Pursuing a career in modeling and acting was never a thought for Lamon Archey growing up, but when he saw his opening, he took the steps to make sure he stayed in Hollywood.
He’s FBI agent Eli Grant on NBC’s Days of Our Lives. Since assuming the role in 2017 Archey is grateful he’s got a full-time job working in Hollywood. It’s a career he’s come to love although he describes it as a constant challenge. Getting in Hollywood is only half the challenge as constantly getting work in Hollywood is also difficult, he admitted. Growing up in the Bay Area of California he didn’t have early aspirations for acting or modeling, in fact, he didn’t have a career plan in mind.
“I flung by the seat of my pants,” Archey said.
As a teenager coming out of high school, he found his love for tattoos before finding his calling in the entertainment industry. Archey began his tattoo collection at 18 but ever since he was 17 he wanted one. After being suspended from school he heated a wire hanger on an oven and burnt a cross on his arm. Now he has nearly a dozen tattoos.
“Every year I say I’m done…(but) I like the way they look,” he said. While not all of his tattoos have meanings behind them (such as a tattoo that includes the name of one his kids) he gets some for the aesthetics such as the dragon inked on his chest.
Coming out of high school, Archey was a carpenter who was finishing hardwood floors, although he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do he knew he didn’t want to be a carpenter forever.
“I didn’t feel like it was leading to anything,” he said. “I felt like there was a lot more out in the world for me.”
There was nothing for him in the Bay Area, so he decided to move away from his family. He moved into Torrance where the only person he knew there was his uncle. But there was a kicker. He didn’t have a job lined up upon his arrival. However, he saw an ad in a paper about a job fair and headed there which is where he was discovered.
At the job fair, he was approached by a woman who thought he was a model. When she found out he wasn’t she asked if he’d be interested.
“I didn’t have any thoughts or wants in it,” he said. But after thinking it over, he eventually decided to give it a shot and from there was connected to people who would book him photoshoots.
After his first photoshoot for a blunt company he was not opposed to the career field he found himself in.
“I was working with beautiful girls and getting paid for it,” Archey said.
After being scouted by a company in San Francisco he was approached to be an actor. Again, never having thought this would be what he would do, he decided to put his best foot forward by taking acting classes to learn the craft. His first gig was two under-five roles on Days of Our Lives before playing recurring character Mason Wilder on CBS’ The Young and the Restless from 2012 to 2014.
After vacating the role of Wilder he dabbled in other projects before landing his full-timee role as Eli Grant on Days of Our Lives. Playing the FBI agent that has a level head is exciting for Archey.
“On SOAPS, people do wild stuff,” Archey said. “I’m happy to play a character who’s intelligent.”
Beyond the surface level, he also found himself playing a character that had gone through a similar situation as he had in real life. On the show, Grant didn’t have a relationship with his father and first saw him in a coffin. For Archey, while he did know who his father was he rarely saw him and when he flew out to St. Louis to see his father in a coffin he met a side of his family he had never seen before. “Art imitating real life,” Archey said.
While Archey is happy playing his daytime soap opera character that takes him on an emotional journey don’t expect to find the 37-year-old (birthday April 9) off camera partying it up late night in Hollywood. He calls himself a homebody now who had did his partying in his 20s. He’s now more likely to go to bed at 9 p.m., he says.
“I don’t recuperate as fast,” Archey said. “I prefer to get away from the madness,” which is why he doesn’t live in Hollywood. He’s close enough to avoid a long ride to work but far enough to live in his own world.
A world where he raises his three kids, two of which from his longtime fiancé model and actress Mercedes Cornett. While taking things day-by-day has been his approach to his successful career he’s doing the same with his marriage date.
“Neither of us are in a rush to get married,” Archey said. “But it will happen.”