TV

“Boomerang” Star Leland B. Martin Is Ready to Be Your Man Crush Every Day

Let the DM sliding begin.

When Lena Waithe announced she and Halle Berry were creating a TV spinoff of the classic rom-com Boomerang, we had a feeling it was going to be sexy, funny, and queer-friendly. But we didn’t expect to find all of that in one specific character.

I mean, why am I so parched all of a sudden?

Boomerang is a new half-hour serialized comedy based on the 1992 film of the same name, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens. The BET series follows the lives of the movie characters’ children as they try to step out of their parents’ shadows and make a legacy of their own, all while navigating romance, friendship, gender politics, love, and of course, sex, set to a perfectly curated ’90s soundtrack.

Leland B. Martin stars as Ari Thomas, an openly bisexual filmmaker with big dreams who defies any sort of label. NewNowNext slid into Martin’s DMs to find out more.

What drew you to this project?

Boomerang is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I’m a big fan of Lena Waithe and Ben Corey Jones (Insecure), so I jumped at the chance to be part of such an iconic franchise.

Tell us a bit about Ari.

Ari is an up-and-coming director. He’s bisexual. He loves his friends. He has this strong masculine energy about him, but he seeks their approval and validation at times. He’s overcoming some career obstacles and wants to impress them and show them what he can do. Gaining their respect is important to him.

We don’t see many bisexual male characters on television. This is a pretty big responsibility, no?

Very! Lena [Waithe] would tell me all the time, “This is bigger than you. This is bigger than me. This is for people who are maybe feeling insecure about their sexuality to see someone on screen who acts like them, feels like them, and are like them.”
 

I love how Ari’s sexuality doesn’t seem to be a big deal to his friends as part of the narrative.

That’s what I love about the dynamic, too. You are who you are. You love who you love. It’s not a thing. They are friends. We should be able to just love each other. Lena talked about this with us a couple of times. We are representing so many facets of our culture as black millennials including dealing with navigating our careers and life. The show touches and sheds light on relevant social issues, but you also find a group of friends working through romance, career, family, and life.

And are you ready for all of the thirsty fan mail you’re about to get?

I mean, who says it isn’t happening already [laughs]? I’m ready!

Boomerang airs on BET Tuesday, February 12 at 10pm ET.

Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie and pop diva addict living in Manhattan. Follow him on everything @dirrtykingofpop.
@dirrtykingofpop