Sometimes love can be a hard thing. But when you’re the bum-standing-next-to-a-jewel, like Affion Crockett does with Sharon Leal in Soul Men, then love turns into a myriad of things as you’ll see in this The Urban Daily exclusive interview!
Affion Crockett and Sharon Leal co-star in Malcolm D. Lee’s Soul Men. In theaters today, the duo play an unhappy couple who are blessed – and in Affion’s case cursed – with the opportunity of meeting Floyd and Louis. While the stars all had fun time working and laughing together in unison, this interview with another dynamic duo finds them talking about relating to Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson, what’s the craziest things they’ve done when in a relationship and reminiscence about Isaac Hayes.
The Urban Daily: Can you both talk about your role in the movie and the way your relationship plays out?
Affion Crockett: In the movie, we’re in a relationship and it was a horrible one. I play her man. My name is Lester and he’s a deadbeat boyfriend who mooches off of his girl from the money that her moms left her and I built a studio in the garage. Very Hustle & Flow-ish… I’m trying to be this rapper-slash-drug dealer, but deep down, Cleo runs the show. I’m trying to be the man in the relationship, carry a gun and all that stuff to intimidate, but she’s not really moved by any of it.
Sharon Leal: In the movie, she’s definitely the girl who doesn’t know what she’s worth. It’s kind of a heavy premise for a comedy movie, but when you talk about a girl who’s been abused and has no self-esteem and is not optimistic about the future – then when you meet her she is in a place where she figures she’s just been handed a bad deck of cards. So, when Sam and Bernie show up, she is really rescued by them and that’s where they come into play and that’s her in a nutshell.
TUD: Are you kind of intimidating in real life, too?
SL: I don’t think so…
TUD: Affion… What do you think?
AC: She’s laid back and mysterious. It’s not intimidating, well… to some guys it might be. But it’s more intriguing than intimidating.
TUD: In the movie, Affion, you did a lot of running with Bernie and Sam, being that Bernie is coming from the comedic would that you’re also a part of. What were some things that the two of you were able to relate about with respect to this movie?
AC: It meant so much to me because I started out doing Bernie Mac impressions. He was the guy that inspired me to get on stage. The fact that he is an improv guy, and yet, he can still act! I was able to see his whole approach to the process. Most of the movie is just him and I cussin’ each other out, matching withs and talkin’ junk. So, for me, it was that moment where Iverson crossed up Jordan. Not saying that I crossed Bernie up, but it’s at that moment where the younger generation faces the one that he looked up to and you just have to play ball at that moment.
TUD: What was one way that Sam and Bernie brought you into the fold?
SL: They did instantly. We knew that a certain chemistry had to take place and from day one, they hugged me, took me under their wings and were really gracious with their time. Their advice and they are both so good at what they do. Bernie is a natural, organic performer who can do anything and Sam is a professional. You are always in good company. I was lucky to be able to work with such great guys.
TUD: Do you think that Sam would’ve made for a good comedian?
SL: I think that Sam could pretty much do anything that you throw at him. He is very versatile…
AC: Yeah, he would be in the same vein of D.C. Curry or a Robin Harris. Bernie – on the other hand – was that strong forceful guy that knew how to tell stories and make them funny. If you can imagine Sam Jackson on stage, it would probably be something similar.
TUD: The relationship that you and Sharon have in the movie finds you separating and chasing after her by going through all this crazy stuff. So, what’s the craziest thing that the two of you have ever done in a relationship that you may… or may not have… regretted?
AC: Aww, man… When I first moved out to Los Angeles, I was dating this girl and she had a set time that she would get off of work and call me. One night, she didn’t do it and I drove down to Hollywood. She always took the bus hoe from work, so I’m thinkin’ she got kidnapped [laughs]. I am down there at two in the morning, just pacing. Looking back on it now, I’m like, “Man, you should have had your butt at the crib chillin’, she’s out doing her thing or whatever.” I just can’t believe that I was that gone over this girl that I’d been pacing the street for at two, trying to figure out why she ain’t paged me.
SL: When I was younger, I was about a freshman in high school and I was obsessed with this boy who was a senior. I used to go out of my way to look at him. I didn’t want to date him. I didn’t want to talk to him. I just wanted to have that moment. That’s probably the craziest thing when you’re so obsessed with a crush, but too scared to do anything about it. I ended up thinking about him the other day… What ever happened to him?
TUD: Did you get to hang out with Isaac before filming wrapped?
SL: We had the same shuttle to set, but he just had his first stroke, so we were happy that he was well enough to be in the film. We all knew that he was vulnerable in terms of his health and everything that he had been through. I’m always and forever will be a fan. But I tried to cover my enthusiasm about working with all of them.