The RandB singer talks about raising his daughter as a single father and how his new role  in “Triniti Goodheart” paralleled his own parenting experience.

Kam Williams | 8/24/2011, 12:58 p.m.


The RandB singer talks about raising his daughter as a single father and how his new role  in “Triniti Goodheart” paralleled his own parenting experience. 

Born in Milwaukee on Oct. 15, 1970, two-time Grammy-nominee Eric Benét is an actor, singer and songwriter whose music has been influenced by such RandB greats as Al Green, Sly Stone, Chaka Kahn and Marvin Gaye. His first professional break came back in the late ’80s while he was in a local group called Gerard.

Since then, Benét has struck gold on the RandB charts and released albums like “True to Myself,” “A Day in the Life” and “Love and Life.” He has collaborated with a range of highly respected artists, including Something for the People; Earth, Wind, and Fire; and Wynonna Judd. As an actor, he’s enjoyed recurring roles on the TV series “For Your Love,” “Half and Half” and “Kaya.”

Here, he talks about starring opposite Erica Gluck in his new film, “Trinity Goodheart,” a heartwarming family drama about a strained father-daughter relationship.

Great to see you back in films. What interested you about this particular project?  

Well, my manager had read the script, and liked it a lot. And I finally got around to it after I was ambushed at a gig in Atlanta by the producers and the scriptwriter. They told me they felt I was perfect for the part.

So, I took the initiative to read it that night and fell in love with it, because there were so many parallels between the main character’s life and my own. And I also liked how the story was so warm and about faith and how it reminded people that love and family are both worth fighting for.

This film has some similarities to your having been a single dad with a young daughter in real life. Is that one of the reasons why you chose to do the film?

I felt that if this was going to be my first male lead in a film, then it would be a great opportunity to latch onto since there were so many anchors in this character that I could sink my teeth into because of all the parallels with my life.

Was that you really playing the sax in the movie?

I did not actually play. I kind of just pantomimed, hoping that whoever really played the sax would sound good and coincide with what I was doing.  

You play a black, single father raising his child alone. This is definitely not the norm in the black community where there are so many single female-headed households. What message do you want to communicate through your role?

You’re right, it’s not the norm. But it was my reality. I was pretty much a single father for most of my daughter India’s life. She’s 19 now, just finished her freshman year at USC, and she’s blossomed into an incredibly talented, beautiful, strong young woman.

Looking back, were there things I could’ve done better? Yes, but I’m still pretty proud of myself for having raised such an amazing individual. Being a parent is not easy, but speaking for myself, it’s a wonderful blessing and the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.