JET Daddy: Dorien Wilson
Black fathers. They do not get the respect they deserve in our society, though statistics show they are just as, or more, involved in their children’s lives as their counterparts from other racial backgrounds. But don’t just review the numbers, check out some of the dads JET is profiling in what we hope to become a recurring feature: JET Daddy. We are looking for pops that live for their kids and vice versa.
Veteran actor Dorien Wilson has mastered the art of portraying various characters on screen. And while many would love to trade places with him when it comes to his 25-year career in show business, there’s nothing like the role of “dad.” JET speaks with the “In the Cut” star about fatherhood, co-parenting and the importance of “stepping up” when it comes to raising your kids.
Name: Dorien Wilson
Hometown: Lompoc, CA
How many kids? 2
Kid(s) Name(s), Age(s): Sarita Wilson, 29 and Devin Wilson, 22
JET: What does fatherhood mean to you?
Dorien Wilson: It means the world to me. You know, in acting, I’ve had so many great roles and I’ve had so many great opportunities but it (fatherhood) is, by far, the best role to date that I will ever have. I enjoy being a father so much. My kids mean the world to me. And they’re good kids, too. And I’m not just saying that because they’re mine. I just got really fortunate and blessed with their mother to have some kids that turned out really great, so it just means a great deal; especially now that they’re getting older. I’m enjoying seeing them come into their own, and seeing their personalities. We’re hanging out now that they’re of age and we get to do a lot more fun things. I attribute that to their great personalities—they’re really comfortable—and they love their daddy, too!
JET: How have your children influenced the person you’ve become?
Dorien Wilson: Well, for one, they keep me humble. A lot of people treat me with kid gloves because I’m a celebrity and whatnot, but I am just dad to them. I’m a normal human being—which I am anyway—and I stay grounded that way. I actually surround myself with people who have been in my life for many, many years, if not my entire life because they’re family or friends or what have you. I just feel so blessed and fortunate to provide for them some of the things I never had, but I always put in perspective what my parents were capable of doing. I think I spoil my kids to a fault, but they’re reasonable and they’re able to understand where blessings come from; the man upstairs along with their mom and dad.
JET: How has fatherhood influenced your craft of being an actor and the different roles you’ve played?
Dorien Wilson: Well for the role that I’m doing right now, I’m playing “Jay Weaver” on a television series called In the Cut. Jay owns a barbershop and a beauty salon with his ex-wife, who is played by Jackée Harry, and we have to deal with each other. We own a shop together and sometimes we don’t deal with each other too well.
JET: It’s funny you say that because you’ve been successfully co-parenting your children with your former wife for some time. What’s the key to a good co-parenting relationship?
Dorien Wilson: Well, first and foremost, they (the children) never will come between my wife and me. They used to challenge us and say, “Well, dad said…” or “Well, mom said…” And I’d say, “No, no, no, let me ask your mom exactly what she said” and then I’ll figure out that she didn’t say that at all. So we stick by each other no matter what, even if the other person is wrong. We’ll have a little pow wow later and discuss how we can make things better. We are a united front. And there’s just a respect for the kids. We started at an early age when they were babies and laid that foundation for them to have respect and honor us, just as we’re going to respect and honor them. All you can do as parents is try to lay a foundation for your kids. We just try to lay a strong foundation and do it together.
JET: What advice would give to other men who are trying to successfully co-parent with a former partner?
Dorien Wilson: Step up and be involved. It takes a lot to raise a kid. Get involved with their lives. There’s a saying that anybody can be a father but it takes a real man to be a dad. And that is so true. Anyone can make a baby, but you have to stay in that kid’s life to rear them, teach them right from wrong and have them be a productive member of the society. You know, that’s saying something. That’s a testament to your character.
JET: What do you think people would be most surprised to know about Dorien Wilson the father?
Dorien Wilson: I think a lot of people think that I don’t have any kids, so I think a lot of people will be surprised to know that I am very much involved in my kids’ lives. I raised them. Also, I’m just humbled by being a dad. Like I said before, it keeps me humble; they (the children) keep me humble. I’m just dad.
Catch Dorien Wilson on Bounce TV’s “In the Cut” Tuesdays at 9pm ET/8pm CT.