Universal Pictures’ Kick Ass 2 makes its debut this weekend, and two of our favorite brothers are part of the action. One is helping kick ass (Donald Faison as Dr. Gravity) and the other is trying to stop it and him (Morris Chestnut as Detective Marcus Williams). While running around town in their suit of choice—Faison in a maroon spandex costume with a cape and Chestnut in a suit and tie—the Clueless actor and everyone’s favorite boy in the hood are trying fight crime the best way they know how, and fans will be cracking up at every corner.
Morris Chestnut and Donald Faison talked to EBONY.com about the blessing that come with working on million-dollar film and television sets, how to be a superhero with kids and the characters that transformed their careers. Boom!
EBONY: You each have daughters. If one of them decided that she wanted to be a super hero and kick ass all night, would you let her?
Morris Chestnut: I would not let roam her roam at night. I would not let her roam the day. I would be on her. The world is too crazy. I think we all have fantasies…of putting on a super hero costume…but it’s a dangerous world out there.
Donald Faison: I don’t think I could stop her if that was her choice, first of all. Second, in order to keep her secret identity, she wouldn’t be able to tell me what she was doing. So if my daughter wanted to become a vigilante…I would hope that she is trained and knows how to use the weapons that she has chosen to be whatever vigilante this is. But if she were to tell me, ‘Dad I want to go out on the streets and be a vigilante,’ in my mind I’d be like, ‘Well, we both know that‘s not gonna happen because you haven’t even thought it through. You just told me your whole plan.’
EBONY: As a parent, if you could have any super power, what would it be?
MC: The power to read my daughter’s mind because teenagers [are] protective of their thoughts, and their feelings and their emotions. It’s hard getting things out of them. And if I knew what my daughter or my son they were thinking, I would know how to influence their decisions, influence what they’re thinking, and hopefully for the positive.
DF: Super hearing. Not because I want to spy on my kids, I just want to hear if the door opens up and if they’re trying to run out.
EBONY: As you two continue in your careers, you’ve both found a way to break the mold for stereotypical Black male roles in Hollywood—Donald, starting with Clueless and then Scrubs and Tron: Uprising, and Morris, The Game Plan, Identity Thief, The Call and now this. How does it feel to know you’ve found a way not to be pigeonholed into one role in Hollywood?
MC: First and foremost, it’s God, just by giving me the opportunity. It’s been a situation where the opportunity has met the preparation. I’ve always wanted to do different [roles] and be in more diverse types of movies. This is the just the first time I’ve had the opportunity to really do that on a consistent basis.
DF: That’s a compliment, thank you. That’s always been a goal: not to be considered what Hollywood or what society might think an African [American] male would be. I don’t know what I did [to make that happen]. I take the roles I like, and I have been very lucky to work with people who see me as not just a Black man but as a Black man who could be a doctor or a super hero or the most popular kid in high school.
EBONY: What advice would you give to any young Black men who want to go into acting, but don’t want to be typecast?
DF: Well, when I started off, I was those characters. You just gotta know when you say “No,” to be honest, and be able to accept the consequences for saying “No.” My first three movies, I was the kid who died on the bike in Sugar Hill; I stole cars in New Jersey Drive and in Juice I played a kid who stayed in school, but had a smart mouth and had beef with Omar Epps’ character. But eventually, things changed. You have to be conscious of what you are saying “Yes” to also. Don’t’ take a part just because you want to be in a project. It’s your career at the end of the day, [so] it’s all right if you want to say “No” to certain things.
EBONY: Going forward, what would be your dream role that you haven’t gotten to play yet?
MC: Acting as a super hero. [My name would be] Black Panther. [My costume] would have a little bit of everything.
EBONY: Knowing where your career is now, would you say your role in Boyz N The Hood set you up for where you are today?
MC: That role was just a great opportunity. At that point, I was really just looking to be a part of this industry, and it was just a life changing, life-altering experience. To think about the fact that people still, to this day, remember that movie, remember me from that movie—I’m just in awe of that whole experience. What’s funny [is] people always come up to me about how they were affected by that movie.
EBONY: Donald, You’ve starred in a lot of animation and action films throughout your career. Do you prefer those roles or are those just what have often come along?
DF: I’m a huge fan of animation. I do animation in my spare time. Because of that, if at all possible, I want to be down with animated projects. I’m a huge fan of shows like Robot Chicken and The Clone Wars. If there were any chance of being in that, I would take it. When it comes to action films, that’s what I wanted to be when I got into this whole thing [then] somewhere along the line I became this funny guy. I’ve always wanted to do action adventure. Ever since I played Lando Calorisian with all my friends growing up; ever since I saw Superman; this is what I wanted, and it’s working out right now.
EBONY: Morris, Kick Ass has its serious moments, but overall, the movie is pure comedy. Which genre do you prefer?
MC: I like the serious [stuff]. In my personal life, I’m a lot more humorous than my characters so I like to be something different when I’m on screen. I really don’t take myself seriously in real life.