Morris Chestnut joined the cast of Kick-Ass 2 as Detective Marcus Williams, a role that had been established in the original film by another actor, but he didn’t let that define his characterization. Chestnut brought a sensibility to the role that I think audiences will be able to appreciate despite his ‘fun police’ style of parenting. He credits his daughter, who is around the same age as Chloe Moretz and her character, for not only why he got the part, but why this is a character he could easily relate to.
Although Chestnut’s interactions on set were pretty limited to scenes with Chloe, he had a lot to share about his experiences with the film, along with some interesting side notes on what else he has going on in his career, when we sat down with him last week in Los Angeles for a roundtable interview.
Check out what he had to say below.
What was it that appealed to you most about the world of Kick-Ass?
Morris Chestnut: Just the fun that the first movie had. Just watching it, they didn’t take themselves seriously and they had a lot of fun, a lot of stunts, a lot of comedy. The overall fun that the picture had.
How did it feel being one of the only characters not putting on a super-hero costume?
Morris Chestnut: That was messed up. I hated that. I was the only one not kicking ass. Everyone got to have fun and do stunts, and I was the kill-joy saying ‘don’t do this and don’t do that.’ All these teenagers across America are probably going to hate me for trying to stop everyone from having fun – so hopefully in the sequel.
There’s a different director, having seen the first movie and experienced it, did you notice a big change, was the feel the same, did he kinda add a little something different?
Morris Chestnut: I wasn’t on the set for the first movie, obviously, but with this movie, after seeing it and how everything is heightened, everything is more intensified, I think it goes to the director’s enjoyment. He had a child-like feel on the set, so he’s really excited about a whole lot of things, really excited about the stunts, and excited about everything. I think that was contagious throughout the whole cast and crew.
Your character is sorta the counter to the youth culture that surrounded him. What do you think it is that this movie expresses about youth culture now and the way we are?
Morris Chestnut: I know that when I was young, I always had a fantasy of being a superhero, so I think it feeds into that whole fantasy of putting on a costume, putting on a mask, and actually going out there and doing fights, and fighting and protecting, and all those things. It really just feeds into the whole fantasy of our youth.
What was it like working with Chloe [Moretz]? Is there anything in particular you learned from her? She’s so young.
Morris Chestnut: Yeah, she’s very young. I have a daughter that’s her age, so it was really easy for me to relate. She was a great professional, a great talent. Just watching her work, I had a great time. I saw the first one, and was a huge fan. I was scared because I thought she might kick my ass, but I just had a great time working with her.
Did you learn anything new about yourself when you played this role?
Morris Chestnut: This role, I definitely had it down, because like I said, my daughter’s the same age. I think that probably actually helped me get the role because I could really relate to what the character was going through.
You mentioned hopefully a next film, do you think there’s going to be a Kick-Ass 3?
Morris Chestnut: I think when movies make money, they will find a reason to make another one. If this is a huge global success that makes a gazillion dollars, they could have killed every character in it and they would bring everyone back to life. That’s just what Hollywood is, it’s about the green.
In this movie you’re actually the guardian to a white girl, was that significant to you at all?
Morris Chestnut: One thing I liked about this movie is that I don’t really think race played a part in it. Everything was just so seamless, it wasn’t something that they made a note to point out, so I liked that aspect of it.
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