LaRoyce Hawkins’ son, Roman John, is already following in his father’s acting footsteps — and winning over the elementary school theater crowd.
“He definitely has the acting bug,” Hawkins, 35, exclusively told Us Weekly of his 6-year-old son while promoting his partnership with SimpliSafe for its 24/7 Live Guard Protection and Smart Alarm Indoor Camera launch. “That little boy is an entertainer.”
“They basically just strung together a bunch of Disney songs, but he was the best part. And he does his own stunts,” Hawkins recalled to Us. “He took, like, one of his little homegirls and spun her around and it was crazy. Other kids were spinning on the stage too, but you [could] only see Roman John spinning. He did, like, big spins. He was so strong.”
Hawkins, who welcomed Roman in April 2017, noted that his son’s passion for acting includes watching him on Chicago P.D. at sleepovers.
“The other day he was spending the night [at] one of his homies’ cribs, and I just called him to say goodnight. And his little homie’s dad was, like, ‘Yeah, they’re watching you on TV right now. It’s gonna be hard for me to get him in the conversation,’” the actor said. “[When] he got on the phone, he was like, ‘Dad, are you coming up in this next part?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know even know what episode he was watching.’ But I was like, ‘I’m pretty sure I’m in there somewhere, bro!’”
Roman’s love for Chicago P.D. is one of the many reasons Hawkins continues to act — and why he enjoys playing such dynamic characters.
“I think early on I became intentional about wanting to portray roles that will help us preserve Black boy joy and protect Black women, you know, uplift the image of the Black man. I think you can do that playing any role, it’s just the intention that you put on it,” he told Us. “Plus, like I said, my son and his friends, they watch me at their sleepovers. So, I obviously want to do things that they’ll be proud of [and] that can inspire them, because that’s just the pocket that I’m in. And I love that. I love that responsibility and that awareness.”
Hawkins’ family-centric attitude has extended to his castmates after playing Atwater for nine years. As the show heads into season 11 this fall, Hawkins told Us that his Chicago P.D. costars are “very much like a family” and that he tries to spend as much time with them outside of work as possible.
“Recently, Jason Beghe hit me up and we hung out. [We] went to one of his son’s soccer games and just talked and caught up. It was probably one of the highlights of my summer so far,” he recalled. “Just kicking it with Sarge and just listening to his thoughts on where the show’s going, just bringing up memories and moments and stuff like that.”
Hawkins teased that he and Beghe, who plays Sergeant Hank Voight on the police drama, “can’t wait to get back to work” ahead of filming next season.
With reporting by Johnni Macke