He's young, and he's restless

Shemar Moore tries to keep himself busy

May 11, 2002|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Here's a news flash for the women of Baltimore: Shemar Moore, former resident stud of The Young and the Restless and six-pack-ab wonder who should be required by law to spend at least half his life shirtless, is coming to town today.

And we are pleased to report that there is hope, ladies.

"I'm definitely single," Moore said just this week in a phone interview from a Miami hotel room, where he was recuperating after a weekend-long bachelor party. "Rings on all the wrong fingers."

Which may be part of the reason Security Square Mall officials are slyly offering him up from 1 to 4 this afternoon as a "Mother's Day treat."

There is, however, more to Moore than his sparkling smile, brown, bedroom eyes and manly muscles.

The 32-year-old Oakland, Calif., native just completed an almost eight-year run on The Young and the Restless, where his portrayal of photographer Malcolm Winters earned him an Emmy in 2000. He shared the big screen with Bill Bellamy and Morris Chestnut in 2001's The Brothers. He had his theater debut last year in the touring gospel show The Fabric of a Man. And he also finds time to be the host of Soul Train.

"If women want to think I'm sexy and hang my picture up in their cubicle, that's flattering," said Moore, who lives in Los Angeles. "But I learned a long time ago that you just can't believe your hype. I don't want to be known just for my six-pack or for being a sex symbol.

"At the end of the day, it feels really good when people come up to me and say they really enjoyed a scene I did," he added. "And I know I didn't get this far, I haven't stayed in the game this long just because I'm a pretty face."

Moore did get his showbiz calling because of his looks, however. Growing up in Bahrain, Boston and later, Palo Alto, Calif., Moore said he was so focused on excelling in sports that he never considered acting.

"When you're a jock, it's not cool to be interested in theater," he said. "And I was actually really shy. I was cool with the guys, and girls thought I was cute, but as far as standing up and being the center of attention went? I was just too shy to do it. If you had told me I was going to be acting for a living, I would have said you need a stiff drink or you need to go see a shrink."

At the University of Northern California on a baseball scholarship, he was a pitcher who had his heart set on playing professionally. But a shoulder injury forced him to give up sports, and he moved to New York to try modeling. He did commercials for Levi's jeans, McDonald's and Miller beer, but then a scout for The Young and the Restless came calling after he appeared in a tiny shaving ad in GQ magazine.

Since then, he's been nominated three times for an Emmy, named one of People magazine's "Most Eligible Bachelors," done a turn as the hottie in a steamy Toni Braxton video. And he's dated beauties such as Braxton and Halle Berry.

But Moore isn't content with his accomplishments so far. In January, he decided to close the soap opera chapter of his life and pursue a film career.

"I left the show after seven-and a-half years," he said. "I did it 50 weeks out of the year. I felt like I did all I could with it. Although, they didn't find the body [his character was offed in a car accident], so never say never. Malcolm may return."

In the meantime, Moore has been keeping busy. He just finished shooting what he described as a "Matrix-ey" pilot for the WB network titled Birds of Prey, in which he plays a young cop. And he's exploring other movie roles.

"Am I nervous? Sure. But I'm not the kind of nervous where I'm afraid I'm going to fail," he said. "I've got a lot of confidence. I went to New York with nothing in my pocket, thinking I was going to be on a billboard some day. Till this day, I still haven't been on a billboard, but I'm doing all right.

"If you really want something, you've got to jump off that bridge, and I just did that," he added. "I don't know what my path is; I don't know where I'm headed as an actor, but I know I'm going to have a lot of fun finding out."

As for his personal life, sorry, ladies, but Moore's career appears to be more important now.

"I'm crazy busy, which makes it difficult," he said. "I don't know too many women who will put up with that. Women like attention, consistency; they like the phone to ring. When I'm a boyfriend, I'm a great boyfriend. I get excited about spoiling my significant other, and I'm definitely excited about the day I'll say `I do' and the day I become a daddy. But I'm not in any hurry."

Shemar Moore

What: Signing autographs and will pick "Baltimore's Best Shemar Moore Look-alike"

Where: Security Square Mall

When: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today Call: 410-265-6000

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