At this point in your career, what does a story have to say to you, or is it more than the story, is it the director, is it the timing – what makes you say yes?
Morris Chestnut: There are a lot of factors in that. With this particular movie, I really just wanted to have some fun. Just before this movie, I did this film titled The Call and that was kinda intense. When I saw this script, to just go and be a part of a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously, and everyone has fun, and everything that’s going on – I jumped at the chance. Then I left this movie and I did a TV show where my character took himself seriously. It’s funny, I went from this to a TV show called Nurse Jackie, and my character takes himself way too seriously. But just to have that type of fun and have that type of change, and then I left that to do the sequel to The Best Man – and that was somewhat of a combination of both, but it was much more emotional. It was much more of an emotional demand than any of the past projects. It just depends, each project will offer something different.
For the sequel to The Best Man, were you guys kinda surprised that you got to get all back together and also what was it like after all these years to reunite?
Morris Chestnut: We definitely were surprised. Most sequels, there’ll be a year after it’s over, after the original, or two years after the original, maybe even three, but fourteen years after the original hardly ever happens. We all went to dinner. Malcolm Lee invited us to dinner and told us about some of the storylines, and he asked us if we all wanted to do it again, and we were like yes. Then we had to go to studio and sell it. We all got together and had to do a read-through in front of the execs at Universal, and then they went for it. We had to jump through hoops, but I think we’re all glad we did, and we hope the audience is glad that we did. I think the film is going to be equal to, and hopefully better, than the original.
There were rumors about Marvel and a Black Panther movie.
Morris Chestnut: Right, that was out there. Obviously I would love to play that part, but Marvel and that studio they’re a mega-machine, and they have the people in mind that they want to do. Maybe If I had gotten to kick ass in Kick-Ass they would consider me, but you never know what’s going to happen. Stranger things have happened in this industry.
With Jim [Carrey] coming out having issues with the violence in the movie, I wanted to ask you, because it’s weird, the detectives aren’t allowed to do the work, the vigilantes really do the work – is there any concern you have with the messaging or the violence in the movie?
Morris Chestnut: I personally don’t. I respect any man’s opinion, or any woman’s opinion, about what they say and what they feel, because I didn’t walk in his shoes, I didn’t have his experiences, so things are going to effect him differently than they effect me. I do feel that movies and music, they do have the power to slightly influence a person’s decision, but I don’t think that if it’s not in the person, then it’s not going to encourage a person to do something that’s not already within them.
Plus, this is a fantasy. Even if you saw the first one, it was so comical, some of the things that were going on, you would have to be pretty far removed from reality to really think this is reality when you watch these movies.
In Kick-Ass, Omari Hardwick played the role that you took on. How does that work when you’re playing a role and someone else had it before?
Morris Chestnut: To be honest, I knew that he was in the first one, but I didn’t know they were looking for someone else to replace him. I don’t know what happened. I just knew that when I read for the role they told me it was to play Chloe’s guardian.
That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Morris Chestnut for his time and for chuckling when I told him his tie was dope. Kick-Ass 2 starts kicking ass in theaters on August 16th! Be sure to check it out.