Michael Ealy is set to co-star in the new detective series, “Common Law,” which debuts on the USA Network on May 11. Here, he talks about playing Dominic in his latest picture, “Think Like a Man,”
Michael Ealy is set to co-star in the new detective series, “Common Law,” which debuts on the USA Network on May 11. Here, he talks about playing Dominic in his latest picture, “Think Like a Man,” Steve Harvey’s battle-of-the-sexes comedy, which made its way to No. 1 at the box office.
Kam Williams: Hi Michael, thanks for the time.
| Michael Ealy (Courtesy photo)
K.W.: Great, thanks. What interested you in “Think Like a Man?”
M.E.: Honestly, it was the first romantic comedy that I liked. I’d kind of avoided them for a while because I never felt that any of them were really smart enough. But when I read this script, I genuinely fell in love with the characters, especially my own. So, I just wanted to be a part of it.
K.W.: Harriet Pakula Teweles asks: “How flattering or unflattering to the image of the black male are the ‘types’ that the actors are asked to portray in this film?”
M.E.: That’s another great thing about this picture. Yes, the cast is predominantly African-American, but color is never really an issue in the film. It’s rarely brought up since, at the end of the day, these guys are going through universal relationship issues that anybody can relate to. So, while the characters like “The Non-committer,” “The Player,” and “The Dreamer” might be recognizable as common stereotypes, color isn’t involved.
K.W.: How did your parents feel about your becoming a struggling actor after help putting you through college? Did they ever pressure you to abandon acting for a more practical profession?
M.E.: No. My parents, God bless ’em, were very supportive of me and my decision to pursue acting. Their dream for me and my sister was that we graduate from college. And as soon as I fulfilled that, they were extremely supportive of what I wanted to do next. I will always be grateful to them for that, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help and encouragement.
K.W.: How hard was it working with an ensemble cast with so many big stars? Was it hard to get a little elbow room to do your thing?
M.E.: No, it felt a lot like my first movie, “Barbershop,” which was also an ensemble film, and which was also directed by Tim Story. So, it was sort of like a ten-year reunion.
K.W.: Tell me a little about your new TV series, “Common Law.” Since it’s a cop series revolving around black and white partners, it sounds a little like “Psych,” which is also on the USA Network?
M.E.: (Chuckles) It’s nothing like “Psych.” It’s an action comedy about two detectives who are really good at what they do. But they have different approaches to the work and to life in general, and that creates conflict and bickering and fights, sometimes. What happens is that their captain decides to send them to couples’ counseling in order to keep them together, because they always get their man. They basically just need a little help in getting along. What makes it funny is that the characters end up having a lot of the same issues as the married couples they’re in therapy with….
K.W.: The Judyth Piazza question: “What key quality do you believe all successful people share?”
M.E.: (Reflects for a long time before responding) I’d say two qualities: perseverance, because you cannot be successful without confronting rejection and, second, studying. You have to know your craft. I find that most people who are very, very successful know their craft and have done the research….