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Larenz Tate Explains How He’s Sustained a 20-Year Relationship with His Wife, Talks the Challenges of Being a Black Actor

Some may refer to Larenz Tate as an anomaly in Hollywood, seeing that he’s more known for his artistry than celebrity gossip. He’s also been married to the same woman for 14 years and they’ve been together for 20 total years.

The actor spoke about what he’s learned over the years concerning his marriage and four children in a new interview with MadameNoire. But first, he talked about his acting career, and how he chooses to focus more on his craft than fame.

Larenz Tate talked about his marriage life and career in a new interview. (Photo: @larenztate/Instagram)

“Early on, I would always downplay it,” said Tate. “I feel like it’s been one of those things that has allowed me to sustain a career for so long because, for me, I’m about the journey. I’m about taking it all in and going the distance as opposed to a sprint. With my career, I kind of want people to know me for that because I put so much time and effort into it.”

Although Tate recently played in the cable drama “Power” — which airs on Starz — he may be known more for being a film star than a television actor since he’s been in movies considered to be classics in the Black community. “Menace II Society,” “Love Jones,” “Dead Presidents,” and more recently “Girl’s Trip” are just a few.

But Tate said there was a long period when he wasn’t landing film roles, which he attributes to the ever-shifting nature of Hollywood and studios not having enough Black decision makers.

“The movie business has changed quite a bit,” he stated. “I found myself not doing some of the same things that they wanted me to do, so there was a long time where you didn’t really see me doing a lot of films because Hollywood switches it up all the time. Once they’re happy with whatever they’ve done they’ll move on to something else, especially when it comes to Black films and Black storytellers and Black experiences.”

He continued, “There’s not a lot of Black men that are really making those decisions. There are not a lot of Black women, people of color, various genders, sexual preferences. I would always tell executives, if you were outside of America and you only looked at Hollywood movies, you would assume that everybody was George Clooney and Julia Roberts in America. [Hollywood] doesn’t really represent what America really looks like or how it really functions.”

The MadameNoire interview isn’t Tate’s only as of late. He appeared on TV One’s “Uncensored” Sunday, Sept. 6, a show where celebrities reveal personal details about themselves, while also talking about their career.

He discussed his wife Tomasina Parrott during the episode, including sharing that they met in 2000 during NBA All-Star weekend in Oakland at a party thrown by Jamie Foxx.

While speaking to MadameNoire, Tate admitted that his 14-year marriage hasn’t always been easy, adding that he learned over time to let go of certain behaviors that he picked up from childhood.

Tate made the point that no one should assume everything learned about relationships from their own parents is healthy. “The Inkwell” actor also spoke about him and his wife needing to establish a healthy environment for their children through proper communication.

“A lot of times it’s a reflection of your upbringing,” he explained. “I started finding out that even with myself or my wife, things that we were probably used to growing up as children or young adults, you begin to bring that into your adult life, and that is just a mentality, how you talk to someone.”

He added, “We need some solidarity. They need to see us as a unit. So we can disagree, but it shouldn’t be crazy. If we are going to disagree, let’s do it behind closed doors where it’s just me and you.”

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