Romeo Miller has been a fixture in pop culture since the early 2000s as a rapper and actor for television and movies. He’s getting ready to include director and producer on his resume as he prepares to get his “Tyler Perry and Jordan Peele” on with his newest project, Unusual Wedding Bells; this project, which he will also star in with Corinne Fox, will be a production through his own company, Romeoland Studios. While that project is in the works, with no release date as of yet, he currently can be seen as Pablo $$ on Freeform’s Famous In Love and the host of MTV’s newest reality show, Ex On The Beach. I got the chance to talk with Romeo about his current roles, what he nerds out about and so much more. Keep reading to see what he had to say!
I wanted to start by asking you a few quick Famous in Love questions because that’s one of our favorite shows at Talk Nerdy. How did you get involved with the show? Was it something you auditioned for? Was it something you were approached to do by Freeform and by the producers and writers for the show?
Famous in Love is a pretty cool story and it shows that anything is possible with hard work, if you truly believe. When they first created Famous in Love, I was sent the pilot and I auditioned for Rainer. I read the whole project before it came out and I fell in love with it. I was like, to myself and to God, I’m like, regardless of what happens, I have to be a part of this project and it’ll happen with perfect timing. And then a year later, they have this role, Pablo $$ and they’re like, “You’re perfect for it. Can you come in and can you read for it?” I was supposed to be out-of-town. I wasn’t supposed to make the audition. I put everything on hold. I went in, read and they were literally, on the spot, like, “You are our Pablo $$.” For me, it was really like a dream come true because it’s a show that all of my siblings love, a show that I actually love watching and now to be a part of it is truly a magical, magical thing. And working with Marlene King, she’s literally the greatest. She’s one of the best creators, showrunners you could work with.
Did you actually end up reading for Rainer?
Yeah. I read for Rainer. They have an audition tape of me reading for Rainer and everything. I don’t know if that thing may slip out there years from now or next month. But yeah, I definitely read for Rainer.
That’s so funny. So you kept up with the show even though you got turned down for the role, you still watched it and were a fan before you joined?
Yeah, because… this is what people don’t realize: acting is just like life, everything that comes to you and everything you read for isn’t for you, but sometimes you don’t know that when you go read in there. And if you do well enough it leaves a mark on people. That’s what I understand because I’m my own producer, director and all of this. Think about that part, but it’s not always about that part initially. That was my mindset. I was like, “I’m going go in there, I’m [going] to do what I do and I’m going to kill it.” Then I know when a perfect opportunity comes, I’ll be ready for it. But they did amazing, like the cast on this show is perfect. They got the right Rainer, the right Jordan, the right Tangey, they got the right everybody in Famous in Love.
Speaking of Tangey, Pablo $$’s big relationship on the show is with her. What was it like working with Pepi [Sonuga] and creating that dynamic with her?
I simply love Pepi. Pepi is the most alluring woman on planet earth. [She] has the biggest heart, nicest soul. And literally, it’s like a breath of fresh air when we work [together]. You have a lot of people in this industry that don’t love the craft, that don’t love going to work every day; they just feel like, “Oh. This is how it’s supposed to be.” As talented and as big as she continues to get, she’s the most humble person. The chemistry definitely shows on there. The fans are going to be in for a ride with Pablo and Tangey on the show.
And your new single “Good” is featured in the first episode of season two. Was that created specifically for the show or did you create it and then someone at Famous in Love liked what they heard and asked if they could use it?
Yeah. Why I say this is a match made in heaven, playing Pablo $$, one of the biggest, entertainer superstar musicians on the planet earth, I’m able to make real music. All the music I make for the show specifically, I made it because I was inspired by these characters. I was at my house, on the couch and I was like, “I just got a song idea for Pablo $$. Let me go next door to my studio.” And I’ll be banging out music. That’s what I loved about Freeform and Marlene and the whole crew over there, for giving me that freedom to make music and connecting on the music side, because it was a very big deal for me to bring this character to life.
I got involved with Ex On The Beach… I’ve been wanting to work with MTV for a while, with hosting something, but I always knew it had to be the right opportunity. When they said they were bringing Ex On The Beach to the US, I’m like, “Look, you got Romeo right here.” [laughs] And it was… once again it was a match made in heaven. I really feel the only way to be successful in this business is you have to do the things that you actually love, you have to do the things you actually connect with. Ex On The Beach and hosting it and seeing that my name is Romeo, I’m a real-life Romeo, who better to host a show about exes and love on the beach than me. It was just a cool concept… This show is unique from most dating shows that you watch or reality shows in general because it is 100 percent real. Nothing gets more real than people who you dated in your past, nothing gets more real than being trapped on an island with people from your past. Maybe you have [questions] that you didn’t get answered. It is right in your face [on this show]. That’s how I got connected with this. I mean I’ve always had a major relationship with MTV and like I said, it was perfect timing and it was a match made in heaven.
Were you familiar with the franchise at all, seeing as it’s been this international hit for the last couple of years? Did you go back and watch any of those seasons to help prepare for being the host of this version?
Playing sports, I was always a student of the game so that relayed into my entertainment career. Of course, when I knew I was going to be the host of Ex On The Beach I went back and watched and my jaw literally dropped, because I was like there’s just no way that people stayed in a house knowing that their ex was going to come there. I would have found a boat, I would have tried to swim to another island. I don’t know. But it’s so amazing to me because, like I say, there’s nothing more real than being back up with your past. I definitely researched and I fell in love with the show. This season, sometimes I forget that I’m the host. That’s how good it is and how entertaining it is and on top of everything, you learn something at the end of the ride.
I’ve only seen the first episode, and you were only there when they brought in the first batch of exes. What did your duties as host require? Were you in Hawaii the entire time they filmed? Did you have to be present anytime they brought on new exes?
You know with TV, we only show so much. But I was literally there, moved to Hawaii. A lot of people who follow me closely, they know how inspired I was filming out there. I fell in love with Hawaii, the big island. For me, I connected with the cast. I’ll hang with them. I’ll get to know them and I think that was the unique thing about being a host. Like I’ll literally be there and have conversations with them and it was more of a talking, not just come in there and giving them the information and rules. But when the camera’s off, I would be talking to them and catching up on life with them. It was really a cool experience. But no, my job as the host, in general, is to hold everything together, keep the train going and make sure nobody dies [laughs].
[laughs] Very important, especially that last one. Speaking of the cast, a lot of contestants were a part of some kind of reality show before this one. Were you familiar with who any of them were prior to getting to know them in the house?
Honestly, I was the most familiar with Cory [Wharton] because I was on The Challenge with him. Seeing Cory there, [he] was a very familiar face. I’ve seen Chase [McNary] on The Bachelorette and those type of shows. Chase is like the white version of me. I don’t know if that’s a good thing now, after watching the whole season [laughs]. But Chase is the guy on the show where he’s a good guy. He comes off… everybody likes him and girls kind of fall for that. And what happens is if you’re not 100 percent honest or blunt and be like, “Look, I want you” you trail people along. And I think that’s Chase’s biggest problem in life… But like I said, watching this show, you’re going to learn. Get your pen and pad because you’re going to learn things about what you may need in your future relationship or tools you may need for how to deal with your ex. We have everything you need on Ex On The Beach.
Off of that, what would you, Romeo, do if you were suddenly forced to be around your ex 24/7? How would you handle it?
MTV knew what they were doing when they reached out to me because I am never the guy that has problems with any of my exes, I’m never in the tabloids for relationships, stuff like that and because I learned that at the end of the day everybody that comes in your life is a blessing. I think people get too emotional and they think just because they love that person that they’re supposed to be with them forever. But what I’ve learned is that in order to love in a relationship… I’m cordial with all of my exes. It may not be all smooth at the beginning, like when its first over because of the emotion, but all of them come around and they appreciate it. Because overall, I think I am a good guy. I try to do what’s best for everybody. I’m just here to help. I just want to be a positive influence on people, whether I’m with you for two years or two months. For me… like everybody on the show was laughing. [They were like,] “Rome, please call your exes, because this would be like an MTV Movie Awards in here. We would like that.” And I won’t complain. I want to be cool with my exes. I’d be like, “C’mon shawty. Let’s have a good time.” I’m that guy. It’s all about positive vibes for me.
My last question is more of a fun one. We’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have something we nerd out about. What is something that you, Romeo, nerd out
What is something that I nerd out about?
Riverdale. Riverdale is my damn show. Once Upon A Time, Game of Thrones. I just love Netflix and chilling. Like that’s what I nerd out about.
If you could be a guest star on any TV show right now, what would it be? Riverdale?
Game of Thrones. C’mon now. Let me go chop some white walkers and stuff. Let me just go just be a beast. I’m trying to be the King of the North [laughs].