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Interview: Robert Piper

Robert Piper: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life?

Thomas Q. Jones: The hardest thing I’ve had to overcome was being from my small coal-mining town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia. My mother was a coal miner for nineteen years, and the expectations of making it out of my town were slim to none. No one had ever made it big from my town until I was able to make it to the NFL and now the big screen. The journey from my town to where I am now has taught me how to be resilient and fearless, and for that I will forever be grateful.

RP: What inspires you?

TQJ: My inspiration is my hometown. I feel that because I’m representing my very overlooked region of Virginia, I have to keep accomplishing my goals to show everyone there that you can truly become whatever you believe with hard work and dedication.

RP: How do you stay healthy?

TQJ: I’m a gym rat, I have to admit. I live in the gym, and now that I don’t have to get beat up for a living, I can truly enjoy taking care of myself without worrying about breaking my leg or getting paralyzed. While I was in the NFL, I would eat five times a day. I only eat twice a day now, and I box and play basketball every day. I’m extremely happy with my body and mind right now.

RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure?

TQJ: I feel like there’s no such thing as failure. When something doesn’t go the way I want it to, I learn from it, and I accomplish more than I initially expected to. I look at failure as the fertilizer to success.

RP: What projects are you working on?

TQJ: I’m working on a lot of projects at the moment. I was cast as Gabrielle Union’s love interest on the BET series Being Mary Jane. I was also cast for the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, directed by F. Gary Gray, as well as the lead role in a romantic comedy entitled Getting Even.

My production company, Independently Major Entertainment, has two feature films in the process of being funded and a documentary called The NFL: The Gift or the Curse in production.

I also developed a technology company called Castar Applications. I am launching my first social networking application, called Castar, in February. I’m really into technology, and I feel that Castar will be able to compete with all of the major platforms in the market.

Thomas Q. Jones is a former NFL player and actor whose acting credits include Straight Outta Compton, Being Mary Jane, and Getting Even.

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Photo: Ian Maddox

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