s playing alongside Sandler in the Netflix comedy “The Week Of.” He calls Sandler grounded, gracious and game to show him the ropes.
Roland jokes that he feels like a Pharaoh in his Uprising gear but in all seriousness he’s into the feel and flexibility the threads carry. He likes that he can dress it down with some errand-running shorts or dress it up with a blazer. Either way he’s cloaked in comfort.
As for any #Uprisers out there hesitant to slice through the roadblocks – here’s some advice on how to handle haters: “Fuck ‘em! Like my dad says ‘Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one’ and they do. Everyone’s got one. Really. Everyone is going to have an opinion about you - about the work you do – good or bad. If you live or die on someone’s opinion then you either won’t start, or when you make it you’ll fall the moment people’s opinions change.” Plus he says remember that when you start to see success they only see the YES’s, not the 100 NO’s happening behind the scenes.