Just in time for cuffing season and autumn date nights, Sony is unleashing the steamy thriller, The Perfect Guy upon audiences. The film splices just the right amount of chocolate box star power as Sanaa Latham stars as Leah, a successful professional who gets involved with a seemingly perfect guy Carter (Michael Ealy) after her longtime relationship with Dave (Morris Chestnut) hits a stagnant point. Unbeknownst to her upon their first date, Carter possesses a lethal alter-ego and when Dave comes back into the picture, an even more serious conflict is spawned.
The film combines the talents of director David M. Rosenthal and writers Alan B. McElroy and Tyger Williams alongside Ealy and Lathan in the executive producer chair. Hip-Hop Wired caught up with both of the leading men of the film and we broke apart their unique dynamic in The Perfect Guy.
Morris, if you had a dollar for every time a fan claimed you were “the perfect guy” how much money would you be holding?
Morris Chestnut: [Laughs] I thought you were going to ask me, if I had a dollar for every time some yelled out ‘Rickyyy’ [from Boyz n the Hood] I’d be a billionaire; I’d be richer than Donald Trump. Luckily I have people and fans who root for me but they don’t really tell me I’m the perfect guy.
You are pretty much the ideal good guy in every movie you play. How close were you to shaking things up this time around?
Morris Chestnut: The shake-up was when I came into the restaurant and had a situation with Mike’s character. That was the closest…and it was fun! Mike’s a really good dude; he’s a great actor and we had a great time shooting it.
Mike, you actually got to play the bad guy. Did you like doing this role?
Michael Ealy: I loved it. I loved everything from start to finish. In terms of coming on board to the project to producing the project and being part of the creative process and developing the script to where it needed to be. And shooting this movie was amazing.
The movie got shot in like a month?
Morris Chestnut: We shot it pretty quickly and it was pretty contained.
Michael Ealy: It was about two months for me.
Was this your first time executive producing, Mike?
Michael Ealy: Yes, the first and definitely won’t be the last. I could definitely see myself behind-the-scenes and transitioning as time goes by.
But the audience doesn’t want to see you behind-the-scenes, though.
Michael Ealy: Yeah…that’s alright [Laughs]. It depends on the content you give them and I think you got to share the love. Everybody has to get the shine in all aspects.
What was it like working with a first-time director?
Michael Ealy: David isn’t a first-time director. He’s a first-time studio director. He’s done independent films and I’ve seen his work and David’s sensibilities were exactly what we needed in this movie. Because he’s not in the studio system, he has more indie traits and once you’ve seen the film, you’ll understand that it’s not as polished as say a Think Like a Man. It’s not as conventional and that’s what we’re going for. It’s a genre piece and people know the genre but we shot it from a grimy sensibility opposed to relying on other troupes from other movies.
With a stalker tale like this, we’ve started to see it more prevalent in the news. Is there some sort of domestic violence message in this film?
Morris Chestnut: I definitely think so. I’d say the overall message is really trying to get to know the person [that you date]. Take your time and don’t rush into anything too quickly and really learn to understand them.
Michael Ealy: I’d say this story is bigger than domestic violence. I think domestic violence almost simplifies the script because it’s not a case of domestic or verbal abuse–that’s What’s Love Got to Do with It. This is a thriller–like a romantic, psychological thriller if you will–and it’s more about Carter’s goal. Carter’s goal isn’t to hurt Leah. Carter’s goal is to make Leah do what he wants, which is to love him. As long as she’s loves him, then she’s going to be O.K. and that’s the sociopath in him talking. It’s about control and power.
Is Carter setting light-skinned brothers back with this film?
Michael Ealy: You know…[Laughs]…no! People have made this comment and that’s not really the goal. And I feel like there will be a couple of light-skinned brothers that will be proud of this [Laughs]. But I don’t think being a sociopath has anything to do with the tone of anyone’s skin so that won’t apply here and people will see that in the movie.
Speaking of Ricky, did you get a chance to check out Straight Outta Compton yet, Morris?
Morris Chestnut: I haven’t! I’ve been working on this TV show, Rosewood and it’s been really hard for me to take out 2 1/2 hours for the movie. But I’m definitely going to see it real soon.
How do you feel about being on TV once again?
Morris Chestnut: It’s a blessing, to having the opportunity and I’m looking forward to it doing well. The good thing about a movie is you get a lot of time to sit in your trailer to get your character right. TV shows move so fast which could be a good and a bad thing. Some time you don’t get to get into a scene as much but it’s also good not waiting like eight hours just to shoot the first shot.
Both of you guys are part of a pretty tight-knit group of Black Hollywood. When you get a script and see that one or the other–like Sanaa Latham is on board, does it make an automatic go for you?
Morris Chestnut: For me, that was definitely one of things seeing both Sanaa and Michael were involved. I said, ‘Wow, these are two high-caliber actors and I want to be a part of it and add to the mix and see if we can make something special.’ And our characters never really worked together in the movies that we’ve done together so this was a chance for that happen.
Michael Ealy: We had a good crew. Working with Sanaa was something I wanted to do for a long time and she didn’t disappoint because she’s just that good. And funny…so funny.
Trailers look like they give a lot of the movie away but they really don’t. What can people expect from The Perfect Guy?
Morris Chestnut: They give some good moments away but there’s still the journey. A lot of times what I find is when it’s a good movie that’s well-executed, you kind of forget the trailer and getting engrossed in the movie step-by step, so hopefully this happens with this one.
Michael Ealy: There is still plenty of good moments that haven’t been given away and I can’t wait for people to see those moments, seeing that the studio has been playing nice.
The Perfect Guy hits theaters tomorrow, September 11. Pre-purchase your tickets on Fandago.
Photo: La Niece/WENN.com
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