To-die-for handsome Boris Kodjoe, who’s been steaming up the small screen with his “Undercovers” leading lady Gugu Mbatha-Raw, insists his real-life wife has no problem with all that passionate “sexpionage” on their light-hearted spy show.
“My wife is gorgeous,” he reminds. In case you didn’t know, he’s maried to his one-time “Soul Food” cast mate, Nicole Ari Parker. “She’s very confident in what we have. We’re in this business together. She’s an actress. She’s done love scenes with everyone from Denzel to Eddie Murphy. We have techniques we apply. When I watch a movie with her love scene coming up, Iconveniently get up and make a sandwich. That’s what I do.” What does Nicole do? “Well, sometimes she wears a t-shirt that says ‘No tongue, no trouble,'” Boris reports.
Tonight (11/1), Boris will be on hand for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ “Primetime TV Crimefighters” panel presentation in North Hollywood — along with names including Nathan Fillion, Angie Harmon, Thomas Gibson, Matthew Bomer, Marg Helgenberger and Mary McCormick. He’s looking forward to seeing Fillion, an old pal, and the others, and says, “Maybe we’ll exchange advice.”
Boris says he handles the exceptional physical exertion and long hours that come with the job of starring in an hour action show because, “I love my job. I’m so blessed to be doing this, I wake up every morning with a smile on my face.” And because, “I’m very motivated to make the utmost of this opportunity.”
He and Nicole are using their fame to further their work with their Sophie’s Voice Foundation. It’s named for their five-year-old daughter, who has has spina bifida. Meaning “open spine,” it’s the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States — and preventable in some 70 per cent of cases with the right pre-natal care, he wants to stress.
Of the foundation, he says, “That’s not work, it’s a mission. It’s a purpose. It’s helped us to get over the initial shock and pain and dispair you first feel when get a diagnosis like that. We feel it’s something like, it must be our calling, you know? There’s a reason things happen, a reason God placed Sophie in our hands.”
Response to their two-year-old organization “is huge,” says Boris . “We get letters and phone calls from all over the world — Asia, Africa, everywhere. We’re the first sort of interactive foundation for spina bifida that’s actually communicated with families about their individual issues. When you’re in the same boat, you can not only lend a hand, but also give different perspectives. Every child is different, and parents have to navigate and find ways to instill confidence in what’s going on. Sometimes it’s best to speak to other families that can relate to each other more than doctors who give generic advice.”