HHW’s own Cynthia Horner sits down with Hollywood’s new leading man to discuss how he’s dividing his time between the big screen and the small screen.
Laz Alonso took a short break from the big screen to take on a role on the new A&E drama “Breakout Kings,” which is about an unconventional partnership of U.S. marshals and a group of convicts who join forces to catch fugitives on the run. But in his next screen role, Laz will star opposite Paula Patton in the romantic comedy Jumping the Broom, which is being released in May. The upscale wedding tale is a story of the clash of two families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, meeting for the first time during a weekend wedding in Martha’s Vineyard.
By CYNTHIA HORNER
HHW: You’ve got a new series. Congratulations!
LAZ: A&E has tried their best to make it a success. We’ve put a lot of work into it. I love the writers; they’re very good with what they do. They had a successful series with “Prison Break,” and the script was something I thought I could sink my teeth into. My character is vulnerable, and at any point in time something could happen to him because he has an ailment. It gives me a lotta room to play with.
You’ve been doing so much film; what made you decide to take on this TV project?
I was curious to work on something that allowed me the room to try something different, to build a character and really grow with it. This is a character that really affected the storyline and drove the character forward.
You have Jumping The Broom coming out soon. What was it like doing a romantic comedy as opposed to so many action pictures?
It tells the story of two people, but just because they’re in love doesn’t mean their families are gonna be in love. The movie takes place in one weekend, and you think everyone’s gonna be in matrimonial bliss, but to the contrary.
What’s your opinion of Martha’s Vineyard, the setting for the film?
Actually, some of it was shot there and some was shot in Nova Scotia, Canada, but Martha’s Vineyard isn’t my cup of tea, because when I think of beaches, I think of somewhere tropical. But I do know people who loved the Martha’s Vineyard experience.
You’ve done some blockbusters; Did you have any idea that when you took on the role of “Tsu’tey” in Avatar that it would be such a huge film?
I had no idea. And the director James Cameron had no idea. He told us early on, “Don’t expect this to be Titanic. It’s not gonna have as mainstream of an audience like Titanic, where you had teenage girls going to see it six times with their girlfriends.” So we never imagined it would double what Titanic did.
You’re very familiar with Hip Hop Weekly. Can you give a comment about the magazine?
I go way back with Dave Mays (the publisher). I’m proud that there’s a publication highlighting the urban culture. The generation before that was the Rock’n Roll generation, and the one before that was jazz. It’s good that there’s a place where we can go and connect with our generation.
LAZ ALONSO’S FILMOLOGY
2000 Disappearing Acts
2001 Crime Partners 2000,
30 Years to Life
Down to Earth
2002 Morning Breath
All Night Bodega
2003 Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood
2004 Hittin’ It!
2005 All Souls Day
Flip the Script
2006 The Last Stand
2007 Stomp the Yard
2008 Miracle at St. Anna
2009 Fast & Furious
Down For Life
2010 Just Wright
2011 Jumping the Broom
For more of the exclusive interview with Laz Alonso, be sure to pick up the latest issue of Hip-Hop Weekly on newsstands now.