Singer Tyrese Gibson attends the Soul Train Awards 2013 at the Orleans Arena on November 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Singer Tyrese Gibson attends the Soul Train Awards 2013 at the Orleans Arena on November 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

*When it comes to his Hollywood game, Tyrese Gibson is looking first and foremost for longevity.

The entertainer, whose soulful crooning and megawatt smile first charmed audience in a 1994 Coca-Cola commercial, has said that his latest role as Tyson in the holiday film “Black Nativity” is one he hopes will open doors to more dramatic roles in the future…no matter how big the part.

“I’ve never claimed to be the biggest star. That’s actually not even my goal,” Tyrese told us during interviews for the film. “I don’t like a lot of the pressures that come with being ‘A-List.’ I’m not interested. I just want to be me. I want to do me and get to whatever level I can.”

Tyrese admits, however, that he wouldn’t mind getting to the level of his biggest role model, Denzel Washington.

“It was Denzel who inspired me to do movies,” he said. “Me being here is all his fault. I’ve always said – and I hope he reads this – that I won’t feel like I’ve made it as an actor until I work with Denzel.”

Below, Tyrese explains how Will Smith has also become an important role model in his quest to impress Hollywood.