Most of you will probably recognise actor, singer and all round entertainer, Malcolm Barrett from his role as Lem in the television series Better Off Ted or from some of his movie roles, such as The Hurt Locker or Larry Crowne. Well, Malcolm is set to appear in the all star comedy We the Peeples, which is expected to be released next year. We at FansShare were fortunate enough to get Malcolm Barrett to discuss We the Peeples with us and also what future projects he has coming up.
FS: What is We the Peeples about?
MB: We The Peeples, is a romantic comedy, heavy on the comedy. It stars Craig Robinson as Wade Walker, a children's entertainer engaged to Kerry Washington's character, a well-to-do member of the Peeples family.
FS: Who do you play in the movie and what type of character is he?
MB: I play Chris Walker, Craig's brother, a super-confident yet charming, bullshi**ing, horndog... after years of being a character actor it's good to play something closer to the sleeve.
FS: How does he affect the storyline/plot?
MB: Chris is always giving Wade advice, needed or not. Chris is a lot more spontaneous than him so half the time I'm getting him into trouble as much as helping him get out.
FS: Who else is in the movie?
MB: It's an all-star cast, dude... Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier, S. Epatha Merkerson from L&O, Tyler James Williams from Everybody Hates Chris, Melvin Van Peebles, Diahann Carroll. Hell, we got three syndicated TV shows and Hollywood royalty, I'm psyched. It's few and far between getting to work on a movie with so many revered and talented Black actors all at the same time. I consider it a privilege. I'm very often the only black guy on set so it's very freeing. Probably like what the ladies in Bridesmaids must have felt like or all those bees in Bee Movie.
FS: Who do they play in the movie?
MB: Kerry plays Craig's fiance. I wish she would have played his wife cause then Craig would definitely win an Oscar (..check your history). David & Epatha are the in-laws and they are the realest, funniest folks you've ever met. Same with Melvin & Diahann, who play the grandparents. Everybody was very giving and open and just damn funny. I learned so much from them but mostly I was just tryna get dirt on old Black movie stars like does Harry Belafonte like to get high... does Sidney Poitier's feet stink... stuff like that.
FS: What were they like to work with?
MB: David was a trip 'cause he has this way of staring at you right in the eye during a scene while being completely ridiculous, I couldn't tell if he was messing with me or not. He was the one I was most likely to just crack up on during a scene. Ms. Carrol was great 'cause at some point we had a scene and I started improvising these kinda crazy things and she never broke once. I like to think it was 'cause she was such a stone cold professional but then again maybe she just didn't think it was funny. I hope it's the former.
FS: What were they like as people?
MB: It was a real comfortable atmosphere on and off set. You could talk to anybody. Sometimes actors have their own imaginary velvet rope around them but everyone here was very down to earth. It really was like a family.
FS: When is the movie released?
MB: No clue. I heard Spring of next year once but I'm not sure. Actors are the last ones to know. You might find out before me, if so call me.
Malcolm Barrett is a very busy man right now, with a couple of movies due out in the coming year. He also has his album, The Backpacker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as another music project and a poetry play. Malcolm explained, “I did a couple of fun Indies. One called Missed Connections about a couple New York IT guys involved in a messy office romance, the other's called O.J.: The Musical... I think the plot for that one's pretty self-explanatory.”
He added, “My album, The Backpacker's Guide to the Galaxy is out on iTunes and free on my site verbaltherapper.com. Also just finished a joint project with singer Icarus V. called The Sin City Lp. You can check us at thesincitylp.com for LA performances with our band. Also doing a show at Cameo in Williamsburg on Dec. 27” Malcolm Barrett also performed in NY, where he had a semi-annual poetry play he co-produced with Darian Dauchan called S.W.A.P. which took place on Dec. 15, 16, 17 at 7pm at the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe. For info check out http://www.facebook.com/swappoetry.
Keep your eyes open for the release of We the Peeples, as we believe it is set to be one of the best comedies of 2012. With an all star cast such as Malcolm Barrett, Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington and many more, it is bound to be a hit. We look forward to seeing it.