Sunday, June 29, 2014


Brian “Astro” Bradley
The “Earth to Echo” Interview
with Kam Williams

 The Astronomical Kid Comes of Age

Brian “Astro” Bradley was born on August 26, 1996 in Brownsville, Brooklyn where he started rapping as at an early age. At 14, he successfully auditioned for Season 1 of the reality-TV series “The X-Factor” by performing a song he wrote called, “Stop Looking at My Moms.”

Astro finished 7th overall in the competition whose judges included Simon Cowell and Paul Abdul, and was subsequently signed to a contract by Epic Records. Here, he talks about making his acting debut as the narrator and co-star of Earth to Echo, a sci-fi adventure very similar to E.T.  

Kam Williams: Hi Astro, thanks for the interview.
Astro: No, thank you, Kam. How are you?

KW: I’m great, thanks. You know, I’m originally from Brooklyn, too
A: Yeah? What part?

KW: Bed-Stuy, around Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenue.
A: I know where that is. I bike over there every day.

KW: Do you still live in Brownsville? 
A: No, I live in Bed-Stuy, near Marcus Garvey [Elementary School].

KW: Cool! What interested you in making the jump from music to movies?
A: I haven’t abandoned music. I’m still doing the music thing. I was 15 when I read the script for Earth to Echo. I thought it was amazing, and I couldn’t think of turning it down. It’s awesome for a kid from Brooklyn to have an opportunity to be on the big screen. And I had a great experience learning what the movie business is like. So, I’m glad I did it.    

KW: I loved Earth to Echo. It reminded me a lot of E.T. except with cell phones, texting slang and state-of-the-art gadgets like eyeglasses with video cameras.
A: I think that was producer Andrew Panay‘s mission, to bring that nostalgic film back, but to update it with a 2014 spin.

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Did director Dave Green give you any advice about how to act in front of the green screen opposite special effects that would be added later?
A: He gave all of us advice about ways we could portray our characters better. But as far as the special effects, I got more help from the visual effects team. It was definitely weird to act opposite emptiness, and later see the space filled on the screen by this little alien.

KW: Lisa Loving says: Wow! I just love that music video of “Stop Looking at My Moms.” She asks: How does your mom feel about the song?
A: I don’t want to seem like a jerk, but that song is so old. It’s from over five years ago now.

KW: So, what’s going on with you musically, then? I know you have a new EP called “Computer Era” coming out.
A: Yeah, I’m going to put the EP out soon, though I’m not rushing it. I’m taking my time since I don’t have a due date. I’m going to drop the first video from it really soon, but I’m not going to say when.

KW: At what age did you start rapping?
A: About 9, but I’ve been into music since I was 3.

KW: Who would you say are primary musical influences?
A: The legends: Biggie… Nas… Jay-Z… Tupac… Snoop… Wu-Tang Clan... guys of that caliber.

KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: Do you enjoy watching sci-fi films?
A: Yeah, but I really prefer comedies. And I recently started watching some kung fu movies like The 36 Chamber of Shaolin which I enjoyed because of the symbolism and what it teaches you. As far as science-fiction goes, I’d watched a few films, but now that we completed Earth to Echo, and I see how amazing it is, I plan to watch a lot more sci-fi.  

KW: Have you seen any Bruce Lee karate films?  
A: Of course! Everybody watches Bruce Lee. That’s a legend. He’s the man! 

KW: What would you says is the main message of Earth to Echo?
A: I think it represents friendship! Echo might be an alien, but it symbolizes something that brings you and your friends together. Echo just happens to be an alien, and it took all of us united to save him. We weren’t the coolest kids in the neighborhood, but when we came together on his behalf, we felt like giants who had conquered the world.  

KW: Irene has a follow-up: They didn’t focus on the fact that your character, Tuck, is black in the movie. So race wasn’t an issue. Did you enjoy that?
A: Yeah, I never even thought about that. And I don’t think anybody else on the set ever focused on it either. It’s 2014, man!

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?
A: RZA’s book, the Tao of Wu. That’s a really good one. I’m very into reading lately, especially books that are beneficial, spiritually.   

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to? 
A: I don’t want to sound corny, but the last song I listened to really was “88,” one of the songs on my upcoming EP. 

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?
A: It’s hard to say. I don’t really cook much anymore.

KW: What’s your favorite dish to eat, then?
A: Probably stewed chicken or fried chicken.

KW: Stewed chicken? That’s right your mom’s Jamaican.
A: My whole family’s Jamaican, except for me. I like any type of West Indian food.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
A: A young black male who’s going to take over the world.

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?
A: To be happy. I don’t have a desire for material things. As long as I’m happy, I’m good, man.

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?
A: About a half-hour ago, watching this debate about Hip-Hop between Lupe Fiasco and Peter Rosenberg on Hot 97. It was hilarious!

KW: Let's say you’re throwing your dream dinner party—who’s invited?
A: Spike Lee, Jay-Z and Biggie [Smalls], which would be weird, since he’s dead.

KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
A: A chimp or a gorilla. I think a chimp’s the closest thing to a human.

KW: Yes, there’s just one chromosome difference between humans and chimps. The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?
A: The ability to read minds.

KW: That’s interesting. Most people say they’d like to be able to fly.
A: With the rate at which that technology’s developing, humans will be able to fly soon, anyway. Give it like 10 years. 

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?
A: My earliest childhood memory? I remember seeing a demon when I was real young. I forget what age, but I was certainly under 5.

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?
A: Not much. I’m pretty much the same person. I’m just quieter at home listening to my music. Red carpets aren’t really my scene, so I try to get off the carpet as soon as possible. It’s cool doing it for Earth to Echo, but it’s weird doing the red carpet for other events when people don’t know me, and I have to stand there while the fans are all screaming for someone behind me. 

KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? 
A: Positive energy. When you think positively, you attract positive people. If I’m on a mission to be successful and I’m positive all the time, then more positive people will come around me, and we’ll help each other. If you’re negative, you’ll find yourself surrounded by negative people. That’s why guys like Jay-Z and other successful people strive. They’re positive and they attract other positive people who enable them to go further.

KW: The Harriet Pakula-Teweles question: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?
A: No, I think the classics should be left alone. But if I had to remake one, I’d pick Space Jam. I heard they’re trying to remake Juice, but I feel you need to leave certain movies alone. I hope they don’t mess with The Last Dragon, because that’s such a great movie. I don’t mind sequels, but I don’t like seeing a classic remade. It’s really unnecessary.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
A: Don’t follow in my footsteps. Create your own path. And master your own craft, whatever it is, writer, actor, singer, rapper… Make sure you spend time perfecting being you, and eventually you’ll succeed.

KW: Is there any question I haven’t asked you, that you wish someone would?
A: No, I’m good. Maybe how my day was, but that’s about it.

KW: Well then, how was your day?
A: It was okay. But it’s better now.

KW: Well, I’m glad you’re having a good day and a great career, Astro, and best of luck with Earth to Echo.
A: Thank you very much, Kam. This has been an amazing interview.

To see a trailer for Earth to Echo, visit:

To see a video of Astro performing “Stop Looking at My Moms,” visit:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Earth to Echo (FILM REVIEW)

Earth to Echo
Film Review by Kam Williams

Coming-of-Age Sci-Fi Features Shades of E.T. 

            Most people know E.T. revolves around several kids who befriend an alien stranded on Earth and eager to return home before ill-intentioned adults can do him any harm. That coming-of-age classic landed four Academy Awards back in 1983, and was even voted the best sci-fi of all time in a recent survey by Rotten Tomatoes.    
But if you’re too young to remember Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming adventure, or if it’s been so long since you saw it that the storyline’s a little fuzzy, have I got an homage for you. Much about Earth to Echo just screams remake, starting with the picture’s vaguely-familiar promotional poster which similarly features a human hand reaching out to touch an extra-terrestrial.
Still, this delightful variation on the theme endeavors to refresh the original by incorporating current cultural staples, ranging from texting shorthand to social media. So, when the protagonists here communicate with each other, they often rely on inscrutable slang apt to befuddle fuddy-duddies unfamiliar with the lexicon employed by today’s average adolescent.
At this found-footage flick’s point of departure, we find narrator Tuck (Astro) lamenting the impending separation from his BFFs Alex (Teo Halm) and Munch (Reese Hartwig) when their Nevada neighborhood is razed in a week to make way for a turnpike. The plot thickens after all their cell phones inexplicably “barf” simultaneously, and they decide to discern the source of the mysterious malfunction.
Equipped with a camcorder and state-of-the-art spyglasses, the youngsters ride their bikes into the desert in the middle of the night accompanied by a cute rebel (Ella Wahlestedt) with her own reason for running away from home. GPS sends the sleuths to a site in the desert where, lo and behold, they find Echo, a cuddly visitor from another galaxy with pressing issues akin to the aforementioned E.T.
The kids, of course, kick it into high gear on his behalf, keeping just a step ahead of the untrustworthy authorities. Their noble efforts inexorably lead to a satisfying resolution every bit as syrupy as Spielberg’s.
An unapologetic retread bordering on plagiarism that nevertheless provides the perfect, popcorn summer escape for the tyke and ‘tweener demographics.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG for action, peril and mild epithets
Running time: 92 minutes
Distributor: Relativity Media

To see a trailer for Earth to Echo, visit:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Top Ten DVD Releases for 7-1-14

This Week’s DVD Releases
by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for July 1, 2014                      

The Lunchbox

Anna Karenina [BBC Mini-Series]

The Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes [55th Anniversary Collection]


Vic + Flo Saw a Bear

Shaquille O’Neal’s All-Star Comedy Jam: Las Vegas

Time Scanners: Egyptian Pyramids

Cool Spaces: The Best New Architecture [Season One]

Hinterland: Series One

Lucky Bastard

Honorable Mention

Lovejoy: Series One


Scavenger Killers

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Good, The Bad and Casey Jones

Monster High: Clawesome Double Feature

The Legend of Korra: Book Two [Spirits]

Fringes: New Adventures in Jewish Living

 Jews of Iran

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kam's Movie Kapsules for 7-4-14

Kam's Kapsules:      
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun         
by Kam Williams
For movies opening July 4, 2014


Deliver Us from Evil (R for graphic violence, grisly images, profanity and pervasive terror) Screen adaptation of Beware the Night, Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool’s supernatural thriller about an NYPD street cop (Eric Bana) who joins forces with a renegade exorcist (Edgar Ramirez) in response to the alarming increase in cases of demonic possession occurring around the city. With Olivia Munn, Dorian Missick and Joel McHale.   

Earth to Echo (PG for action, peril and mild epithets) Kid-friendly sci-fi, reminiscent of E.T. (1982), about a trio of adolescents (Astro, Teo Halm and Reese Hartwig) who surreptitiously come to the aid of a homesick alien stranded on Earth. Supporting cast includes Ella Wahlestedt, Cassius Willis, Jason Gray-Stanford and Drake Kemper.

Tammy (R for profanity and sexual references) Melissa McCarthy plays the title character of this road comedy about a just-fired fast-food clerk who embarks with her foul-mouthed grandmother (Susan Sarandon) on a rip-roaring road trip from North Carolina to Niagara Falls after catching her philandering husband (Nat Faxon) in bed with a neighbor (Toni Collette). Ensemble includes Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd and Gary Cole.


America (PG-13 for violent images) Revisionist documentary co-directed by John Sullivan and Dinesh D’Souza speculating about what the country would look like if the Minutemen had lost the Revolutionary War to England.

Beyond the Edge (Unrated) Historical drama chronicling Sir Edmund Hillary (Chad Moffitt) and Tenzing Norgay’s (Sonam Sherpa) historic, 1953 ascent of Mount Everest. With Daniel Musgrove, Joshua Rutter and John Wraight.

Gabrielle (R for sexuality) Romance drama about the unlikely love affair between two members (Alexandre Landry and Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) of a choir for mentally-challenged individuals. Support cast includes Benoit Gouin, Sebastien Ricard and Marie Gignac. (In French and English with subtitles)

The Girl on the Train (R for profanity and violence) Crime thriller about a documentary filmmaker (Henry Ian Cusick) whose chance encounter with a mysterious passenger (Nicki Aycox) aboard a commuter train headed from Grand Central Station to upstate New York leaves him a suspect in the eyes of skeptical detective (Stephen Lang). With Charles Aitken, James Biberi and John Fugelsang.   

Heatstroke (Unrated) Crime thriller about the girlfriend (Svetlana Metkina) and daughter (Maisie Williams) of a research scientist (Stephen Dorff) who are forced to survive by their wits after he is murdered in an African desert by ruthless arms dealers. Support cast includes Peter Stormare and Andrew Roux.

Life Itself (R for profanity, sexual images and brief nudity) Reverential tribute to legendary film critic Roger Ebert featuring commentary by his wife, Chaz, colleague A.O. Scott, and film directors Martin Scorcese, Errol Morris, Werner Herzog and Ava DuVernay.

Marius (Unrated) Romance drama, set in Marseille, where the seafaring son (Raphael Personnaz) of a tavern owner (Daniel Auteuil) finds himself torn between the love of a woman (Victoire Belezy) and the lure of a life on the ocean. With Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Marie-Anne Chazel and Nicolas Vaude. (In French with subtitles)

Me and You (Unrated) Oscar-winner Bernardo Bertolucci (for The Last Emperor) directed this beguiling bildungsroman about the forbidden friendship secretly forged between a 14 year-old introvert (Jacopo Olmo Antinori) and the troubled, 25 year-old half-sister (Tea Falco) he shares the basement with when she comes to town in need of a place to stay. With Sonia Bergamasco, Veronica Lazar and Pippo Delbono. (In Italian with subtitles)

Premature (R for profanity, drug use, crude humor and pervasive sexuality) Coming-of-age comedy, reminiscent of Groundhog’s Day, revolving around a high school senior (John Karna) forced to relive over and over again the day he loses his virginity to the girl of his dreams (Carlson Young). With Alan Tudyk, Katie Findlay and Zoe Myers.
School Dance (R for crude humor, graphic sexuality, underage drug use and pervasive profanity) Nick Cannon makes his directorial debut with this musical dramedy about a teenager’s (Bobb’e J. Thompson) attempt to impress the cute classmate (Kristinia DeBarge) who doesn’t even know he exists by winning a spot on their high school’s dance team. Ensemble cast includes Kevin Hart, George Lopez, Katt Williams, Amber Rose, Patrick Warburton and Luenell.  

Wrinkles (Unrated) Animated adventure revolving around the eccentric antics of the rebellious residents of a retirement home. Voice cast includes Martin Sheen, Matthew Modine and George Coe.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Man from Essence (BOOK REVIEW)

The Man from Essence
by Edward Lewis with Audrey Edwards
Foreword by Camille O. Cosby
Atria Books
Hardcover, $25.00
374 pages, Illustrated
ISBN: 978-1-4767-0348-0

Book Review by Kam Williams

“I know what they say about me—that I am too quiet and low-key, unassuming, even clueless. Not the one you’d expect to be the last man standing after the smoke has cleared and the body count taken. Yet here I am, in the position to tell a remarkable story as the only cofounder remaining on the masthead of a multimillion-dollar magazine I helped launch more than forty years ago with three other black businessmen…
The story starts in struggle with… trying to turn a business idea into a profitable magazine amid turmoil from within and racism from without… The story ends… when that magazine was sold 35 years later to the largest publishing company in the world for the highest cost-per-page… in history.” 
-- Excerpted from the Introduction (pages xv-xxii)

White from head to toe (including his trademark trench coat and even his hair), The Man from Glad was the iconic plastic wrap pitchman first introduced to TV viewers in 1965. Four years later, undeniably black Edward Lewis, The Man from Essence, was a member of the quartet of African-American visionaries launching a bold, new periodical billed as “The magazine for today's black woman."
Despite the irony of four brothers being behind a publication aimed at sisters, the periodical proved phenomenally popular, soon blossoming into the premiere beauty and fashion magazine for its target demographic. And over the intervening decades the Essence brand has been extended to include an annual Fourth of July weekend cultural festival featuring everything from musical concerts to empowerment seminars.
However, the magazine has also experienced considerable behind-the-scenes turmoil, and much of that drama is the subject of The Man from Essence, a revealing memoir written by Mr. Lewis with the assistance of his former executive editor, Audrey Edwards. Inter alia, we learn that the four founders had no experience in the field of publishing, yet ultimately managed to flourish in part because they had identified a need just begging to be addressed.
But that path would be no cakewalk, since it took big bucks to underwrite their daring adventure, and banks were initially rather reluctant to invest in such a fledgling operation. Nevertheless, Lewis describes himself as being “nearly in tears as I stood onstage looking out at the audience in New Orleans’ colossal Superdome” during the maiden Essence Musical Festival in 1995.
He also talks, here, about the historic sale of 49% of the company’s stock to Time, Inc. in 2000, as well as the balance of the shares in 2005. In that passage he further recounts how the magazine’s legendary editor-in-chief, Susan L. Taylor, and other suddenly-disgruntled staff members began issuing demands in a n avaricious attempt to share in the windfall profits deservedly earned by the magazine’s creators.
Lewis felt hurt after being labeled a “sellout” for handing the reigns of Essence to a media giant which might strip the cherished black institution of its “soul.” Still, the author got the last laugh, all the way to the bank, since the magazine has thus far remained fairly faithful to its founding principles.
A fascinating case study about how a solid work ethic enabled a poor kid from the NYC slums to prevail in his dogged pursuit of the American Dream.

To order a copy of The Man from Essence, visit:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Michael Ealy (INTERVIEW)

Michael Ealy
The “Think Like a Man Too” Interview
with Kam Williams

Mike on the Mic

For the last few years, Michael Ealy has been red-hot, jumping from TV to film and back to TV, seamlessly. He recently starred in the sci-fi television series, Almost Human, for which he earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Drama Series.
Earlier this year, he starred in the remake of About Last Night, and prior to that on the TV series Common Law. He also completed impactful, multi-episode arcs on CBS’ hit series “The Good Wife,” and on the Showtime series, “Californication,” while concurrently shooting the feature adaptation of the renowned theatre production, For Colored Girl’s Only, Who Consider Committing Suicide When The Rainbow Is Not Enough for Tyler Perry Studios and Lions Gate Films. 
Prior to that, he was handpicked by Will Smith to co-star in Seven Pounds, and by Spike Lee to join the ensemble of The Miracle at St. Anna. Michael’s riveting performance was lauded in this true story of four Buffalo Soldiers who risked their lives to save a young Italian boy while behind enemy lines.
A student of history and supporter of education, Michael participated in the History Channel’s documentary series The People Speak, based on Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book where one of the historical figures he portrays is “Malcolm X.” He earned a Golden Globe nomination for his lead performance on the Showtime mini-series “Sleeper Cell” where he portrayed Darwyn, a Muslim FBI agent sent undercover to infiltrate a terrorist cell in Los Angeles.
He was tapped by Oprah to star opposite Halle Berry in the Harpo Films telepic “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The TV special received rave reviews and was viewed by over 26 million people. Michael earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for his portrayal of Teacake”.
The Silver Spring, Maryland native appeared in several stage productions after graduating from college, including the Off-Broadway hits Joe Fearless and Whoa Jack. It would not be long thereafter before Michael nabbed guest-starring television roles on “Law & Order” and “Soul Food.” And he was subsequently  cast in the films Kissing Jessica Stein and Bad Company. 
While visiting his friends in Los Angeles, Michael heard about auditions for Barbershop.  After placing a call to his manager and a few rounds of auditions, he landed the role of Ricky Nash,” a two-strike offender. In terms of the tabloids, the blue-eyed hunks was named one of People magazines’ “On the Verge” actors in the magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” 2002 and 2013 issues. Furthermore, he was named one of E! Entertainment Television’s “Sizzlin’ 16” of 2004 and appeared on the cover of Essence magazine's "Hollywood Screen Gems" for their April 2004 issue. 
Michael resides in Los Angeles with his wife Khatira Rafiqzada and their baby, Elijah.

Kam Williams: Hi Michael, thanks for the time, bro.
Michael Ealy: What’s up, Kam?

KW: Tim [Director Tim Story] managed to reassemble the whole cast for the sequel. How’d he make that happen?
ME: It’s a miracle that everybody’s schedule opened up. I think part of the genius of it was that they made the decision early, and said, “Next summer, we’re going to try to knock this out.” So, everyone kinda made sure that they were available. We also had such a good time making the first one that everybody jumped at the chance to come back and do a sequel with the same cast and same director. That’s an opportunity you just don’t get very often.

KW: And did you enjoy yourself as much the second go-round?
ME: I definitely did, although being in Vegas for two or three months obviously presented a whole new set of challenges, since it’s a place that most people visit for only two or three days. You had the heat and the extreme air conditioning. And also constant, constant stimulation, whether it’s people getting drunk out of their minds, couples getting married, people going to strip clubs, prostitutes or whatever. It’s Sin City! It’s hard sometimes to stay focused on your job when there’s so much going on around you, as well as people following you around. There were plenty of distractions. So, I wouldn’t say it was as easy as shooting in L.A. Location is a factor. If you have to go somewhere to work, it helps to be focused.

KW: As usual, I have a lot of questions for you from fans. Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: This isn’t your first sequel. You also did Barbershop 1 and 2. What is it about them that calls you back, and will you be doing Barbershop 3.
ME: [Chuckles] I think what happened on Barbershop also kinda happened on Think Like a Man, and the irony is that both pictures were made with the same director, Tim Story. It just doesn’t happen often that the movie you shot for $12 million ends up making $90 million. That’s very rare. So, when you catch lightning in a bottle like that, you jump at an opportunity to come back and do a sequel. You’re lucky if one out ten movies you make gets a sequel.   

KW: So, will you be doing Barbershop 3?
ME: I don’t even know whether that’s in the works.

KW: I spoke to Ice Cube a few weeks ago, and it looks like a go. It already has a page up at, although no director has been named.
ME: Really? Well, they haven’t come to me yet. So, I don’t know anything about it.  

KW: What about Think Like a Man 3?
ME: I don’t see why not, if we can bring back the exact same producer, cast and director.

KW: Marcia Evans says: I'm a fan of yours, big time. I think the chemistry you have with Taraji [co-star Taraji P. Henson] in Think Like A Man is awesome. I appreciate the message your characters’ relationship sends to the audience that falling in love can be sexy and respectful.
ME: Thank you.

KW: She goes on to say: I'm a history buff and I love the TV series “Finding Your Roots” with Dr. Henry Louis Gates where he explores the lineage and genetics of some prominent people.  When I see you onscreen with those blue eyes, I wonder if you have personally researched your genealogy?
ME: I’ve definitely watched those PBS specials with Dr. Gates. I won’t lie, I’ve been curious, but I haven’t yet initiated a search of my family tree.

KW: Marcia would also like to know whether you have any plans to make any biopics about historical figures from the Maryland or Washington, D.C. area, like Benjamin Banneker, since you’re from Baltimore?
ME: That’s an interesting question because it was a dream of mine for the longest time to bring a film that I was starring in back to the DMV [D.C./Maryland/Virginia] for a screening or a premiere. And I’ve been blessed to be able to do that twice, for Think Like a Man and, recently, for Think Like a Man Too. And now, the next dream of mine, career-wise, is to shoot a movie that takes place there, to showcase the area for what it is. So, Marcia’s question is actually inspiring me to dig a little deeper and to consider playing someone from the area. So, yeah, I will give that some serious thought. If there’s someone I could portray, I would do it in a heartbeat.

KW: Marcia’s final comment is that she enjoyed both Unconditional and Miracle at St. Anna’s, and that she was having dinner recently with friends when they talked about how Spike [director Spike Lee] and the cast didn’t receive enough love for the film. 
ME: Yeah, we went to Italy and worked like crazy for three months to make that movie amazing. But sometimes, a picture gets lost in the system. I don’t know what happened, but the marketing campaign wasn’t there. You really can’t afford to worry about it, because it’ll depress you and take you to a darker place. However, we made a good movie, and you can still get it on demand. So, I really appreciate that comment. I don’t know what happened, but it didn’t work to our advantage.  
KW: That September release date didn’t help. Everybody’s focused on getting back to work and school after summer vacation.
ME: A lot of factors contribute to how a film fares, and sometimes that includes the release date.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier says: I loved your performance as Dominic in the original Think Like a Man because it was realistic and reminded me of my ex who pretended to be a yuppie in the same way that Dominic lied to his girlfriend about what he did for a living to impress her. Is Dominic more authentic and confident about presenting his real self to the world and to his girlfriend in the sequel?
ME: Good question, Patricia. Yes, Dominic is absolutely much more confident. He now has two more food trucks, and his career as a chef is on the rise. I think anybody who’s doing well in the pursuit of their dreams is going to be a little more confident than what they were when they first started. What I like is that Dominic doesn’t cave to peer pressure from some of his closest friends who question his drive because he’s so in love with Lauren. He handles himself very well, and he’s very open with everybody, including Lauren, about his feelings. I respect that about the character.
KW: Patricia, whose native language is French, was also wondering whether you speak French.
ME: I do not speak French. I know enough Italian to function in a Spanish-speaking country. French is a language that I probably should know, and I’d like to learn, but I have to work on that. Sorry.

KW: What kind of kid were you? Did you dream of becoming an actor during your childhood?
ME: No, I had normal aspirations. When I was little, I very badly wanted to be Art Monk, the great receiver for the Washington Redskins. Then, in middle school, I decided I wanted to be an architect. I was looking at the work of Frank Lloyd Wright when I was in the 7th and 8th grade, and trying to decide whether architecture was for me. It wasn’t until I was about 19 that I settled on acting. I was already in college.

KW: Have you ever had a near-death experience?
ME: [Laughs] No, I have never had the type of near-death experience most people talk about but, where I’m from, you have one anytime you’re pulled over by the police. When I was growing up, racial profiling was rampant, and you didn’t always make it outta there. I’ve seen friends get beaten up and slammed against patrol cars.

KW: Yeah, when I was in college, I was profile-stopped over two-dozen times,
And the cops always used the excuse that I resembled a supposed perp to pat me down and search me.    
ME: Back in college, some friends of mine and I were stopped on our way to a party, allegedly because there was a shooting in the neighborhood, based on a description of the suspects being young black males. One of my buddies was in law school, one was in med school, and the others were upperclassmen. All upstanding citizens. We couldn’t have been further from the guys they were searching for. 

KW: Would you mind saying something controversial that would get this interview tweeted?
ME: I don’t think I can help you there. My goal is not to be tweeted about.

KW: How do you get through the tough times?  
ME: To put it simply, faith and family. That’s gotten me through a lot of the rough years early on, and they continue to serve as a rock in my life now

KW: Thanks again, Michael, I appreciate having another opportunity to interview you. Best of luck with the film.
ME: Okay Kam, I appreciate it, too. Always good to talk to you.

To see a trailer for Think Like a Man Too, visit: