Posted on: March 6, 2024 Posted by: Christina Bronner Comments: 1
Lamman Rucker’s Exclusive Legacy Unveiled for Upscale Magazine
In an exclusive interview with Upscale Magazine, Lamman Rucker delves deeper into his remarkable journey through the realms of soap operas, Tyler Perry collaborations, and his latest project, “The Black Hamptons.” The acclaimed actor shares insights, reflections, and exclusive details about pivotal moments in his career.
Reflecting on his early soap opera days, Rucker opens up about the misconceptions surrounding the genre. He addresses the mockery soap actors often face and passionately defends the genre’s rich heritage, acknowledging the sharp, skilled actors, well-written storylines, and intentional storytelling that often go unnoticed. This exclusive Upscale feature provides a more profound understanding of Rucker’s perspective on the soap opera landscape.
Sharing behind-the-scenes anecdotes from his time working with Tyler Perry, Rucker sheds light on the inspiration drawn from witnessing Perry’s meteoric rise in the industry. The interview offers an intimate look at the camaraderie within the Tyler Perry Studios Family, emphasizing the excitement of building something special together. Rucker’s exclusive insights into the collaborative spirit and challenges of working with Tyler Perry provide a unique glimpse into the actor’s growth during those transformative years.
As the conversation shifts to his portrayal of Jacob Greenleaf in the hit series “Greenleaf,” Rucker unveils personal connections to the character’s journey. This Upscale Magazine exclusive explores the emotional depths of Jacob’s relationships, including his adoration for his father, deep love for his son, and the unique dynamics with his mother. Readers gain a nuanced understanding of Rucker’s approach to portraying Jacob, making the character even more resonant and relatable.
Transitioning to his latest venture, “The Black Hamptons,” Rucker shares exclusive details about what drew him to the project. The interview provides insights into the significance of portraying successful Black individuals and shining a light on SAG HARBOR, NY, as a national Black Mecca. Rucker’s exclusive revelations about the overwhelming love for the show and his excitement for the upcoming season offer readers an insider’s perspective.
In an industry undergoing significant changes with the rise of streaming platforms, the exclusive explores Rucker’s views on storytelling in this evolving landscape. The actor shares exclusive thoughts on adapting to these changes and the importance of telling diverse stories that resonate with different audiences.
Closing the feature, Lamman Rucker reflects on his responsibilities as a respected figure in the industry. The interview provides an intimate look at Rucker’s commitment to service and sacrifice off-camera, including his involvement with The BLACK GENTS and various initiatives. Readers gain a deeper appreciation for Rucker’s dedication to making a positive difference in the world beyond his on-screen roles.
This exclusive Upscale Magazine feature offers readers an in-depth, personal, and exclusive journey through Lamman Rucker’s career, highlighting key moments, challenges, and the actor’s unwavering commitment to authentic storytelling and community impact.
1. Reflecting on your early career in soap operas, how did those experiences shape your approach to acting, and what valuable lessons did you carry forward?
In particular, my time in daytime soaps gave me RESPECT for it. I recall folks mocking and insulting soap actors for their vanity, limited acting skills, and “overdramatic” performances. However, as I observed more, I realized SOME shows and actors were guilty as charged, but MOST actors and shows were, actually, full of sharp, skilled, well-trained actors and had well-written, thought-out, intentional, progressive, and relevant storylines, great directors, and highly qualified technicians behind the scenes. Television soaps are an extension of the glory days of radio, and the melodrama we see on TV is an actual “style” and lost art of the genre, in my opinion. Some of the most decorated actors of stage and screen spent some years in daytime – many before anyone knew their names as the stars they are now. Do the research. It’ll blow your mind. Soaps are nothing to be ashamed of. Working in daytime reinforced the value of respecting ALL artists, ALL genres, and ALL methods of storytelling. I cut my teeth there and had two DYNAMIC characters that I enjoyed originating and bringing to life. My co-stars were incredible. My crew was irreplaceable. My executives and showrunners were top shelf. I’m very proud of my time and opportunity there. It was a profound proving ground for me and kicked my career into a whole different gear, too. Much love to my As The World Turns and All My Children families!!!
2. How did working with Tyler Perry influence your growth as an actor, and what did you learn from those breakthrough moments in “Why Did I Get Married?” and its sequel?
Working with Tyler was particularly significant for me because he was still somewhat “unproven” in many opinions. He had significant success already but was still demonstrating that he could “keep the hits coming.” It was inspirational to see it happening before my eyes. All of us who were a part of the TPS Family knew something special was happening and were excited to be a part of building something with our “brother” (albeit our boss, too – lol).
We wanted to deliver for him, speak to our people in ways that content creators weren’t demonstrating the bravery he was, and accept the challenge he put before us to work at a faster rate in a different market outside of L.A. and NYC than most of us were familiar with.
Because of my foundation in the theatre – AND my experience in daytime soaps – I was well-equipped to deal with the rigors and pace of working with Tyler. He reinforced the concepts of trusting myself, trusting Him, and being confident and decisive in my acting choices. You don’t have the TIME to be uncertain. Tyler’s speed of doing things will leave your ass in the dust if you can’t keep up. You have to be ON it. You have to be PREPARED.
My TPS years also helped me lean into the magnificence of all the beautiful Black talent around me. He cast the projects he blessed me with access to alongside brilliant, talented, and like-minded people. We had SO MUCH FUN together, and I still consider my MTB and WDIGM castmates some of my favorite people in this business and good friends. We share a special bond being a part of the TPS legacy.
He’s been a shining star in my career, and I’m so happy for him and what he’s continuing to build. Those were great years. Just talking about it makes me smile.
3. What aspects of portraying Jacob Greenleaf in “Greenleaf” resonated with you on a personal level?
Jacob’s journey resonated with me personally in the following ways:
A. Jacob adores his father.
Believe it or not, the reason Jacob and Bishop had such a disconnect isn’t because Jacob didn’t like his dad; it’s the contrary. He LOVED his dad. He was heartbroken most of his life because he wanted his father’s approval and was also resentful that he and his father were never really close. I adore my father, too, and, luckily, didn’t have this type of issue with my dad, but I did feel these feelings about my brother, actually. I understand the emotional nuances. Male bonds are SO IMPORTANT to boys and men. They are a HUGE part of my life. Jacob’s, too!
B. Jacob adores his SON.
Jacob overcompensates with his son due to the emotional void that Jacob has with Bishop not being as involved in his life as a young boy the way Jacob needed him, too. The love, tenderness, attention, and nurturing that Jacob feels and shows his son is so real, it’s palpable. I parent similarly to the way Jacob does. I am OVER THE MOON about my son, and I love my children in a very similar way as Jacob.
C. Jacob’s a momma’s boy.
Jacob has a dependency on Lady Mae that was fun to explore. I don’t consider myself a momma’s boy, but the way Jacob respects his mother, is chivalrous to his mother, and SERVES his mother, I can relate to. We have that in common. When the Empress walks into the room, I think EVERYONE should bow – even the Emperor (Bishop). That’s how Jacob and I see our mothers.
4. What drew you to your latest project, “The Black Hamptons,” and how do you approach roles in diverse genres to maintain your versatility?
Having discipline, principle, and discernment in the roles I portray is crucial. Telling the story of successful Black people is always attractive, especially with “The Black Hamptons,” which sheds light on SAG HARBOR, NY, a national Black Mecca for wealth, community, and generational legacy. The opportunity to collaborate with TriDestined Studios, Carl Weber, and Urban Books Media made it a perfect fit. The overwhelming love for the show excites me, and I can’t wait to start shooting the next season.
5. In your over two decades in the entertainment industry, how have you seen the landscape change in terms of diversity and representation, and what role do you believe you’ve played in these shifts?
I hope I’ve contributed to representing Black men, love, family, pride, and purpose profoundly. Partnering with talented people of color to tell stories from our perspective is essential. I appreciate the shift from negative portrayals to narratives about breaking generational patterns, building wealth, and having healthy families. I aim to show Black men in a variety of possibilities.
6. As of 2024, with significant success, how do you balance choosing roles that challenge you artistically with those that have broader commercial appeal, and what factors influence your decision-making process?
I assess projects from a creative, corporate, and consumer standpoint. Considering who I’ll work with, the story we’re telling, and how it represents our community is crucial. I’m over portraying Black men as suckers; my characters don’t have to be perfect, but they must uphold principles of respect and dignity. If a project violates these principles, I walk away.
7. Being a respected figure in the industry, how do you feel about the responsibilities that come with that status?
It comes with a lot of responsibility, and I appreciate the respect. I’ve committed to service and sacrifice off-camera, co-founding The BLACK GENTS and working with various initiatives. The status and platform come with an obligation to make a difference.
8. Looking back at your journey, are there specific moments or projects that you consider pivotal in your growth as an actor, and why do they hold particular significance for you?
All roles are significant, each with unique stories and parallels to my family history. Portraying Jacob Greenleaf was a love letter to Black brothers figuring things out. I believe in you, see you, hear you—stand tall. You are destined for great things.
9. With the rise of streaming platforms, how do you see this affecting the industry, and how do you approach storytelling in this changing landscape?
The approach to storytelling isn’t changed drastically, although I’m finding more series programming happening in smaller and shorter iterations. An episode can be just a few minutes long and not a half-hour or hour. A “season” of a drama series can be as few as 5-6 episodes, while the network model is still upwards of 20 episodes per season. That affects how much LESS time you may have to develop story and character arcs, but the QUALITY of your storytelling still has to be significant. If you have a decent premise, good character development, strong actors, and high production value, you can make some things happen. Of course, the BUSINESS side of things is a whole separate set of variables, but there’s a lot to take advantage of. You can, literally, shoot stuff on your mobile device in your pocket – AND watch/study other content, too. Crazy!
10. For aspiring actors looking up to you, what advice would you give them about navigating the entertainment industry, overcoming challenges, and maintaining authenticity in their craft?
Be PATIENT. Be YOURSELF. Be CONFIDENT. Have CONVICTION. Build RELATIONSHIPS. Prioritize YOUR Wellness. Learn the BUSINESS. Trust your INSTINCTS. Pray DAILY. Eat SMART. Drink LOTS of Water. Don’t take things PERSONALLY. Don’t let things go to your head. SERVE GOD through service to OTHERS. Treat others w/ Courtesy & Respect. No Matter What! DRUGS & ALCOHOL don’t solve problems, make things better nor help make dreams come true.

Join the LAMMAN RUCKER community! 
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@LammanRuckerOfficial: IG
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Principal Lead & Associate Producer
Available Now on BET and BET+ Plus.
[Watch The Black Hamptons Trailer](
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GREENLEAF Seasons 1-5 are on Netflix!!!
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#WeLoveGREENLEAF | #GREENLEAFForever | #NeverLoseFaith

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