(Photos: Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
The ensemble cast of Think Like a Man, which includes Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart and Romany Malco, is reminiscent of 1990s romantic comedies that regularly rotated the same roster of actors (Morris Chestnut even makes a cameo in the film). Hollywood’s tight-knit community may just be a factor that makes the film sing. At last night's New York screening of the film, based on Steve Harvey's best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the film's stars dished about their off-screen friendships and camaraderie that helped set the tone for the laughs they hope to deliver on screen.
“When I shot scenes with the guys it was like Animal House!" Ealy said of his male cast members, whose characters play together on basketball courts and inside bars. “Romany, Kevin and Gary [Owen] are the funniest guys ever! Terrence, Jerry [Ferrara (Entourage)] and myself were just laughing nonstop!”
Harvey's original book serves up advice for women, but Ealy said Hart — the film’s narrator — was the one dishing out advice to the men on set in comical stand-up fashion: “Kevin kept telling us, ‘Don’t ever get married!’ the entire movie and was just so adamant about it,” Ealy said with a laugh.
For Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, the film’s lighter topics provided a welcomed break from her usual roles. “I play a lot of deep, dark, dramatic characters and I don’t think people know how funny I can get.” she said. “In the Essence magazine issue that we cover, Kevin Hart mentions giving me a chance because I’m really funny, but I already know that; Hollywood, you guys are slow!”
The movie's laugh factor got the stamp of approval from Harvey, one of the reigning Original Kings of Comedy: “Best cast for the movie, period! When you see it, you’ll see exactly what I mean,” he said. “The writer and the director took the book and transformed it in a way that I couldn’t be more proud of. And I was on them! I didn’t want them to colorize my book. It’s not a ‘Black movie,’ it’s just got Black people in it. Stop looking at the color of the people in the movie, these situations are in every race and every culture. Anybody could enjoy it.”
Think Like a Man hits theaters April 20.
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