Photography by Kai Regan. Jacket By Diesel; Shirt By Ransom; Jeans By Insight.
Bryan Greenberg, star of HBO's How to Make It in America, will be making it big soon if the "east coast Entourage" takes off like we expect it to (it premieres this Sunday at 10 p.m. e.t.). Greenberg, 31, plays Ben Epstein, an NYC hustler trying to make it in the cutthroat fashion industry with help from his boys (played by Victor Rasuk and Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi). You might recognize B-Gizzle, who grew up in St. Louis, from HBO's Unscripted, films like The Perfect Score and Nobel Son, or his album Waiting for Now (or, if you're a teenage girl, One Tree Hill), but How To... has him poised to blow the fuck up. Before he becomes too big for this earth, Complex caught up with the actor/singer-songwriter to get his "Mantras," a.k.a. the rules he lives by. Keep reading for his stance on filming sex scenes, having sex with married fans, and more things that don't necessarily relate to sex...
Bryan says: When I graduated [from NYU], I spent a year in New York bar-tending, catering, waiting tables, hustling, doing whatever I could and getting little [acting] jobs. There wasn't enough work to go around. I was living with my college girlfriend in this small-ass two-bedroom in the East Village and one night brown water started dripping from our ceiling—our upstairs neighbor's toilet was overflowing and shit was falling from the ceiling. I believe in signs. I decided then to try L.A. I visited for the summer and got two jobs the first week.
THE BOYFRIEND CAN'T WATCH.
Bryan says: The keys to a good sex scene are get drunk, make sure you have mints, and try to think about Large Marge. No. Honestly, ask for a closed set. That's the first thing. Try to get as many people off the stage as you can, because those are the days when everyone's hanging around. I've done sex scenes or kissing scenes where boyfriends have been on set. It's already awkward; I don't need to see the boyfriend. That's not cool.
RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER.
Bryan says: The first time I met Meryl Streep [while filming Prime], she was like, "So, you nervous, Bryan?" And I'm like, "Nah, nah, I'm good. I got this! I'm ready to do it! ... Why? Are you nervous?" She's like, "I'm scared shitless." Wow. It was then that I realized it never ends, there's no goal to be reached, no benchmark. We chose to be actors, to live this life, its ups and downs. Right now I'm on an up because I'm working on a great job, but it might not last forever. But right now I'm happy.
BEWARE OF TEENAGE GIRLS.
Bryan says: I was on the subway couple months ago by myself and a group of high school chicks noticed me. That demographic is fanatical. It became a whole scene and I had to jump out. That usually doesn't happen. I just have to wear a hat or not hang around the mall too much. I don't have it as bad as a lot of people; I'm sure the Twilight guy [Robert Pattinson] has it worse.
DON'T BE A JERK.
Bryan says: I get this shit all the time: "You're so nice for an actor." I'm like, Wow, all I gotta do is look people in the eye and shake their hand and I'm a nice guy. You don't have to do much. There are so many assholes lowering the bar that people naturally expect you to be a dick.
DON'T HAVE SEX WITH MARRIED FANS.
Bryan says: The weird [comments online] are when someone says, "My husband says I could sleep with you," like it's a rule. First, it's weird that I've been talked about in bedrooms. That's just uncomfortable on a lot of levels, but the fact that he'll let you do it is even weirder, and the fact that you think I'm actually going to do it is beyond. But I guess I'll take it as a compliment.
Bryan says: In the past I've thought maybe I can just headline a tour. No, you gotta open for guys. Just because you're an actor, that doesn't mean you're gonna put people in seats as a musician. I've done shows where it's not crowded. You have to earn it in each arena. That's why I go on tour, meet fans, and talk to them on Twitter and Facebook, build from the ground up. I gotta get out there with a guitar and a mic and earn it.
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