Both Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington are two actors whose careers are on a meteoric course. Robinson, who will appear in five films this year, can boasts a successful stint on The Office, which will have it’s final airing next week. Washington recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django’ and, of course, is heating up the television airwaves each Thursday night as the lead actress on the ABC hit drama, ‘Scandal.’
Now the two have joined forces in the comedy, ‘Peeples,’ currently in theaters.
Although it’s produced by Tyler Perry under his 34th Street banner, that’s where his involvement ends. In his latest production Perry doesn’t wear the hat of director, writer or star.
‘Peeples’, written and directed by Tina Gordon Chism, is a comedy about the pros and cons of meeting ones prospective in-laws. The film also stars David Alan Grier, Melvin Van Peebles, Diahann Carroll, Tyler James Williams, Malcolm Barrett, Kali Hawk, Ana Gasteyer and Kimrie Lewis-Davis.
Washington plays Grace Peeples and Robinson plays her fiance’ Wade Walker, who shows up uninvited to Grace’s parent’s home. Peeples, however, failed to tell her family that she was engaged and living with Walker. Comedy, of course, ensues.
I caught up with Washington and Robinson recently to discuss the movie and their individual careers.
(L-R) KERRY WASHINGTON AND CRAIG ROBINSON
Q: What was your attraction to ‘Peeples’?
KW: Well, part of it is you’re looking at him. (referring to Robinson)
CR: That’s also my answer. Also, here was this writer turned first time director who had written great movies, with a great spirit, telling me about the cast. Then, she said something about spanking Kerry Washington, and I said, ‘yes.’ It really felt like we’d be part of something special, something different and uplifting so it was ‘absolutely yes’ for me.
KW: All of what Craig just said as well as, for me, doing a comedy. I love to be able to change it up in what I do and I’m really drawn to comedy. I don’t have a lot of opportunities to do it. I love the character . I love that she’s a successful, powerful, smart woman and I loved the idea of being able to do comedy with people like Craig and David Alan Grier.
(L-R) KERRY WASHINGTON, CRAIG ROBINSON
& DAVID ALAN GRIER
& DAVID ALAN GRIER
Q: We get to hear you sing in this movie, was that written into the script?
CR: It was not in the original script. My character was just a child therapist, Once I got attached Tina decided to make my character a musician who can teach kids through music or give them therapy through music. It’s happened throughout my career where music is my part in it. I started out playing and singing; doing comedy… it doesn’t surprise me when it comes along in a role.
Q: Speaking of ABC’s Scandal, much has been said about your portrayal and the character’s on camera affair with President of the US. Would you clarify and/or elaborate?
KW: I’ve been misquoted and misinterpreted a lot. What I said was, I probably would not have done the show if the President had been written as black; not because I think that it would have been bad to have a black president do the things he’s doing (on Scandal) but I think the show would have been great no matter what color the character was. But for me, personally, because I support the administration I would not have wanted to give an idea that what I was doing on a TV show was mirroring my actual work in the White House.
Q: Have you been surprised by the enormous success of Scandal?
KW: I’m always surprised that anything is a hit. You never know when you’re making a movie or a TV show or anything whether it’s going to resonate. You just try to do a good job and have fun with it and hope that people like it as much as you liked making it.
‘Peeples,” rated PG-13 (for violence, sexuality and drug content) is currently in theaters.