Actor Romany Malco is widely known for his breakout role in “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” but Malco has been in the entertainment business for quite some time. Allow me to clarify. Romany Malco got his start in the industry as a rapper in a group called R.M.G., later known as College Boyz and even had a deal with Virgin Records at one time. To add another notch on his entertainment pedigree, Malco wrote MC Skat kat’s verse on Paula Abdul’s Grammy Award-winning song “Opposites Attract.” Malco was so immersed in the music scene that he never thought about acting until John Leguizamo pushed the 44-year-old to step in front of the camera.
Ever since meeting Leguizamo in 1997, Romany Malco has been building a buzz for his acting talent. Recently, The Urban Daily got a chance to speak to Romany Malco about his role in the new comedy “Last Vegas” starring Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Kline. Malco plays Lonnie, the hotel’s host who shows the elderly gentlemen how to really party in Vegas.
During our interview, the SAG Award-nominated actor talked about the things he learned from the four Oscar winners, where he likes to hang out when he’s in Vegas, and what he plans to do when he decides to leave acting behind. Allow yourself to get acquainted with Romany Malco.
TUD: If you were going to Las Vegas at 70 to party it up, who would you take with you?
RM: At this stage,the dudes that I would take to Vegas at 70 years old would be Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, and Jerry Ferrara. I feel bad doing that because I can’t leave out Terrence J and Gary Owen.
What was it like working with four Oscar winners in a comedy like this?
It was very gratifying because I take a lot of stances in Hollywood that don’t necessarily make people happy. I really believe that I don’t just negotiate for myself but for the people who come after me. Sometimes, you’re expected to know your place in Hollywood and I really don’t play by those rules. So when you get to work on a project like this with those actors, it’s sincerely gratifying.
What were some of the struggles you had to get through in order to be where you are in your career?
You know, just the willingness to say no. It’s not as simple as just saying no because when you say no, you piss off producers. You turn people off because they want you to be involved in their projects and as a result you can be included or excluded from things. Just the way you negotiate sometimes people expect you to be content with a certain negotiation and by exercising your power–your right to say no–you can really ruffle feathers. Hollywood is a place that’s filled with ego. So those are the kind of things you have to deal with when making decisions in Hollywood.
What did each of the actors teach you while you were on set of “Last Vegas”?
One thing that Kevin Kline taught me is that you never stop acting. Even though the director says, “Cut!” You never stop acting. You’re constantly searching and trying find new things in the scene. I took that lesson directly to the set of “Think Like A Man 2.” Robert De Niro taught me how important it was to always be present in a scene. These guys don’t pull out cellphones on set much. They were really focused on their work. Morgan Freeman is the type of guy who will try anything. When you watch the movie, he shines because of that. He’s uninhibited. Basically, no censoring or editing. He trusts the team around him to make the right decisions in terms of what plays well and what doesn’t. Michael Douglas had a lot of life experiences to draw from. He’s a very open kind of guy and he brought all of that to his work, if that makes any sense.