Monica Calhoun completely disappears into any role she’s graced the screen to play. In movies like The Players Club, The Best Man and the webseries Diary of a Single Mom, the character actress regularly wows critics and audiences. Here, BET.com chats with her about The Best Man Holiday, which hits Blu-Ray and DVD on February 11, and much more.
Your character Mia’s storyline in The Best Man Holiday is heartbreaking. What did you think of her story when you got the script?
I welcomed the challenge as an actress. To go to that place of life and death and internal struggle and wanting to make everything perfect so life could begin the healing and forgiveness process. I welcomed that challenge to pull everything together to be that matriarch, the head of the house, that strong female character. Even in her strength and her weakness Mia still maintained and was strong for everyone.
Your co-star Harold Perrineau said if Malcolm Lee did a third Best Man film he'd be on board. Have you heard anything about another installment?
I heard they are doing a third film and I think there is definitely a story to be told. We are a powerful ensemble cast and I know whatever they put together for a third movie would be absolutely phenomenal. I think the audience would enjoy it and get their money’s worth. It will be worth the price of a babysitter, movie ticket, popcorn, dinner and tip for the waitress [Laughs].
All of you in the cast portrayed a group of friends and lovers so convincingly; did you draw upon any of your real-life relationships for inspiration for your role?
I definitely have a few relationships, friendships and family that are from blood and relations. I have sisters and brothers from other mothers and fathers. I definitely have those types of relationships where you have ups and downs. The “I love you today or right now, but stay away from me you’re pissing me off.” Or, the “I miss you, we need to be around each other more. I miss you, don’t be a stranger.” And the, “Call me, if you don’t call me this week, I’m gonna hunt you down" type of friendships. Or the, “I missed your birthday, I’m sorry, but I love you anyway.” [Laughs] Yes, I have all of those.
You were amazing in the Robert Townsend-directed webseries, Diary of a Single Mom. Can you talk a bit about that project and if it will return in some form?
It’s so night and day from The Best Man movies. But yes, Diary of a Single Mom was an excellent experience. It was a wonderful story about the struggles that single mothers go through trying to maintain family, raise healthy children and keep them out of trouble. But it was also about connecting with women who have similar circumstances and creating a support system that strengthens, educates and heals them. It would be interesting to see whether or not they decide to develop the series further. I have no idea about its future.
In this age of celebrity oversaturation, you manage to stay completely out of the press unless it’s about your work. How do you do it?
I have no idea how I’ve managed to avoid the pitfalls of the industry. I’m just human and I make tons of mistakes like everyone else. But, I do try utilize those mistakes more in my work, in my characters and in my projects.
The Best Man Holiday arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD today.
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(Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty Images)