I could have talked to Romeo Miller for hours, but the thirty minutes or so that we spent together was definitely quality time. The 21-year-old actor was on the set of Single Ladies recently, filming a stint as Denise Vasi‘s much-younger love interest, and it’s clear to see how anyone, young or old, would be charmed by him. The flirtatious Miller is no stranger to the spotlight, putting out his first rap album at the age of twelve, and starting his acting career around the same time. We talked about the pressures of child stardom and how he lived a very Hannah Montana lifestyle, we discussed his role on Single Ladies, and then, my favorite topic of all, we had a real heart-to-heart about how he cried while watching The Notebook. Let’s get to know Romeo a little better, shall we?
What is your role on Single Ladies this season?
My role on Single Ladies this young, very successful skater guy named Scotty. He falls in love with Denise Vasi’s character, Raquel. It’s just a lot of fun, a lot of love, and a lot of confusion. It’s like a whirlwind on the show for my character, but I think the ladies would appreciate it.
Do you have more love scenes on the show than you have in the past?
I’m gonna keep my answer PG, but my fans have never really seen me with a female like this on screen. You would’ve thought so by now having the name Romeo, but it’s all starting today. It starts now on Single Ladies, I’m the romantic co-star.
You’re gonna get typecast.
I just may. [Laughs]
How many episodes are you going to be on for?
Right now, I’m actually in the works with another TV show as well. I just finished filming a movie with Tyler Perry, Madea’s Witness Protection, it depends on my schedule.
What’s it like being on a Tyler Perry set?
It’s amazing. It’s fast. I’ve never filmed in two takes and then was out. We film two takes, one takes sometimes, and it’s just fun. He’s like, “If something funny comes to your mind, just throw it out there.” That’s why his movies are so funny and so real because it is real. If you mess up, it’s not a mess up. If that’s what would happen in real life, we’re keeping it. He’s an amazing man. He kind of reminds me of my father. You know my dad, what he’s doing with music, he’s doing on the acting side. He’s just a great guy. I’m happy to have worked with him.
So where do you want your career to go? Are you just focusing just on acting, or are there other businesses you really want to focus on?
Well, you know my dad started his business, No Limit, for himself. I feel nobody has limits. It’s all in your head. If you have a big dream, go after it and go get it. That why I was always in regular school while I had my career. I played basketball in my high school team while I had a TV show, the number one album, and the number one clothing line. My dad just always taught me, if you love something and you’re good at it, go ahead and do it. But I think for me, I realized acting is what I really want to do for my career at the end of the day is. I visited Will Smith while he was filming Hancock and he had a one-on-one with me. He was like, “Look at my career. I’m 40-plus. I’m in my prime. With Michael Jordan at 28, 29, his career was over.” And I was like, “Will, I think I’m going to have to go with you on that.” He just put it in perspective. You know what you were put on this Earth to do. God makes it clear. Whatever you inspire people the most, that’s what you’re meant to do. I feel I inspire a lot of people doing acting. My big uncle Will Smith helped me realize that. I just want to follow in his footsteps. Be the best actor I can be.
Do you have any words of wisdom for any child stars who might be veering off on a wrong course?
Yeah, definitely. You know, people don’t understand being a child star is very hard because first off to be a child star, you have to be very unique. These kids are talented to be able to do it at such a young age. At the same time, you go through the pressures of bullying and a lot of people not understanding. A lot of people who want to do what you do but they don’t have the guts to go do it so they make fun of you.
Did you get bullied?
Yeah I got bullied. Growing up, me making music for girls and stuff, people were like, “Oh, Romeo, you’re making music for girls. All these love songs blah blah blah.” Some people try to make fun of that, but I realized that when I saw one of the guys singing my song bullying me, he really wanted to be me. You got to look in the mirror and you got to do what you love. I mean, Jesus had people that hated him. You’re not gonna have—people are going to hate you with everything you do. You’re gonna get critiqued. That’s what life’s about. You got to follow your dream. You got to love what you’re doing. If you’re happy at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. That’s what I want to show kids throughout my career. That’s why I did Dancing with the Stars. I’m not a dancer. I barely danced at my own prom. But I was like look, if I do this show, I can show kids to not be afraid to fail. Anything is possible. That’s why I want people to look at my career and recognize. Be like, “He goes out and tries to be different, doing what other people don’t.” That’s what I’ve been trying to do.
Single Ladies is on VH1, so do you have a favorite VH1 show?
It’s really weird because I’m this 20-year-old but I’m really like 50 years old. I just have an old soul. I rarely watch TV. I like T.I.’s show though. I’m a big family man. I have seven brothers and sisters. It reminds me of my family. And just seeing that other side of him is actually cool. Me growing up, my pops is Master P, I had the privilege to grow up with my pops, see how he treated us, to see why he works so hard for his family. I think people really understand why these rappers change their life, they want to do better. It gives a better perspective on that after watching T.I.’s show.
Do you think it shows an accurate depiction of the family life of a famous musician?
Yeah. Well, I think it’s definitely showing that everybody is just human. No matter where you start, you can always change where you finish. That’s what life’s about, you know. Just coming from that side, just having my pops come from where he came from and to see where he is now, and be able to watch T.I. every day and see how he’s growing every day, it definitely shows a whole other side into that eye that people usually don’t see. They just see the movies, the songs, and the image. They don’t really see the family man and why he really works so hard.
Do you have like a nerdy passion or something that’s really kind of dorky that nobody knows about you?
I’m actually a big dork, like growing up in school, I was always the loner. People knew me because I was famous but I wasn’t really…
Did you relate to Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana? You only had a couple of friends who knew the real you?
That’s how it was. That’s crazy. That’s how my life, how school was. I just really kept to myself. I had my little close friends. But something that people may not know about me, I don’t know, I like writing music in the dark. That’s really weird.
I want a piece of good dirt on you, a really guilty pleasure.
Oh, you want that. Like, that my favorite movie is 27 Dresses or The Holiday, Titanic, The Notebook.
I watch The Notebook. I love romantic movies. I love romantic comedies.
Did you cry at The Notebook?
Let me tell you — this is very nerdy I guess you could say. So, I’m at USC. I think it’s my freshman year at USC. We just won this big basketball game against UCLA. And the way I go celebrate? I didn’t have a hot date. I didn’t have a girl, so I was like, “I’mma just watch this movie. It’s not going to hurt to watch it by myself.” So I put in The Notebook right after my game, 10:15 p.m., I still remember it. And I’m in my room, and I’m trying to hold back tears but one came down. Just one though. After that, I manned up. So I was in my dorm room watching The Notebook by myself. No co-star. No female. No nothing.
Just you and one single tear.
One tear. So, you’re the only person who knows that now.
Oh the world is going to know soon. So now that I have that embarrassing piece of dirt, just tell me, you haven’t been caught in a nude photo scandal, have you? You don’t save any naked pictures of yourself on your phone that could get hacked, right?
No. Never. Yeah, I actually went through my phone yesterday and was like I need to check this to make sure I’m all good if I lose this baby, ’cause it’s just crazy nowadays. But people…when you’re in love, when you have a connection with somebody, you do crazy things sometimes. And then when you don’t have a connection with that person, they’re going to stab you in the back. They’re gonna sell them. Nobody’s perfect. We don’t have erasers on the top of our heads. You gotta just live and learn sometimes. Hopefully, you’ll learn from all these other people. That’s all I’m saying. Shout out to Vanessa Hudgens, though. I miss you.