- Legally emancipated from his mother at 16, and subsequently began his acting career in his hometown of Richmond, VA.
- Never studied singing, dancing or acting outside of public school.
- Worked as a cruise ship entertainer after high school.
- Broadway debut in Hairspray earned him nominations for an Outer Circle Critics Award, a Drama Desk Award and a Tony.
- Made his big-screen debut in Steven Spielberg's The Terminal (2004) after the director saw his performance in Hairspray.
- First series-regular role came with the part of Sgt. David Gabriel on TNT drama The Closer.
- Works on scripts in his spare time and has written a comedy-series pitch and a movie about an all-black paratrooper unit in World War II.