Interview: Anthony Alabi teases part three of Netflix’s ‘Family Reunion’

Anthony Alabi stars opposite Tia Mowry in Netflix's hit family comedy Family Reunion, which is back with a star-studded Part 3 today. 

If you haven't checked out Family Reunion yet, you may recognize Alabi from his recurring role on Showtime's critically acclaimed Shameless or his appearances on ABC's Blackish and Modern Family. Football fans may also recognize him from his NFL days with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. 

The interesting thing is, it was a pivot, but in reality, acting was kind of the plan all along. It's really what I wanted to do since I was a kid. When I found the opportunity, after getting vested, you know, retirement is taken care of and all the other stuff, I just kind of took that shot and was like, I'm gonna go and do this thing that I've been dreaming of doing since I was a kid.

how did you pivot from football into acting?

Yeah, I mean, the fact that you're an actor who's doing guest stars and recurring and anybody offers you the lead of a show. [laughs] You take it. I enjoyed reading that script and I enjoyed the idea of the show. Just because being a former football player, you understand the intricacies of that kind of life.

Is your history with football one of the reasons that you were drawn to Family Reunion? 

I was really pumped. For the longest time, just seeing how Tia held herself in interviews and just seeing how she was on camera, I always knew that she was kind of a goofball. Which is exactly what I am. It was interesting because, since day one when we met each other on set, it was just non-stop messing with each other and just joking around and coming up with things.

What was your reaction when you found out that she was going to be playing Cocoa?

Well, as far as funny in real life, I think I am? You'd have to ask my wife on that one. I keep them laughing. I think it was refined with football. I think a lot of times younger actors are like, “Hey, what school should I go to? Or should I drop out of school?” I tell people all the time and they don't want to hear this because it's not a sexy answer. But I say, “You need to live.” 

Your comedic timing is so spot-on, what do you do to keep it fresh? 

A lot. [laughs] I think in the first two parts we were getting our footing and getting to know each other; coming together as a family [and] exploring this new experiment of the McKellans coming from Seattle and going to Georgia. I think now with the new episodes, we're jelled and it’s a well-oiled machine in the house.

So what can fans expect from Part Three?