Melvin Gregg has made quite the impact on this season of Snowfall, and theGrio caught up with 30-year-old actor who plays Drew “Manboy” Miller on the hit FX series to find out how he knew that life in front of the camera was his calling.

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Gregg says he can relate to certain elements of his drug-dealing character.

“He’s kind of full of himself in the sense that he’s too confident at times when he shouldn’t be confident, but that’s part of his charm,” Gregg says of his character. “When I approach a character I try to find the parallels between myself and the character and I try to justify what they’re doing. I guess this character is me in another universe…he’s a lot like myself, but we are living under different circumstances so my actions are a little different.”

The Virginia native admitted that he had a little trouble nailing the L.A. accent for the role. He also discussed what he learned from the show’s late, great, co-creator, executive producer, and director, John Singleton, who died in April.

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“It was a blessing to be able to work with him. He was a great guy. I feel like he was a big part of the reason that I got this spot on this show…I don’t really look the part but John is really from that kind of community and I am too so I feel like he kind of saw that in me,” says Gregg. “He saw through the typical tropes of what this character is and he saw something in me that was different that he liked. Having his stamp is reassuring.”

Check out the full video interview above.