'Undercovers' Star Boris Kodjoe Is Spy on TV, Father of 2 at Home
Boris Kodjoe is living a double life.
By day, he gets to play cops and robbers, assuming the role of Steven Bloom, a spy coming out of retirement on "Undercovers," NBC's new Wednesday night series from J.J. Abrams.
But at night, Kodjoe, 37, stars as a loving dad to his two children, Sophie, 5, and Nicolas, 4, and husband to actress Nicole Ari Parker, whom he married in May 2005.
"It's all in a day's work," Kodjoe tells ParentDish.
We caught up with the sexy actor and discovered why he always has something cooking.
ParentDish: Congrats on the new series. It reminds us of the 2005 film "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
Boris Kodjoe: Yeah, but on this series we don't want to kill each other like the characters wanted to in the movie. It is more like the former TV show "Hart to Hart," but in the new millennium.
PD: On this program, you are keeping a secret from your wife by not revealing you are going back into the spy business. Having said that, have you ever kept a secret from your real-life wife?
BK: No. I am completely transparent and honest all of the time.
PD: Really? Never?
BK: Well, except when we have to go out and be somewhere by a certain time. I tell her we need to be somewhere at 5 p.m., because if I tell her the real time, which is usually 7 p.m., I will wait forever. By doing this, I will not wait in the car for an hour and a half for her to get ready.
PD: On "Undercovers," you and your on-screen wife opened your own a catering company after you left the spy world. Does this mean you cook at home?
BK: Absolutely. I love to cook, especially German food. Not only do I cook, but I also make sure we have at least one meal together as a family because those times are so important. I feel that families having meals together have been lost over the years. I think it is important to teach my children that we always make time for family and when we do sit down, everyone gets to talk about their day. It really helps us re-connect.
PD: You cook German food?
BK: Yes, because I am from there. I cook a lot of schnitzel and my kids love it.
PD: So, if I asked you whip together a dinner party you could do it?
BK: Oh yeah, no problem. Bring it on (laughs).
PD: Do your kids get along?
BK: Yes, they are best friends.
PD: Do your children understand that Mommy and Daddy are both actors and what the job entails?
BK: It is funny you asked that because we recently sat down and talked to them about that. They think we are on the computer for a living because my wife and I pull up a lot of pictures of them on our laptops, as well as pictures of us. They really don't understand about what TV and movies really mean because we limit their exposure to TV.
PD: What do you and your wife do with the kids when you're not working?
BK: We read books most of the time. My kids are into both American and German books. I actually speak German to them all day long. When I read things like, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," "The Cow That Jumped Over The Moon" or "The Little Prince," we read in both languages.
PD: So your kids are bilingual?
BK: No, actually they speak Spanish, too. I grew up in Europe and I was exposed to so many different types of cultures. That is one thing I feel we are missing here, so I try to bring that into my household.
PD: When you're preparing for a role, do you let your kids help you learn lines or act out a scene with you?
BK: No. I am trying to keep them as innocent as I can. But there are certain incidences where I'll practice my lines in the bathroom and Sophie will knock on the door and say, "Daddy are you talking to yourself again?" But, overall, they don't have a real idea of what we are doing yet.
PD: Have you ever taken them on a TV or movie set?
BK: Yes. They think there are a lot of people working with Mommy and Daddy and there are lots of cameras.
PD: So, what do you do together as a family during your down time?
BK: We live by the beach so we go into the water a lot. We do fun stuff together. We go to water parks, check out museums, go horseback riding and go to the zoo.
PD: Would you let them watch "Undercovers" to show them what Daddy is working on?
BK: Absolutely not. There is a lot of violence and that is not something I want them to see at this age. Maybe when they are teenagers they can watch it. If I get cast in the next "Finding Nemo" movie, then, yes, I will take them.
PD: So, while you are on set, what are your children up to?
BK: My kids are busier than me. I need to make an appointment to see them. Nicholas is in basketball, soccer, tennis and piano. They both do karate. As for Sophie, she does jazz dance, hip hop dance, ballet and gymnastics.
PD: Speaking of kids, do you get to be a kid yourself on this program by playing a spy?
BK: Yes, and it is great. This show is full of action, drama, romance and comedy. All of these elements are packed in one show so this is a dream for an actor. Plus, you add J.J. Abrams to the mix and he is just a genius. This is truly a once in a lifetime role and I feel so blessed to have gotten it.
PD: Is that what drew you to the part?
BK: Yes. Those elements are incredible. Think of it this way, it is like asking a golfer if they would like to play a round of golf with Tiger Woods. This was a no-brainer. Going to work, for me is a total blast and it keeps getting better day by day.
Related: Keri Russell Comes Clean About Being a Mom, Actress and Neat Freak
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.