OLTL Star's "Knight" JobBy Lauren Flynn Posted: Jan 29, 2009
Daytime fans will be pleased to see Sean Ringgold, bodyguard du jour Shaun on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, in the recent box-office smash Notorious. The biopic about late rap star Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace) features Angela Bassett, Anthony Mackie, Jamal Woolard, Derek Luke and Ringgold as infamous Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight. "It was an incredible experience," beams the actor, who hails from Rockaway Park, NY. "I saw the flick two weeks ago at the premiere and I was walking the red carpet behind [Director] George Tillman, Jr. and [Producer/Former Wallace Manager] Wayne Barrow and I had a moment where I just stopped and told them, 'Thanks a million for the opportunity,' and [Tillman] said, 'You're very welcome, you deserve it.' "
Gratitude is something the actor seems to have no shortage of, whether he's talking about his film work, daytime gig or that other job that got him frequently photographed by paparazzi in New York. "I just finished working with Katie Holmes for the duration of All My Sons," reports the real-life bodyguard. "I've been doing entertainment security for about 10 years, for people like Ludacris, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Reggie Miller — I can't even begin to tell you how many personalities I've worked with." Having witnessed the up-and-down nature of the entertainment business from within, Ringgold says the security gig has taught him humility. "I've learned to be grateful I have a job. Do the best you can and keep on pushing forward. When those big paydays come, they come. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut and be grateful you got a job."
Okay, so he's not giving away any celebrity secrets, but he did reveal a few behind-the-scenes stories of Notorious. While filming Knight's fabled acceptance speech dissing Bad Boy Records founder Sean "Diddy" Combs and East Coast rap at the 1995 Source Awards, Ringgold let loose on his co-stars to elicit some intense reaction shots. "The director wanted to get the real, true effect of it, so I was standing about 20 feet away from them on a loud mic that was blasting throughout the whole auditorium looking right in their eyes, and I was getting so real and aggressive with the character," recalls Ringgold. "You could just see the hate in their eyes and they were loving it [laughs]." Nevertheless, Luke, who plays Combs, and Woolard, who portrays Wallace, all had fun together off-screen. "At the table read, I had to go shoot for ONE LIFE TO LIVE so I did my scenes, then got up in Derek's face and went, 'I'll see you on the block, playa,' and left in character. Everyone got a kick out of it. We would all taunt each other back and forth."
In addition, former OLTLer Charles Malik Whitfield (ex-Dr. Ben Price, 1993), portrays Barrow in the film. "It was surreal making the movie. It totally took me back," says the Bronx, NY, native, who spent time with Wallace in real life. "He had a great sense of humor. Jokes would just come out of nowhere. His wheels were always turning, thinking about what's next and what he has to get done." Look for Whitfield and fellow OLTL alum Nathan Fillion (ex-Joey) to guest-star on ABC's CASTLE in April.