By// Starrene Rhett Rocque
We caught up with funnyman and musician Craig Robinson to chat about his latest movie, Peeples. He shares with us that the entire cast can sing, and gushes over Kerry Washington.
What attracted you to Peeples?
I met with Tina Gordon Chism and she painted a picture of what this was, and she was so passionate about it because she actually lived through being Wade Walker. She was with a guy and then on the outside his family seemed so perfect and then they had all these secrets so she’s a first time director and she showed that she knew what she was doing, and I wanted to be apart of that. And she said I get to kiss Kerry Washington, so that kinda helped out.
[Laughs] Did you get distracted by Kerry?
Craig Robinson probably would have but Wade Walker was kissing his girlfriend, Grace Peeples, and they had it down pretty much.
What do you look for in the projects that you attach yourself to?
My biggest thing is, how can I service it, how can I bring me to it and still be that character. I like to laugh out loud at something. If something makes me laugh out loud and also if I can just see that world and immerse myself. It’s all about that imagination and being five-years-old and going to plan.
Your character in Peeples was a musician, which is true to real life for you. So, did you get to improve, especially with the urine song?
[Laughs] I think the one part when I was sitting at t the piano and playing for the family was improv. That kind of stuff there was improv and there was improv all over the movie. Tina was encouraging of that. so, yeah, we definitely had that. And Wade wasn’t a musician until I got attached. He was a child therapist, but then I got attached and it was like, “Oh, he can help them do music.”
You probably get this question a lot but what was one of the most embarrassing tings you’ve done in front of someone’s parents?
My memory is shaky on this but I remember going over a girl’s place one time and meeting her father for the first time. I was in college or maybe high school, and I was so nervous that he had asked me a question but I blurted something out like super ridiculous—like a non-appropriate answer, and everybody kinda laughed and that kind of made it better. I wish I had more specifics for you but that’s what I recall.
Give us three cool points about the movie?
One, Diahann Carroll and Melvin Van Peebles are in it, so that’s really cool. The song writing in there is really cool. Stephen Bray put those songs together and composed them and then David Alan Grier, bam! He’s the funniest dude on the planet and then of course there are other things but we said three.
Kerry Washington could be four.
Kerry Washington is the ultimate woman. She’s brilliant, beautiful and she can sing in different languages. She’s a joy to be around.
Please share some funny or interesting stories from set.
I don’t have stories so much, but we would sing harmony on set. Singing with people is one thing but to harmonize—we were a choir walking around. It was amazing. I come from church choirs and school so I was just in heaven and then you got David Alan Grier. He would do this character while we sing. He would sing this note and make these faces every single time we would sing and we would crack up. Hopefully you’ll get to see us do that at some point on the DVD.
Because of the Kerry Washington, affiliation I have to take it to Scandal. If you get to watch TV at all, is Scandal one of those shows?
I don’t get to watch it but I’m familiar with it and my goal is, when I do get some time, to buy them all on iTunes and sit back and go episode after episode. I feel so left out. I watch on Facebook, people and I know when Scandal’s on. People are discussing it on Twitter like they in a room talking. It’s amazing. It’s such an amazing gladiator community so we’re looking forward to those people coming out and supporting this movie.
What do you want fans to take away from the Peeples?
I want them to get some laughs in. I want them to really just enjoy, forget about life for a while and the take away message would be, be your self. Just look at Wade, he’s a counselor with a k and proud of it so, just own who you are.
*Peeples is in theaters on Friday, May 10.