Up, close and personal with ‘The Best Man Holiday’s’ Harold Perrineau

Regina Hall ("Candace") and Harold Perrineau ("Julian")
Regina Hall (“Candace”) and Harold Perrineau (“Julian”)

Harold Perrineaumost recently starred as Julian Murch in The Best Man Holiday. The  DVD of the film hits stores Feb. 11. Perrineau, has had an amazing career which started in 1988 includes over 27 movies, 13 television shows and one voice-over character thus far. Check out our interview below. –joi pearson

How did you feel when you were presented with doing a sequel?
When the sequel was presented to us, Malcolm Lee, the director, really got personal with us asking if we would revisit these characters. He took us out to dinner and got the whole cast together, which was a real joy to see everybody again all in the same place. He outlined what he was seeking to do with the story and it was unanimous, that we all wanted to do it. When we received the final script, we all wanted to start that day. I was really excited to work with the cast again, to work with Malcolm again and to actually play this character again whom I really enjoyed playing.

How do you choose the roles that you are going to play?
Early on in my career their wasn’t much of a choice, what’s coming my way and can I do it but even then I wanted to find people that were very interesting to play. People that are very different from me, people that expand me as an artist and that would expand the audience as well. I really try my best to pick these complex characters that we don’t get to see much.
How did you determine that you wanted to go into acting?
It was always something that I liked though I didn’t know how to be involved with it. I liked to watch television, to watch movies, I really liked being in a dark theater going through this journey. So I worked really hard to figure out how to do it and once I started visiting acting and getting a chance to play certain characters, I was hooked. It made perfect sense for my personality, I’m always curious about people, peoples lives and why they make the choices that they make good or bad. I’ve been fortunate to be able to do it as much as I have been.
Advice to up-and-coming actors?
First, you need to really learn your craft because it is the one thing that no one can take away from you. If you learn your craft it makes you own it and care about it a lot more because it is an honorable craft. Second, check with yourself to make sure that it is something that you want to do because if it isn’t then it really is so hard. The thing that you are going out there to sell isn’t a piece of software, you are selling yourself and if you know you aren’t right it will be too hard to keep doing. You need to know that you really love to do it because if you don’t you should figure something else out that you will want to do because you don’t want to keep getting your butt kicked by something that you kinda like.
What inspires you to show up to work everyday?
I show up to work everyday because it is an exploration into my characters life and because it is so different from my own life, its an adventure when I’m not sitting in a trailer. So given all the factors that life and the movie industry will throw at you I really try to inhabit the character and really make this work. I really love to act, this is really the thing that turns me on.
What role stretched you the most in your career so far?
I played Orlando in Gardens of the Night. The British director was interested in this idea that the kids in this country would get kidnapped all the time and the people were very callous about it so he was didn’t understand how this could be happening. I played a pedophile, and when he offered it to me I was like, “Nah I’m good, I don’t need to be thinking about that” but the idea of these people that are out there because if we can recognize it then maybe we can help. So it was really important for me to figure out exactly how to be this dude, but it so took me out of my comfort zone and I won’t do it again because I was physically ill afterwards but after I thought “I can do anything!”
Any insight on Best Man 3?
No, not just yet I’m just waiting on Malcolm to say, “I got it!” and when he does, I’m in.
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