'The Rookie' Actor Titus Makin Jr. Discusses Staying Fit, Making Music (Exclusive)

As a key character on ABC's The Rookie, Titus Makin Jr. is required to spend a considerable amount of time on set. The 20-episode seasons take some time to film, and the actors only get roughly three months of downtime each year with which to pursue other projects. As Makin revealed, however, his schedule still allows him time to work on creating music, as well as taking on roles in other shows.

Speaking with PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview, Makin discussed the amount of time that he is on set, as well as what he does to keep in shape. Additionally, the man behind Officer West revealed that he has been working on music under the name of Butterfly Ali, which he has been able to fit within his work schedule.

As it turns out, playing a police officer is beneficial to his music schedule given that the show doesn't always take place during the day. There are often early morning shoots, which provide Makin with extra time in the afternoon and evening to work on his project.

"Actually it actually kind of complements the filming lifestyle because all those down times that I have, I can always be writing music because I have my privacy so I can be writing," Makin told PopCulture.com. "And then when I'm off, because the hours fluctuate, sometimes we're filming all morning long and then I'm off in the evenings, which is when I take my time to go to the studio and record music.

Makin continued by saying that the filming schedule of The Rookie is beneficial due to music studios operating whenever they are needed. He doesn't record music at a place with normal 9-5 hours. Instead, the studio is available when he needs to get in and get some work done.

The actor recently released a single called Rose under the Butterfly Ali name, and he has plans on putting more songs out into the world in the coming months. An EP is planned for the future, but he is primarily focusing on finishing the second season of The Rookie.

Of course, Makin can't always be working on music during his downtime on set. As an actor, he has to take care of the physical aspects of his character. Officer Jackson West has a specific size and level of fitness that must be maintained.

Makin has a history of gymnastics and dancing that have aided him in the past, but he also has to follow a set routine in order to keep in relatively similar shape throughout shooting. Those in charge of The Rookie don't want him massive in one episode but smaller later in the season.

"I at least try to go to the gym three times a week, make sure I'm always doing some weightlifting and cardio. Because I kind of have to stay the same size just for the story's sake in the show, so I can't get too beefy. But I maintain it. A lot of cardio and some weightlifting and ab work, keep it kind of all together."

In order to maintain that physical size and level of fitness, Makin keeps some dumbbells, resistance bands, and a set of perfect push-ups in his trailer. He and Eric Winter (Officer Tim Bradford) will use that equipment to work out near the trailers, but they will also head to the full-size gym on the Warner Bros. lot.

Between filming The Rookie, working out, and creating music, Makin has a full schedule, but he did recently appear on an episode of FBI. With his schedule, landing a role in a movie would take some doing given the timeline, but Makin has no complaints. He's happy about working on The Rookie and the continuing evolution of his character.

"So other than Butterfly Ali and The Rookie, haven't much time for much else as you would imagine," Makin said. "And it's actually been quite the blessing. It's been nice, it's been a nice, filled year."


The Rookie is currently midway through the 20-episode second season. New episodes air every Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles/ABC/Getty