‘I’m Wired to Snap’ — Tyler Lepley’s Parents Might Have Given Him Reasons to Stay in Therapy
Tyler Lepley, best known for portraying Benjamin "Benny" Young on Tyler Perry's The Haves and the Have Nots, is a Philly native.
Lepley's exotic looks caught the eyes of a producer at a boxing gym who invited him to audition. He was eventually cast for a lead role in an independent horror movie, Slumber Party Slaughter, in 2013.
He took his agent's advice to get professional help for his acting and enrolled in acting classes. He made his TV debut in an episode of the CW's teen drama series, 90210, and featured on CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Who Are Tyler Lepley's Parents?
On March 24, 1987, Lepley was born in Philadelphia and was raised by his mother and stepfather since he was six years old.
The American actor comes from diverse ethnicities: his mother has an Italian background, and his biological dad has Jamaican heritage. Lepley has revealed being teased as a child on multiple occasions because he was the only black kid in his school.
He is the only child of his parents and is very close to them.
"I am an only child, so it's just us three," Lepley revealed in an interview with Essence. "My parents are my mom, dad, brother and sister, all in one. I love them and would not be where I am today if I didn't have them as a support system."
Lepley grew up having a niche for sports. As a young child, his parents supported his passion, leading him to participate in several sports, including track, football, basketball, and karate.
But as he got older, he got more into American football, and he even played in his high school football team for Central Bucks High School West of Doylestown.
He joined Kutztown University with a football scholarship as a recruited athlete. However, he was expelled from his football team for being part of a brawl in 2007.
Although he was reinstated at his college, his football career was over, as he was indicted with disciplinary charges.
After completing his undergraduate, he moved to California and found work as a personal trainer at Iron Fitness Gym in Santa Monica. It was the very place where a film producer discovered him.
Tyler Lepley's Relationship with Therapy
During his conversation with LA Sentinel, Lepley talked about developing as an actor to play his character, Benny, during his time in The Haves and the Have Nots.
His therapy sessions helped Lepley overcome his insecurities to become more confident both on and off-screen. He revealed he is not afraid to be vulnerable on camera or in an interview.
He learned to channel his emotions: finding a book to read or just sitting down to write what he was feeling.
He admitted that when he does not feel like talking to a professional, he enjoys having a relaxing session with his mom, sibling, or even his cat to speak out about what's bothering him.
What Sparked Tyler Lepley's Interest in Therapy?
For Lepley, it was his acting coach that introduced him to the benefits of therapy.
Therapy helped him connect with his deep emotions and stay true to them. "If you're not working on your emotions, they can go cold or numb," he expressed. "Therapy helps you to work on your emotions so you can call on them."
What made the actor stick to therapy is his path to learning to gain control of his temper. Since his parents are Jamaican and Italian, he has inherited "a temper" and is prone to "snapping" because of his parents' origins.
The P-Valley actor admitted that therapy has helped him handle situations even when he is "wired to snap."
While there's still a lot of taboo in the black community around mental health awareness, Tyler admits that therapy has helped him as an actor to acknowledge his emotions and nurture his abilities as an actor.