Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Just Don't Call Him "The Black Guy From 'The 40-Year Old Virgin'"...

Features
by Tambay A. Obenson
April 13, 2012 2:36 PM
14 Comments
  • |

His name is Romany Malco - the American-born Trinidadian, once a member of hip-hop group, College Boyz, whose big break came when he starred as MC Hammer in a VH1 telepic about the entertainer, in 2001.

But the role that really introduced him to the rest of the world, and that many will likely remember him for thus far, was as the trash-talking womanizer, Jay, in Judd Apatow's 2005 box office hit, The 40 Year Old Virgin (although Think Like A Man opens in a week).

He also had roles in Blades Of Glory, Baby Mama, The Love Guru, and a recurring role in Weeds, the Showtime cable TV series.

But before all of the above, in early 2001, he co-starred in a low-budget, indie comedy flick, alongside Paul Rudd, called The Chateau, about 2 American brothers Graham and Allen Granville (Rudd & Malco, who's character is adopted), who learn that they have inherited a chateau in France (which comes with its own staff), courtesy of their great uncle who recently died.

They travel to France to claim their inheritance, but, of course, very little goes as planned, as they are ill-equipped to communicate with the chateau's staff - a property that's burdened with debt, forcing the brothers to find a buyer for it, leaving a bewildered staff resorting to desperate measures to prevent them from selling the place.

Naturally, hilarity and hijinks ensue.

It's actually a decent indie comedy; My understanding is that there really was no script, meaning much of it was improvised, and it was shot relatively cheaply and quickly, with a handheld digital camcorder, evident in the films really "noisy" images, making it seem almost documentary-like.

For his part, Romany's Allen Granville is the bad cop to Paul Rudd's good cop. He's kind of an arrogant, self-centered prick actually; But it's a role that isn't all that different from past roles he's played - see Jay, the trash-talking womanizer in The 40 year Old Virgin for instance.

The film is wisely short, clocking at at about 90 minutes (with credits), and, overall, nothing ground-breaking, but I really appreciated the no-budget/lo-budget aesthetics, since that's the milieu within which I usually play. And it's funny enough, thankfully, and kind of irreverent; it's a comedy after all :)

It's like something they made on the fly, just for kicks, between *bigger* projects, and had a lot of fun doing.

The film grossed over $200,000 at the box office that year. Not bad considering the kind of film that it is.

Romany continues to work however, in mostly  supporting roles in comedies... but he stays busy enough! Check his IMDB resume.

Any fans of Malco out there? He's one of those guys who'll likely always be around for while, popping in and out in movies and TV shows here and there, even though his name may not be on everyone's lips.

Here's a trailer for The Chateau, which is available on DVD, though I couldn't find it streaming anywhere: 


Trailer provided by Video Detective

Features
  • |
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

14 Comments

  • James | April 20, 2012 1:24 PMReply

    Met Romany at our family church, Agape International Spiritual Center. Very friendly. He was on The Good Wife that week, but still humble.

  • Geneva Girl | April 15, 2012 3:08 AMReply

    I really liked him on No Ordinary Family.

  • AccidentalVisitor | April 14, 2012 1:15 AMReply

    Rudd was only known for "Clueless" back in 2001. That hardly made him a name. Did he have a leg up? Yes. But he wasn't a name.

  • Well | April 14, 2012 1:42 AM

    Uh, no. Clueless, Romeo & Juliet, The Object of My Affection starring opposite Jennifer Aniston in Friends' prime, the lead in the Great Gatsby TV movie, just to name a few. Like I said, poor comparison.

  • deep.honey | April 13, 2012 11:49 PMReply

    I've been a fan since "Weeds." The brother is probably better off since his departure for the show, considering that thereafter, the storylines took really dark turns.

  • deep.honey | April 13, 2012 11:50 PM

    *from* the show...

  • AccidentalVisitor | April 13, 2012 10:19 PMReply

    I have to add it is telling regarding the lack of work for black actors that Rudd goes on to be the king of a certain, relatively new genre of comedy while Malco has gotten stuck with mostly supporting work in so-so films.

  • Well | April 14, 2012 12:29 AM

    Paul Rudd was already a name before that movie was made, so not really a fair fight. Better to compare the trajectories of Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra who both debuted in Bend It Like Beckham. Or Donald Faison and Breckin Meyer both of whose careers launched with Clueless.

  • AccidentalVisitor | April 13, 2012 10:14 PMReply

    He wasn't a recurring character on "Weeds", he was one of the main stars during the two or three seasons he was on the show. He was part of a family of drug dealers who helped navigate the lead character through her first tentative steps in a life of crime. He and his family were a big part of the show. They were hilarious and for the most part about as complex as the white characters. They were very popular amongst the viewers. But at the end of season two or season three the creator/head writer of the show decided to get rid of them, including Malco. I won't go into all the reasons why. But let me say that for years fans kept demanding that those characters return, particularly Malco. The head writer though would not budge. Eventually last season she did bring back one of them, the aunt, for a few episodes. However she appears to have no interest in bringing back Malco. In fact she has has openly brushed off the vocal opinions of the fans regarding him and his character on more than one occcassion. I guess it is obvious to say that if I saw him on the street I wouldn't greet him as the black guy from "The 40-Year Old Virgin". I would say to him instead "hey, I loved you as Conrad on 'Weeds'".

  • ShebaBaby | April 13, 2012 9:15 PMReply

    I actually own this movie and think it's hilarious. Thanks to the awkwardness of Romany, Paul, and the staff at the Chateau. Romany has been one of my favorites since the MC Hammer story. He killed that role!

  • Tamara | April 13, 2012 5:12 PMReply

    The Chateau is where I first "met" Romany...and have loved him ever since. The movie was okay. He and Paul Rudd had chemistry...like good buddy/brother/bromance chemistry. I liked that and the premise, as well.

  • Akimbo | April 13, 2012 4:08 PMReply

    I'm definitely a fan. Last thing I saw him in was the short-lived "No Ordinary Family." I tried, really tried to stick with it for him and for Guillermo Diaz (now on "Scandal" and also formerly of "Weeds"), but I just couldn't do it. Still can't believe he's in his 40s!

  • mf | April 13, 2012 2:56 PMReply

    the movie looks funny (although tailers can be soooo deceiving). i would check it out if it's available online somewhere. i liked malco's work on weeds. i thought the relationship between him and the lead character was interesting and had heat, at least initially. wish him all the best in his career!

  • mf | April 13, 2012 2:57 PM

    oops...should be 'trailers'...

Follow Shadow and Act

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Samuel L. Jackson Is President of the ...
  • 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' ...
  • Trailer: 'Keep on Keepin’ On' (Captures ...
  • The AFI Directing Workshop for Women, ...
  • 'Project Catalyst' - the First Multicultural ...
  • Watch Fascinating New Trailer for Nadia ...
  • Sundance Appoints Shari Frilot & Kamal ...
  • Spike Lee to Receive Inaugural Pioneer ...
  • Trailer: 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper' ...
  • With the Primetime Emmys on the Horizon, ...