Laz Alonso Chats ‘Jumping The Broom,’ Loretta Devine, His ‘Fiery Scorpio’ Mother
You’ve seen Laz Alonso in supporting roles in movies like Avatar, This Christmas and Miracle at St. Anna but he will finally take center stage in the upcoming movie, Jumping the Broom, due in theaters May 6th but sooner than that, as the star of the new A&E series Breakout Kings, which begins March 6th. Vibe caught up with the hunky actor to talk about his new projects. ⎯Storm
You’re finally playing the good guy for a change [laughs]. In preparing for Jumping the Broom, have you ever had any close calls with wedding bells or dated an affluent girl from a bourgeois family?
I’m excited for this role and the opportunity to finally play a nice guy [laughs]! [The movie] is funny, it’s kind of all the above growing up in D.C.. You have the very affluent Gold Coast in D.C., the upper 16th Street area but if you go down two blocks to 14th Street, you’re back in the ‘hood and there’s nothing Gold Coast about it! I grew up in the not so Gold Coast part of D.C. and I did date someone in that bourgie world who her family, although they liked me, they still questioned whether or not I was right for their daughter. It was the type of thing where the movie spoke to me on a lot of different levels. I haven’t had any close calls with wedding bells [laughs] but that doesn’t mean I haven’t made that move to. It didn’t work out that way. The film is just a beautiful story abut how two people can fall in love and you may not necessarily just be marrying that person, your families are becoming one as well and there’s all the little things that can come along with that.
This is your 2nd film with Loretta Devine, in the first film, This Christmas, you were on the bad side but this film she plays your mother. Talk about what it was like working with her and how similar was her character to your real life mom whom you mentioned on Twitter is a very strong-minded Scorpio.
I think you are going to see a completely different Loretta Devine in this film than you ever have. Loretta is always the sweet, gentle spoken woman that everyone just wants to hug⎯just this teddy bear. While she is still that in real life, you are not going to get that Loretta Devine in this film [laughs]. Get ready because Loretta is about to show you what a monster-in-law can be if it gets to that. Working with Loretta is always a pleasure because she is such a professional, she’s a method actress and she stays in character the whole time she’s on the movie, every time she saw me, I was her son.
What was that like, having her stay in character?
It was great because there are a lot of similarities between Jason, my character, and myself. I was raised in a single-parent home, my dad died when I was very young just as was this character’s was. He went to Howard University, I went to Howard University. He worked on Wall Street, I worked on Wall Street. So there are so many similarities between my character and myself, so when it came down to playing a character with Loretta, for me it was very easy and Loretta made it very easy because she was a very strong-willed mother who my mom is as well. I think when you see the movie you’re not going to feel like we’re acting, you’re going to feel like you’re just seeing a hidden camera capturing us being real.