BJ Minor as Mike Tyson
Photo: Hulu

B.J. Minor is breaking barriers as boxing legend Mike Tyson in Hulu's "Mike"

B.J. Minor speaks exclusively to REVOLT about how taking on the role of Mike Tyson has changed their life so far.

  /  09.14.2022

B.J. Minor stars in their breakout role as a teenaged Mike Tyson in the newly released Hulu series, “Mike.” The eight-part streaming event dives deep into how Tyson’s childhood and early adult life molded him to become one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Minor spoke exclusively with REVOLT about the process of getting selected for the series and what being an openly non-binary and queer person playing one of the world’s greatest athletes means to them. During our conversation, Minor opened up about their father teaching them vital lessons, their respect for the show’s cast and more. “Mike” premiered on Hulu Aug. 25.

Let’s start with a quick introduction to your role in Hulu’s series “Mike.”

I play teenage Mike Tyson in this series, which is so lit. Never in my wildest dreams — I’ve been told I look like Mike ever since I was a kid, but to be an actor and to actually play him, it’s wild. It’s like blessings on blessings. I have so much gratitude for it.

What was the process of reading the script and auditioning like for you?

It’s truly a wild story. I was a self-submission, which is crazy. Usually, you get these opportunities through your agent or manager … but one day, I was just sitting on Actor’s Access, trying to find my next gig, and I saw “Teenage Mike Tyson” for Hulu and I was like, “I’ve been told I look like Mike Tyson.” And I’m like, “Should I shoot my shot?” I had so much hesitation. I was just like, “I don’t know.” I googled Mike as a teenager and I was like, “Yo, you already pay for the subscription, you might as well submit to see if you get the audition.”

Then I got the audition. I did one self-tape and the same week I had to do my self-tape, I got the director’s session with Craig (Gillespie) — the director of the first two episodes — and that was my first director’s session. You would think I’d have so much stress going into it because Craig’s resume is stacked. Dude did I, Tonya and Cruella. But he was so easy to work with. I had a blast. I had a really good feeling leaving the director’s session that maybe if the stars aligned, this was meant to be. You know? From a self-submission to a director’s session. You can’t mess up what God has planned for you. That was my process.

Some things are just meant to be. I can see the resemblance between you and Mike. But you finding that role through Actor’s Access — I’ve heard of the website, but I didn’t know people were really getting booked. Hulu is a big deal.

Right? Super big deal.

How did you react to finding out you booked the role?

I found out via email. It’s so wild. It was a Monday. I was on FaceTime with my friend Janelle Marie who is also an actress, and we were just talking about life, and then I got an email notification, and I opened it. It said, “Congratulations, you’re team Mike” and I’m just like — we both started screaming on the phone. I just remember in the middle of our phone conversation, I started saying, “Thank you to God, thank you to my ancestors, thank you to my guardian angels.” I’m not an emotional person, but there were tears. I got a little teary-eyed because I felt so protected, seen and blessed. So, yeah, I was on FaceTime and then I got the email. I was like, “My life is about to change.”

I love that so much for you. Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself during this process?

Absolutely. So, I think the most gratitude for this part, for me, comes down to I’m non-binary and queer and we don’t necessarily get that representation in Hollywood. Let alone opportunities to act outside of queer, trans, non-binary roles. Sometimes I feel like casting can be super limiting when it comes to people who look and present themselves like me. So being cast, I realized this is so much bigger than me. It put a much-needed pressure, but I also took it with so much honor and gratitude that I had an opportunity to prove that we are capable. If we are given the opportunity, we are capable of stepping into the shoes of one of the most legendary boxers on the planet and doing his life justice.

This is so inspiring. It’s obvious that Mike is extremely athletic. As far as preparing for the role, was that something you were already familiar and comfortable with?

I would say I’m naturally athletic. I did sports my entire life — football, basketball, wrestling, track and field — but I haven’t done sports probably since, like, my first year of college. After that, I just got super focused with academics. I graduated from the College of William & Mary in Virginia with a B.A. in political science and government. But I’ve still always had an athletic build. I think that helped with the casting. As for the boxing, believe it or not, I only had 10 days of boxing training to play Mike Tyson, which is kind of mind-boggling. Seeing the trailer and seeing how good the boxing turned out, I was so impressed with myself. I was like, “You did that.” I’m not mad at it.

But I also have a secret weapon. My dad was a boxer and he was someone I could call on, which was so cool. I’m the youngest of seven children and my dad trained my older siblings but when it came to me, he didn’t have a chance to train me because by the time I came around, he and my mom were both working two jobs to provide for the family. So, this is also a love letter for my whole family to get to see this full circle.

Now the tables are turned and you can help them.

Right. Exactly.

What were you looking forward to the most as the project premiered on Hulu?

I was mostly excited to see the full transformation. I’m not going to lie to you, I watched the trailer so many times, just getting myself hype. I was excited to see the full transformation but also the incredible artistry from my castmates, from the crew, from Craig. I worked with so many incredible actors from Harvey Keitel, Russell Hornsby, to Trevante Rhodes, who I’m glad is getting his flowers because he’s been killing it. To get to see myself share the screen with people I’ve become friends with and who’ve mentored me through the process. Like Olunike Adeliyi, the actress who plays my mom in the series, I was excited to see our chemistry and work on screen. I was just excited to see the labor of love all come together, the culmination and also to see how people react to the series.

I think a lot of people are going to like it because you finally get to see how the kid Mike Tyson from Brownsville [in Brooklyn, N.Y.] becomes a legend. A lot of people don’t know his history. They only know his boxing career, but they don’t know the stuff he had to overcome to get there — from being poor and Black in America to being bullied. So, I’m super excited for people to get his life story.

I’ve really enjoyed speaking with you. How can we keep up with you?

I had a blast by the way. That was lit. My Instagram is @B.J.Minor.

Are you on Twitter?

I don’t have a Twitter, which is probably for the best because I feel like Twitter be getting people in trouble.

I agree.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

View More

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

View More

Trending

15 singers who are Aquarius

From D’Angelo to Brandy, these 15 singers share the eclectic sun sign of Aquarius and bring their creative nature to the music scene.

  /  01.24.2024

Kickin' Facts with Legendary Lade | adidas Crazy IIInfinity Shoes, "Silver Metallic"

To infinity and beyond! Adidas’ new Crazy IIInfinity shoes updates a Kobe classic!

  /  01.29.2024

19 rappers who are Aquarius

These innovative, progressive and rebellious air signs bring that unique Aquarius flair to the Hip Hop scene.

  /  01.22.2024

14 rappers with “Young” in their names

From the cloud rap of Sweden, to the trenches of Memphis, to the gutter of East New York and the roots of trap music in Atlanta, the “Young” title can be found everywhere.

  /  01.23.2024

17 visuals that prove Missy Elliott invented music videos

From Kung Fu in the sewer to trash bag suits, Missy Elliott not only invigorated the modern music video, she put her thang down, flipped it and reversed it.

  /  01.21.2024

Beyond our reach: The story of Aaliyah, the astrophysicist and space traveler

For our “Imagine If?” Black History Month campaign, check out the sci-fi story of Aaliyah Bennet, the astrophysicist and inventive space traveler. 

  /  02.06.2024

17 rap names based on animals

Check out these 17 rappers whose names are based on animals and how these wild creatures have influenced their personas.

  /  01.28.2024

The cast of "Girlfriends": Where are they now?

The television world changed forever when the pilot episode of “Girlfriends” aired on UPN. We take a look at where the cast is now. 

  /  01.27.2024

25 rappers' real names

Uncover a layer of these rappers’ personal history and glimpse into their lives before the fame with REVOLT’s list of 25 rappers’ real names.

  /  01.25.2024

Meet the artists and writers behind REVOLT’s "Imagine If?" Black History Month initiative

In a move to reshape the narrative of Black identity, REVOLT has launched an initiative this Black History Month that puts the storytelling power firmly in the hands of Black creators. Check them out!

  /  02.05.2024

The cast of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”: Where are they now?

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” can be considered one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. More than 30 years after its pilot episode, REVOLT takes a look at what the cast is up to.

  /  01.21.2024

Darius Hicks of “While Black” stands on business when it comes to talking about race

As the host of “While Black,” Darius Hicks is intent on getting to the nitty-gritty when discussing race. Check out this exclusive interview.

  /  02.08.2024

23 male British rappers you should know

Here are 23 male rappers that are essential to pay attention to in the contemporary UK rap scene. 

  /  02.04.2024

17 most iconic R&B album covers

From Toni Braxton’s self-titled album to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller,’ here is REVOLT’s list of 17 iconic R&B album covers.

  /  02.18.2024

Benzino explains his beef with Eminem & says he's willing to make amends

“Eminem ain’t no bad person. He belongs in Hip Hop,” Benzino said in part.

  /  02.17.2024

Usher’s $20 million herpes lawsuit has been dismissed

It appears as though he and the plaintiff Laura Helm have reached “an amicable resolution.”

  /  05.03.2019

27 Drake lyrics that are perfect Instagram captions

The next time you’re looking for a caption for your perfectly curated Instagram, there’s a 95 percent chance that Drizzy’s got you!

  /  11.08.2023

Mo'Nique and Katt Williams face backlash for going too far on "Club Shay Shay"

“I think a lot of that stuff isn’t the stuff that should be aired out like that,” said Chris Spencer when discussing the no-holds-barred interview Mo’Nique did on “Club Shay Shay.”

  /  02.11.2024

Jermaine Dupri shows a good sense of humor in response to jokes about his Super Bowl outfit

“Y’all got me f**ked up!” he jokingly said on social media.

  /  02.12.2024

Twitter is horrified after Rachel Dolezal's OnlyFans pictures leak

Her representative shared that the 44-year-old created the profile to show off her Savage X Fenty lingerie.

  /  09.27.2022
View More
Revolt - New Episodes