Larenz Tate Reflects On Iconic ‘Love Jones’ And ‘Menace II Society’ Characters

Movies & TV

/ April 22, 2013

Larenz Tate dishes a few ingredients that went into cooking his most memorable characters.

On Darius in Love Jones

The Scene
“[Darius and Nina] hooked up on the first night and then started dating. But she put the brakes on my man. So there were ad-libs I added to react [naturally]. When Nia is like, ‘You can’t have it tonight,’ my immediate reaction was, ‘Why not? We already did this. I don’t wanna wait. I want mine right now.’ It’s like, ‘C’mon, we had a great night. We should end it off real. Let me smash that.’”

Behind The Scenes
“Often you see actors falling in love on the set. I’ll tell you, it’s easy to fall in love with a Nia Long. She’s smart, sexy… at the time, I don’t know if she was dating someone. I
actually had a girlfriend. Needless to say that ended right after that movie [laughs]. Those are the great moments as an actor when you find someone you enjoy being around. It doesn’t hurt that you’re attracted to them on some level.”

On O-Dog in Menace II Society

The Scene
“All that stuff in the car scene when they’re going to retaliate Caine’s cousin getting killed wasn’t in the script. I just started ranting: ‘They just killed your cousin…’ I was going in because that’s how I would’ve felt if it was my family. Like when the store owner said something about my mother, Larenz would’ve reacted, ‘What you say about my momma?’ I’m still that way. Now I wouldn’t go that far but…[laughs].”

Behind The Scenes
“When they were casting O-Dog they [were envisioning] your typical swole dude with tattoos. When I auditioned I was 16 (17 when I filmed). I walked in there and I [had] a fade with little designs in the back of my head. I did not look life threatening. So by the time we got to film, I had grown my hair out and put braids in because I felt I needed something [edgy]. It became signature.'”