Laroyce Hawkins is an American actor, musician, comedian, and spoken-word artist, whose ticket to fame was his role as police officer Kevin Atwater in NBC TV’s drama series, “Chicago P.D.”
Early Life and Family
Of African-American descent, Laroyce Hawkins was born on 4 May 1988 in the southern suburb of Harvey, Chicago, Illinois USA, to parents Leah Bradley and Leonard Hawkins. He along with his brother, Lamar Hawkins, and a younger sister were raised by his grandparents until age 13, and has largely credited them for the kind of person he is now. Little else is known about his family.
He matriculated from Thornton High School in Harvey, and was awarded a full academic college scholarship. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Illinois State University in 2008.
Laroyce was part of the movie “The Express: The Ernie Davis Story,” while he was still in college. It was the biopic of Ernie Davis, the Syracuse University footballer, who became the first African-American awardee of the prestigious Heisman Trophy in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Laroyce played the role of Art Baker, an All-American fullback and Ernie’s teammate; it was credited as his movie debut.
After college, he landed minor roles or guest appearances in several television series, including HBO’s “Ballers” with Dwayne Johnson; “Detroit 1-8-7,” a police crime drama series with Michael Imperioli aired in 2011; and MTV’s “Underemployed,” a comedy drama series with Jared Kusnitx and Inbar Lavi aired in 2012. He was also in a couple of short films such as “Reflection” in 2011 and “Google Me Love” in 2013.
The actor was lucky enough to be part of Dick Wolf’s Chicago series franchise. Dick along with other producers created “Chicago PD,” a spin-off of the successful TV series, “Chicago Fire”, and also associated with “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Justice.” The characters would sometimes crossover to the other drama series as part of the “Chicago Fire” universe.
Laroyce took the role of a uniformed police officer named Kevin Atwater, who was promoted to the Intelligence Unit of the Chicago police department. It started as a recurring role in “Chicago Fire” in 2013, and was elevated to one of the main leads in 2014 when “Chicago PD” was created. The police procedural TV series just finished its seventh season in April 2020, and was renewed in advance up to Season 10 as part of Dick Wolf’s new deal with Chicago Universal Television. Laroyce’s role is one of those characters that would sometimes crossover to the other drama series, including “Chicago Justice” in 2017 and “Chicago Med” in 2019 to 2020.
He wasn’t seen on the big screen for any mainstream movies again until 2018, when he took on the role of Amari Crawford in the movie “Canal Street,” which was centered on a young black teen who was wrongfully charged of killing a white classmate, and defended by his father who was a promising lawyer. This was screened during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend as part of the American Black Film Festival. In that same year, he took part in an independent comedy movie, “Hope Springs Eternal,” about a young girl diagnosed with cancer and took advantage of the special care given to her by everyone around until she finds out that she is in remission. It was filmed in Chicago with Mia Rose Frampton and Stony Blyden, and later released on iTunes.
In 2019, in between filming Chicago PD, he was asked to appear in the comedy television series “South Side,” aired on Comedy Central. He played the recurring role of Michael ‘Shaw’ Owens, and being a native Chicagoan, the role was perfect for him as it was filmed in the Englewood area of Chicago. He appeared in seven episodes out of the 10 aired for the first Season.
His latest movie, “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain,” is still going through the post-production process. It’s based on the true events that happened when police officers were directed to check the status of an African-American man who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and was killed by the police officers.
He played the role of Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., the son of the murdered man.
Aside from his TV and movie career, he would every now and then appear in open mic nights or comedy stand-up gigs in several cities, to show his spoken word artistry and comedic flair.
Little is known about his personal life, except that based on one of his Instagram posts, he has a three-year-old son named Roman John. In an interview back in 2016 with Rollingout online site, he said that he was seeing someone special whom he’d known for a long time, but he was no way near marriage plans yet, and that he’s still young.
He further said, ‘She understands there’s growing I have to do as a man before [I can be] there 100 percent. She is special. I care about her…’ As of this writing, there is no more news of the lady, or an engagement or wedding.
Laroyce has been a motivational speaker since he realized that he can give back to the disenfranchised communities through his voice, by speaking in middle schools and high schools. He focused on encouraging youth to follow their dreams, by recognizing the gifts that were given to them. He realized that his influence can reach more people by being there in the classrooms, instead of just being on the television screens.
- Laroyce’s life mantra is ‘Be Powerful’, and he uses it often in his social media posts. He had an attachment with the word ‘powerful’ due to his grandfather’s influence – he received a quote from his grandfather when he was still in college, and it stuck to him. It’s about when boiling water reaches 211°F, the water would get very hot, but when you add 1 degree Fahrenheit, the water would naturally boil. This part of the quote inspired him the most, “And when you get boiling water, you can create steam, and that steam is powerful enough to move a locomotive, so go that extra degree.”
- He looks up to actor Idris Alba as a role model, and regards Jamie Foxx and Steve Harvey his comedic influences.
- The three traits he is looking for in a woman are a sense of humor, a strong faith in God, and pretty feet, as he has a fetish for them.
- Laroyce is active on social media apps such as Twitter and Instagram.
He is 6ft 3in (1.91m) tall, weighs 176lbs (80kcg), and has an athletic build. He is of African-American descent with black hair and black eyes.
Even before having a successful TV career, Laroyce has been performing at open mic nights and doing standup comic gigs since 2008. Authoritative sources have estimated his net worth at over $1 million as of May 2020.