Baltimore’s Lester Speight lands major role in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, hits theaters June 29, 2011

Lester Speight and Tyrese Gibson in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'

*“I am in 45 minutes of the film,” actor Lester Speight informed me about his major role in the upcoming Paramount presented Michael Bay director and Steven Spielberg produced film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. “I play Hardcore Eddie a member of Tyrese (characters’) Special ‘Ops’ Team. I carry the biggest gun!”

Transformers: Dark of the Moon hits theaters June 29, 2011 and will be available in 2D, 3D and IMAX. The film’s returning stars are Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Tyrese Gibson. Peter Cullen returns as the voice of Optimus Prime and Hugo Weaving returns as the voice of Megatron.

Speight is also returning as Augusta Cole aka Cole Train in the Gears of War 3 Microsoft XBox 360 video game to hit the market in September. This is his third appearance on the Gears of War game as Cole Train. This is also the last game in the series and it will offer a four-player feature. Actor/Rapper Ice-T also appears in the game as Griffin. Lester won a G4 Award in 2006 and a G-Phoria Award in 2007 for “Best Voiceover” for his role in the first Gear of War game series.

“I read the script…started laying the vocals,” Speight said when asked how he managed to land such a great character role in the Gears of War game. “The composer of the game liked me as Terry Tate the linebacker (in the Super Bowl commercial).”

That commercial, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was the most watched part of the Super Bowl by TiVo viewers. Lester, who had a recurring role in the ABC series “My Wife and Kids” as Calvin Scott, still reprised his role of Terry Tate as well – this time it found him tacking a blind-sided Sarah Palin.

For more information on Baltimore native Lester Speight log onto www.LesterSpeight.com or for more on the upcoming movie Transformer: Dark of Moon film log onto www.Transformersmovie.com.

Renaissance man Nick Cannon returns as host of NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’

*Nick Cannon, a modern day Renaissance man, continues his reign as the host (and face) of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” The talent competition is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell’s SYSCO Television (“American Idol”). The family show airs on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m.

The winner receives 1 million dollars (to be paid in a span of 40 years) and a headlining performance in Vegas. Judges for “America’s Got Talent” include Howie Mandel (“Deal or No Deal”), Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan.

Cannon, also head of TeenNick Network (Nickelodeon), is also a radio jock of New York’s  #1 morning show on 92.3 NOW fm; he oversees the management of several very talented young acts (Aaron Fresh, Colette Carr, The School Gyrls, Rydaznrtist); he has a stand-up comedy routine, as well as, a new multi-media company, NCredible Entertainment (includes N’Credible Records).

When I asked the new father of two how, with all he is doing, can he manage to be motivated to take time out to host NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” where did the passion come from, Nick said, “As a fellow performer I know the intensity…this is their shot at stardom, the stakes are so high. I encourage them and tell them it’s not the end of the world.”

He went on to also say that he is motivated by the fact that he has two mouths to feed at home now with his lovely wife, the legendary Mariah Carey. They recently gave birth to two precious children – a boy named Moroccan and a girl named Monroe. Cannon also mention being motivated by the cost of college for two.

Nick Cannon though still young was a protégé’ child performing by the age of 8 as a comedian and rapper, then by 15 he left his hometown of San Diego for Hollywood. In Hollywood Nick landed many jobs performing stand-up at The Improv, The Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store. During that time he shared the stage with Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock before landing his first television job as a stand-up comedian to warm up the crowd for the Nickelodeon hit show “All That.”

I remember my last interview with Nick he told me when he entered the network for “All That,” at the time he told the staff that one day he was going to own it. Well he is now head of Nickelodeon’s TeenNick Network, so talk about speaking things into existence!

The producers at Nickelodeon recognized Cannon’s talents and he became a regular writer on the show becoming the youngest staff writer – at 17 years-old – in television history. That led to his own show, “The Nick Cannon Show,” which earned him a Kids Choice Award.

As an actor Nick as worked along side Will Smith in “Men in Black II,” starred in the feature films Drumline; Underclassman, Shall We Dance, and Roll Bounce. Cannon has also worked as a voice over actor as the character Louis in Garfield The Movie.

This man of many talents also started his own label early on in his career and released a self-titled rap album where he collaborated with Kanye West, The Neptunes, Diddy, Mary J Blige, Will Smith, R. Kelly and E-40.

For more information on Nick Cannon log onto his website at www.NickCannon.com or for more on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” log onto www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent.

Aldis Hodge signs on for another season on TNT’s ‘Leverage,’ to premiere June 26, 2011

*One of a gang of thieves, ‘grifters’ and con-artists, actor Aldis Hodge renews his role as Alec Hardison. Alec is the very funny, very Urban gang member that is the gadget and technology wizard on the TNT series “Leverage.” The series finds them in a snow entrenched storyline, airing Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

“To be able to be constantly practicing,” Aldis pointed out when asked about the benefit (aside from the money) in being signed on for another 10 week season on “Leverage.” “I am fortunate to play different people (in his role). All that is consistently honing my craft, some shows you have one character and you can get a little stale and lazy.”

Hodge started acting at the tender age of three as a print model for an ad in Essence Magazine. By 9 he was cast in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Showboat. During this time he also appeared in the movies Die Hard with a Vengance and Bed of Roses.

Aldis went on to appeared on television in “Castle,” “Supernatural,” “Girlfriends,” “American Dreams,” “City of Angeles,” “Bones,” “CSI,” “ER,” “Cold Case,” “Charmed,” “Boston Public,” “The Forgotten,” and “Private Practice.”

For more information on Aldis Hodge log onto his website at www.Aldis-Hodge.com and for more on TNT’s “Leverage” log onto www.TNT.tv.