True To The Game, adapted from a book by the same name by best-selling author and self-publishing pioneer Teri Woods. The follows the love story of a millionaire drug dealer, Quadir (Columbus Short) and Gena (Erica Peeples) a young woman from Philly trying to pursue her dreams. Their journey of love and movement towards positivity eventually comes to an end while navigating through the drug game. We spoke to actor Columbus Short,
We caught up with actor Columbus Short, to talk his role as Quadir and making moves in Hollywood. Check our interview after the jump
EBONY.com: How did you come to the project? Or did you find the project? How did this happen?
Columbus Short: It was brought to me and you know I had already heard of it going in, I was like, this game’s interesting. You know, me and Manny putting our heads together and figuring it out and that was that.
EBONY.com: Nice. Well, what about the script? What intrigued you about the story, what about the story did you identify with?
CS: I feel like it was an awesome character to … it’s something that I haven’t had the opportunity to play and also it kind of anti-hero guy but still a buttoned-up asshole and well to-do, a bubbly, entertaining, smart African American male … a drug dealer that wanted to make his way out of the game. And also the love story aspect of it, I feel like you know, just being an actor, I love playing opposite.
EBONY.com: Were you nervous about starring in such a well-known story? Because the book is so famous. Was that a nerve-wracking thing?
CS: I mean, I wouldn’t say that I was nervous, no. Did I have trepidation about how the theme, based on how Madier is described in the book? I know I didn’t pick that necessarily. But I knew that I could find whatever it was and maybe change that and could pull it off but if it will be received well.
EBONY.com: Were you guys able to talk to Terry at all and get any back stories or what not on the characters?
CS: Oh yeah, Terry’s been monumental. The mental support to just process, not only for me but for Eric and people who are playing Gina and Vivica. It’s been a blessing to have Terry have such an important part of the process.
EBONY.com: That’s amazing. You mentioned these guys earlier, but you have a pretty talented cast from Vivica to Drea and The Late Nelson of course. Talk about working with the cast and collaborating with them.
CS: It was like me working with a bunch of people that are my friends. My peers, my contemporaries. Part of me and Drea doing this movie, and me and Manny putting our heads together … Manny let’s get the cast right, and surround this project with talent. And also for my new actors, young actors, here was an opportunity to look in a book and it was very important. It’s also locked down with solid veterans and now we can open the door for new young actors, new young leading, new faces that we’re going to see in Hollywood for a long time, I hope, after.
EBONY.com: Talk about your character’s arc and what we see him go through in this picture.
CS: You see, he’s trying to bat in the throws of his operation. It’s close to being a lovely, black, drug dealer. I’m being Frank. But then you see him fall in love and see the turning in which you can think about how somebody wants to get out of the gang, how the gang keeps calling them back, and you see him dealing and managing with trying to get out and being in love, he’s falling in love, and all of the tragedy that starts wearing … So it’s a very, very interesting journey. Very interesting journey.
EBONY.com: What do you think people, what’s the biggest lesson they’re gonna take away from watching this film?
CS: That’s a great question. What’s the greatest lesson? I think that love kind of conquers all. Love’s gonna take a stand and tell you to hit the fan. I think the lesson is that love conquers all.
EBONY.com: Alright, I’m not mad at that message. And then what do you think is the biggest reason people should see the film?
CS: I think they should go see it because, I mean to be quite frank, our faces are on there. And I’m saying our faces I don’t mean my face.
EBONY.com: You’ve always been a big supporter of creating your own content, and putting your own product out there. Why is that important and why do you make sure that’s something you’ve done with your career?
CS: For a few reasons. One being Hollywood doesn’t necessarily always write for people like us. So it’s important for us to be on that front line and create. Be a creator not just sitting on the side lines waiting for someone to call you into the game, or call our number. I think it’s important for us to make that content, not just for ourselves but to be able to be a job creator, to be a person that is not a gate keeper but a person at the door. That can be a blessing to somebody else. Because it only takes … these people that are on the grind every day it takes one shot and sometimes people are running around for years trying to get one shot. And I hope that they run into me, that thinking knows that he’s gonna give us that shot. Because I was given that shot. Creating content, creating art, material, being a job creator it’s all very, very important. Very important.