New Kid On The Block
CBS Watch! Magazine|February 2019
New Kid On The Block

Marcel Spears finds a home in The Neighborhood

Brantley Bardin
THIRTY-YEAR-OLD MARCEL SPEARS IS A MIGHTY GIFTED GUY. Also a mighty lucky one—and he knows it. The eldest son of a New Orleans teacher and a pastor-teacher stepfather—his biological father died when Spears was just 5—he was set to become a zoologist, already volunteering as a teen at NOLA’s Audubon Zoo. Then Hurricane Katrina wiped the family out and forced them to resettle in Texas. There, the unmoored 16-year-old found another passion he was talented at—and one that was helping him cope: acting.

“It became my only option,” Spears says. “It had to be it.” The gods obliged— big time—and upon earning his MFA at the Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre program in 2015, Spears began working instantly and steadily at esteemed regional theaters like Minneapolis’ Guthrie and San Diego’s Old Globe. In 2017, with barely a TV guest spot to his name, Spears landed a series role on The Mayor. One year later, he’s playing Marty, the youngest son of Cedric the Entertainer’s and Tichina Arnold’s Calvin and Tina Butler on the new sitcom The Neighborhood. “Marty is a woke, young, black engineer,” Spears says of his character. “But he’s a super-shady rascal, too. He enjoys that his dad is uncomfortable with his new white neighbors!”


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February 2019