Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel. Created and developed by Stacy Steponate Greenberg.
If you look up the word “versatile” in the dictionary, it might just as well show you a head shot of actor Omar J. Dorsey. In the highly acclaimed new film Selma, Omar plays James E. Orange, the pastor and top aide to Martin Luther King Jr, who was jailed and set off the violent marches from Selma to Montgomery. On the small screen, Omar is Cookie Brown, the ultimate tough guy on Showtime’s hit crime drama Ray Donovan. His previous star turns have come in films as diverse as Django Unchained and The Blind Side. Off camera, this Georgia native is a huge sports fan and aficionado of his beloved Atlanta. Omar took a few minutes between takes to answer our questions about travel, acting, and who should play his pal Marcellus Wiley in a movie.
THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT WITH OMAR J. DORSEY STARTS RIGHT NOW.
Overhead Compartment: You play a tough, cruel character on Ray Donovan, how do people react when they recognize you from the show?
Omar J. Dorsey: You know what’s crazy is people see me out, they always express how much they love the character of Cookie. Fans of the show always stop me and want to take pictures…but online they call me everything but a child of God.
OC: What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in an airport?
OD: The strangest thing that every happened to me in the airport, in Mexico. I went to the restroom and noticed there were no urinals. Didn’t think anything about it, I just chalked it up to the fact that I was in another country. When I came out of the restroom I noticed all these women looking at me like I was crazy. I turned around and noticed it was a lady’s restroom. Needless to say, I picked up a copy of the Spanish Rosetta Stone the next week.
OC: Much of your new film, Selma, was filmed in your home state of Georgia. What was it like shooting in a place you know so well?
OD: Shooting in Atlanta was so amazing. I love coming home to shoot and this was the 3rd film I’ve done in Atlanta in the last 5 years. And I felt like the tour guide for the rest of the actors, I knew all the cool places to go and all the great restaurants.
OC: You’re from Atlanta. What are three things no visitor to that city should miss?
OD: The 3 things that I highly recommend seeing in Atlanta for any visitor are A) the new Civil Rights museum. B) Little Five Points and C) Magic City
OC: What is a restaurant no tourist ever goes to that you love in town?
OD: Anybody visiting Atlanta MUST go to the Waffle House, especially if you are leaving the club after 2 am.
OC: You’re an avid fan of the Atlanta sports teams: Which do you think will be the next to win a championship and why?
OD: Being an Atlanta Sports fan means that I am the most pessimistic of all sports fans. So if you want to know what Atlanta sports team do I believe will be the next to win a chip my answer is “do we have a water polo team???”
OC: What was the most interesting city your work has ever taken you to?
OD: The most interesting city my work has every taken me to was Johannesburg South Africa. I toured with a theatre group around the world when I was in my late teens. I saw a lot of beautiful cities on different continents but there was just something about Johannesburg.
OC: What did you do during your downtime?
OD: What do I do during my downtime, I really haven’t had “downtime” in a while. I vacation a lot but I even take that as an opportunity to work. I’m going to London and Paris for a week or so at the end of the year and New Years. But I am taking it as a time to meet with fans of Ray Donovan too.
OC: You have two daughters, what is your favorite place for a family vacation?
OD: My favorite place to vacation with my family is probably the North GA mountains.
OC: What is the key to traveling with kids?
OD: The key to traveling with kids is to make sure the have working headphones so they can stay in their own world, but once they step into your world things get trippy.
OC: What is the first thing you do when arriving in a hotel room?
OD: The first thing I do when arriving in a hotel room is to flop on the bed. Always want to test out the springs for some reason.
OC: Complete the following sentence: I never leave home without ____________
OD: I can never leave home without my electric cigarette. Because if I don’t have it, I will be somewhere looking for a cheap cigar.
OC: Go to snack when on the road?
OD: My got to snack on the road is POPCORN! Preferably cheddar-caramel flavored.
OC: You are friends with my husband’s colleague Marcellus Wiley. Tell us something about him Greeny can use on the air!
OD: One thing Greeny can use against Wiley is that he’s a TERRIBLE driver. Ask him how many car accidents he’s been in and how many points he’s away from losing his license.
OC: If you were to cast Marcellus in a film, what role would he be perfect for?
OD: I would like to see Marcellus in a “Friday” movie , he could take over for Chris Tucker and be the new Smoky. Cell is a funny dude!
OC: You had a wonderful experience working on the film The Blind Side. What did you learn about football that you didn’t previously know?
OD: The Blind Side was an incredible experience and I think it was the beginning of where I am now. It was the first film I did to make that much money and it was nominated for best picture. But it didn’t teach me anything about football, I think I may have taught some of the folks on set a thing or two though.
OC: You were in Django Unchained, we need one great Quentin Tarantino story!
OD: Quentin Tarantino is a genius, he knows more about film than I know about anything. I have great QT stories, but I can’t share them because I want to work with him again HA! Nah, QT is a BIG musicals fan. So big in fact that he cast Ted Neely in Django in a bit role. Ted Neely plays Jesus in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Jesus Christ Superstar film. And I too am a huge musical theater buff. So here me and Quentin are in the middle of a swamp in backwoods Louisiana singing numbers from Jesus Christ Superstar. It was surreal.
OC: One thing nobody in the world knew about me until right now is ___________
OD: One thing nobody in the world knew about me until now is, I was such a good ballet dancer I started choreographing professionally at the age of 16. I mean I was REALLY good.
Omar J. Dorsey, please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!
Stacy Steponate Greenberg brings over 15 years of travel and marketing experience to Pursuitist. With her column, The Overhead Compartment, Stacy interviews celebrities and athletes bringing an insight into their lives and travel habits. Stacy spent 11 years at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in various capacities, serving stints as Director of Marketing for the St. Regis and Sheraton brands, and Senior Director for Starwood Residences. Prior to Starwood, Stacy worked as Manager of Marketing for Hyatt Hotels. A native of Chicago, Stacy resides New York City with her husband and two kids, who like to “rate” the various hotels on their travels with their mom. Reach Stacy via Twitter twitter.com/StacyGSG.