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Interview: Morris Chestnut and Donald Faison Talk 'Kick-Ass 2,' Kickstarter Projects, BET Deals

Shadow and Act By Masha Dowell | Shadow and Act August 14, 2013 at 6:41PM

If I were to give Universal’s KICK-ASS a three word review; I’d simply say that it was amazing!
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Morris Chestnut as Detective Marcus Williams and Donald Faison as Dr. Gravity in 'Kick-Ass 2'
Morris Chestnut as Detective Marcus Williams and Donald Faison as Dr. Gravity in 'Kick-Ass 2'

If I were to give Universal’s KICK-ASS a three word review; I’d simply say that it was amazing!

The film was very violent. The dialogue was witty; and relatable for even someone in their thirties (like me). Each scene was written to carry the action packed film along in the most dramatic way. Even the quiet moments were action packed.  I literally desired to get in the film and kick ass!

In KICK-ASS 2, actor Morris Chestnut plays Detective Marcus Williams. The role is the peaceful caregiver to lead actress Chloe Grace Moretz. In the original film, her father dies. Morris’ on screen peacefulness, yet steadiness, does the role good.

The role was not complex; but if he had put a little too much bravado into the role, he would have not been believable. It felt odd initially watching him as the black guardian of this young white girl, however, as I continued to watch the film, it all made sense.

Actor Donald Faison takes on the energetic role of Doctor Gravity.  This is major, since he is officially a member of the Kick-Ass crew.  It was very entertaining to watch Donald in his action scenes. He gives the energy of a hundred teens in his role.

Last Wednesday, I was able to catch up with both actors in Beverly Hills to briefly discuss the film, and their careers.

Shadow and Act: Jim Carey has gone on record to say that he would not promote this film due to its violence. What are your thoughts on this matter?

Donald Faison: This is a fiction comic book fantasy movie. It’s a movie. I think that at the end of the day, Jim is allowed to have his personal point of view. The name of the movie is Kick-Ass 2, and it has an R rating. If you are not a fan of violence, don’t go see it. Jim is completely in his right to say how he feels.

Morris Chestnut: I respect any man or woman’s opinion. I did not walk in his shoes, and things will affect him differently than they will affect me. I do feel that movies and music do have the power to slightly influence a person’s decision. I believe that if violence is not in a person, then the film is not going to encourage them.  This is a fantasy film. You’d have to be pretty far removed from reality to think this was reality when you watch the film.

SA: How was it working with Jim Carey?

DF: Jim is a cool dude. He’s a perfectionist. He wants to make sure that each of his shots are perfect, and that he gives the performance that is needed. We were able to shoot the shit on set.  I’ve been a huge fan of his since, “In Living Color”.  We were able to talk about the character on the show, and he asked me questions about, “Scrubs”.  I remember sending a text to my wife telling her that I had just spoken to Jim Carey; and the text went to the first AD on this film. I damn near creamed my pants.  Jim is an awesome guy. I learned from him that it’s okay to ask for another take.  

MC: I didn’t get to really work with any of the other actors beside Chloe. I never even saw Jim on set.

SA: Can you tell us a bit about your casting process? Talk to us about your interest in this movie.

DF: My role Doctor Gravity is in the comic book and I auditioned for the role. A buddy of mine did direct the movie, but I did audition for the role for studio purposes and for Mathew Vaughn.

I saw the first Kick-Ass and I loved it. The characters in this film are really trying to make a difference, in a big city. Right now there are a bunch of regular citizens taking matters into their hands. The most well know in reality is Phoenix Jones. When that dude first started out, people thought he was crazy.

SA: Morris, can you tell us about your casting process? The role that you play was originally played by actor Omari Hardwick. Instead of Sergeant Marcus Williams; you play Detective Marcus Williams. Was it challenging to create a role that audiences have already seen?

MC: I have a daughter Chloe’s age, and I believe that being a father helped me get the role. Because I could really relate to what my character was going through. And what Chloe’s character was going through to a certain degree.

I knew Omari was in the first one, but I did not know they were looking for someone to play the part that he played or even replace him. I do not know what happened to his original role. When I read for the role, they asked me to read for Chloe’s guardian.  

SA: Donald, can you talk a bit on your role in Zack Braff’s latest Kickstarter project. How do you feel about the criticism out there about celebrities raising money via the site?

DF: I have not started working it yet. I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun. It’s always fun working with your best friend.

Kickstarter was put out there for people to make money and Zack did it. That’s it really. I don’t have a problem with it. It’s made to raise money.

SA: Morris, were you surprised that, “The Best Man”, had a sequel?

MC: We were surprised that we were able to have a sequel. It’s been fourteen years since the original. The role demanded a lot from me emotionally. Malcolm Lee invited us all to dinner and told us about the storyline, and he asked us all if we wanted to do it again. We said yes, and then we all had to go to the studio and sale it. We had to do a read through in front of the execs at Universal. And then they went for it. We hope that the audience will be glad that we made a sequel.

SA: Congrats on your BET Development deal. Can you tell us about the deal?

MC: It’s a deal that I have with BET to develop and star in a show. I’ve pitched and sold projects before, but none of them made it to pilot. And I pitched BET several ideas, one they brought, and a couple of the others they are interested in. They were open enough to sign me to a development deal.

KICK-ASS 2 opens in theaters this Friday.

This article is related to: Morris Chestnut, Donald Faison, Kick-Ass 2


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