Morris Chestnut: “The Best Man Holiday” interview

kwilliamns@tri-statedefender.com | 11/12/2013, 9:28 a.m.

Kam Williams: Hey Morris, thanks for another interview.
Morris Chestnut: No problem, no problem, Kam. Thank YOU, again.

KW: I loved the film. It was like attending a reunion with a whole lot of folks I hadn't seen in a longtime.
MC: Oh, that's great!

KW: I'm going to mix my questions for you in with some sent in by fans.
MC: Perfect!

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: What did it mean to you to reunite with the cast to shoot this sequel?
MC: It was just wonderful coming together again after all these years, especially since we'd had such a great experience before. It gave me a good feeling inside to reunite, almost like family. We'd accomplished so much the first time, and it was pretty much the same with the sequel.

KW: Chalyn Toon asks: Does Lance trust Harper around Mia knowing their past? Does Lance and Mia's relationship suffer from his being haunted by the images of what happened between his wife and best friend?
MC: That's interesting. Lance definitely trusts Mia. And I've always been that type of person. You really don't have to worry about your spouse, as long as you trust him or her. If you trust your spouse or whoever you're in a relationship with, everybody else doesn't matter.

KW: How did you feel about the arc of your character this go-round?
MC: I was really excited about how all the characters were layered and had depth to them. Malcolm [director Malcolm Lee] wrote a really great script. As for Lance's arc, I think this is one of the best roles I've ever had in a movie.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film?
MC: There are so many messages, because the film has a number of storylines. One thing I love about making an ensemble film like this is that you can have ten people come away from it with ten different messages.

KW: Director Rel Dowdell asks: Would you consider your role in "The Best Man" or in "Boyz n the Hood" to be your signature role, since both are iconic?
MC: [Chuckles] Wow! Thank you, Rel, I appreciate that. I'd like to think that they both are. "Boyz n the Hood" definitely put me on the map and really brought me into the game. Hopefully, this one does the same thing, twenty-something years later, because I feel very strongly about it. It's a great, emotional role in a great movie overall.

KW: Patricia says: You have been in the movie business for decades. What advice do you have for aspiring actors who want to achieve longevity?
MC: I would say focus on your craft. Nowadays, a lot of people come to quote-unquote Hollywood thinking that all they just have to be different or do something outlandish or have a huge personality to become a star. But I think that if you just focus on the craft, you'll have a better chance at longevity.

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?
MC: Woo! That's a good question. I read so many scripts, that I don't do that much leisurely reading of books. But the last, good, feature film script I read was The Best Man Holiday.