The actor tells BET.com about his "mentoring" co-stars and why women should wait.
For the past six years Terrence Jenkins has been co-host of BET’s 106 and Park, but he’s also been amassing quite an impressive resume as an actor. The 29-year-old enjoyed roles in Stomp the Yard 2: The Homecoming, Burlesque and The Game, but he now gets a starring turn in the ensemble comedy Think Like a Man. In it Terrence plays Michael, “The Mama’s Boy,” who falls for Candace, “The Single Mom,” portrayed by Regina Hall.
Terrence chatted with BET.com about his thoughts on Steve Harvey’s book, his take on the 90-day rule and working with the movie’s all-star cast.
Did you read Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man? If so, what did you think of it?
I did. And I think it’s very point on. A lot of things in the book; from the player to the momma’s boy, to the non-committer to the dreamer, these are men that women meet every single day and it kind of holds up a mirror to society. There is a little bit of us in all these characters and so I definitely related to it.
In the movie you play Michael, “The Momma’s Boy,” so is there any of him in you?
It’s kind of like the opposite in real life. In my mom and my relationship I’m kind of like the dad sometimes. My mom and I are really good friends. I have the greatest, sweetest mom in the world and I protect her and I coddle her. I’m the protective son.
A theory in the book that became the basis for Meagan’s Good character in the movie was the 90-Day Rule. What’s your take on men waiting three months before they're intimate?
If it’s worth it we will wait. I have some friends that work with me at the job and people that I know and they’re younger — maybe 21, 22 years old — and they get into these failed relationships because they’re having sex too early. Sometimes I want to tell my baby sisters, “No. You need to wait, you need to make him wait or don’t make me go over there and talk to him for you.” And so now we can say [to them] read the book, watch this movie to see the difference in Meagan Good’s character on making a man wait as opposed to just giving it up on the first date.
What was it like working with this all-star cast?
This is my first big feature and I was nervous because I look up to everyone who stars in this film. From Taraji [P. Henson] to Regina to [Michael] Ealy to Gabby [Union] and they’re all established actors. When Regina walked into the room I was like, “Scary Movie!” I’m still not over it at all. I just watched Kevin Hart’s new comedy special and I spent months working with him, but I’m still a fan of it all.
Think Like a Man is your first big feature film that features an all-star cast. Were there any challenges for you as the rookie actor on the set?
I didn’t know a lot of the set protocol, but everybody embraced and helped me. If I would pull Ealy to the side and say, “Hey, can I get a little extra help on this scene? Or can I get some direction, or how does this flow?” He would take the time, pull me into his trailer and mentor me. And I can say that about every single person on this set. I feel like they gave me something that showed on the screen. I’m very grateful to [director] Tim [Story] and to Steve and to [producer] Will Packer and especially this cast. It was a very challenging and intimidating to be around such talent, but they made me fit right in.
Think Like a Man opens in theaters April 20.
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(Photo: Fernando Leon/Getty Images)