The actor on his "competitive" Best Man Holiday co-star and the 2013 Black movie boom.
Harold Perrineau has carved out a successful acting career by starring in some of television’s most critically acclaimed and successful series like Oz, Lost and Sons of Anarchy. But film audiences know him best as Julian in The Best Man and its hit box office sequel, The Best Man Holiday, which arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 11. So naturally, when Perrineau talked to BET.com, he discussed the successful movie franchise, working with co-star Terrence Howard and if he’s sees a third installment in the film series' future.
The Best Man Holiday was both a great film and a highly successful sequel. Did you realize when you were filming it just how well it might do?
I didn’t know how good it would do. That’s one of those things you just can never tell. You just don’t know. I did know how good the film was when I read the script. I knew how interested I was in all of the characters, where they were going and what was going on with them. I think Malcolm Lee is a good writer and director as well. When I got the script I knew it was a great script and we had a good group of people to make this a really great film. We’d done it once, why couldn’t we do it again?
Do you think there is another chapter and sequel for this cast of characters?
I am not one of those people who has endless stories in his head, but I do think Malcolm is. And if Malcolm thinks there’s another story to be told I’ll take his lead and go with him. I’ll tell whatever story he wants to tell. And yes, if they ask me to be in a third film, I will be there [Laughs].
Tell me about working with Terrence Howard. You guys have an amazing on-screen comedic chemistry.
The reason I like working with Terrence is because he’s not afraid to do anything. And he often has these wild outrageous ideas. In this Best Man it was his idea for him and I to do the Kung Fu fight. And I was like, “Terrence, c’mon, Kung Fu fight?" And he was like, [does a Terrence Howard impression] “C’mon man, why not?” And it turns out he was right because it was very, very funny. Before that scene there was a catastrophic event between some of the characters, so our fight was a really great comic relief moment. That genius is Terrence Howard — because he wants to try stuff and do stuff. Not to mention that within it, we’re also competing. We’re always like, “I can go further than you and I can go much further than you.” We’re always competing and I’m always on the losing end of that competition by the way. [Laughs].
Films starring Black actors enjoyed a big year in 2013. As someone who was apart of that movement, do you think the plentiful output we saw last year was just a trend, or are our movies here to stay?
I’m going to be hopefully and skeptically optimistic about it. We certainly go through these types of trends very often. And it’s akin to asking if we live in post-racial America. Whether it stays or not, that is for history and time to tell. We did have a lot of very great films that had a lot of Black actors starring in them [last year.] Hopefully what it is says is that there are stories to be told that are not always so typically the stories that have been told before. I hope it’s something that’s here to stay. Hopefully this American dream we’ve all been looking for turns into a reality, where we can all be equally represented in many different places in entertainment. I look forward to seeing what happens.
Speaking of sequels and movies, do you think we’d ever see an Oz reunion or feature film?
At the end of Oz I’m pretty sure we all blew up. [Laughs] So I don’t know where we’d be now. But it would be awesome if we got a chance to do that again. People often talk about Oz the movie. If [Oz creator] Tom Fontana was interested in writing that, I’m sure we’d all be in doing it. There were a bunch of great, great actors in that series. Oz was a really eclectic group of folks telling some real tough stories.
The Best Man Holiday arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 11.
(Photos from left: Valerie Macon/Getty Images, Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)