By Deena Campbell
FROM WALL STREET TO NOT-SOMAIN STREET: Raised in D.C. by parents who emigrated from Cuba, Alonso earned a business degree from Howard University and landed an investment banking job at Merrill Lynch before jumping ship to join Persaud Brothers, an ad agency in NYC. The move gave him more time to pursue acting.
A VERBAL KICK IN THE PANTS: Alonso did a slew of commercials, then set his sights on Hollywood after a mentor warned him, â€œUntil the age of 25, youâ€™re judged on your potential; after 25, youâ€™re judged on your results.â€
YOU CAN FIND HIM: In A&Eâ€™s police drama Breakout Kings and costarring with Paula Patton in the romantic comedy Jumping the Broom, set to hit theaters this month.
DOUBLE TAKE: â€œYou could swab the DNA of Jason in Jumping the Broom and it would be me,â€ he says of his character, Jason Taylor, a young man on the verge of marrying Sabrina Watson (Patton). Like Alonso, Jason lost his dad when he was 12, attended Howard, and worked on Wall Street. In Breakout Kings, he stars as the showâ€™s moral compass, Officer Charlie Duchamp. Alonso left the audition for the TV series in L.A. to take care of his ailing grandmother in D.C. He says the producers gave him the role because his character â€œwouldâ€™ve done the same thing and put his family fi rst.â€
ON DATING: â€œI feel corny when I step to a woman. Iâ€™d rather the conversation happen organically,â€ says the single 37-year-old. As for his ideal lady, he believes having a type is limiting. â€œItâ€™s a personâ€™s soul and spirit that are going to keep me and make me either enjoy or hate life.â€
Photo: John Russo/Corbis Outline