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Craig Robinson breaks out with romantic lead in 'Peeples'

  • Written by Lisa Respers France/CNN

peeples02-600Craig Robinson said it wasn't hard to get him to sign on for the new film "Peeples" once he heard one phrase in particular.

"They said something about spanking Kerry Washington and I was like, 'OK," the actor told CNN.

Robinson, who many will recognize from his role of Darryl Philbin on NBC's "The Office" and Nick in "Hot Tub Time Machine," takes a star turn in the new romantic comedy.

In the film, Robinson portrays Wade Walker, a man who ventures to the Hamptons to ask for the hand of Grace Peeples, played by Washington. Funnyman and former "In Living Color" star David Alan Grier plays Grace's father, a man who isn't at all impressed by his daughter's beau.

Robinson said it was an honor for him to act opposite Grier, who is known to be one of the funniest men in Hollywood.

"He's, in my opinion, the funniest dude on the planet," Robinson said. "He owns whatever room he walks in. He's great."

High praise coming from Robinson, who often has audiences rolling in the aisles during his stand-up routines. A former music teacher, he incorporates that love of tunes into his act and Washington told TrailerAddict.com that the musicality spilled over onto the "Peeples" set.

"They had to lock the piano because we weren't getting any work done," Washington said. "They had to prevent us from going near the piano."

Robinson told CNN that Washington is quite the singer and more than holds her own in the comedy - a departure from her very serious role as Olivia Pope on ABC's hit show "Scandal." Though don't look for him to pop up in a guest role on that show, he said.

"I would love to work with Kerry again, but I doubt it will be 'Scandal,'" he said laughing.

Robinson next stars in a NBC comedy helmed by Greg Daniels, the creator of the American version of "The Office." Robinson will draw on his real-life past experiences in education when he plays a funk band leader who is also a substitute teacher. He also has two movie projects releasing this summer - "This is the End" in which he plays himself and is a part of a group of celebs who face the apocalypse and "Rapture-Palooza," which is set two years after the rapture in which he stars as the anti-Christ.

Are you trying to tell the world something Craig Robinson?

"It's just the way the cards fell," he said of the roles.

But if fans want a bit lighter fare, they can always be on the lookout for the funny outtakes once "Peeples" arrives on DVD following it's theatrical release.

"I think there was a dance contest David [Alan Grier] and I had," Robinson said. "He dropped it like it was hot."

"Peeples" will arrive in theaters on May 10.

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