Darrin Henson Dishes On 'Chocolate City' Set Life And Working With Michael Jackson
Chocolate City star Darrin Henson isn't just delicious eye candy, but a hybrid of talent including actor, choreographer extraordinaire and author. From crafting world-renowned choreography, most notably N'Sync's 2000 "Bye, Bye, Bye" video, to starring in fan favorite flicks such as Stomp the Yard and Soul Food, he has now taken his talents to the stripper pole, for a movie role that is, in one of the sexiest and scrumptious films to hit the big screen.
VIXEN: What was it like on the set of Chocolate City?
Darrin Henson: It was a lot of fun. It was a positive challenge between the men to see who could get into the best shape. It was a healthy challenge to make sure we all looked tight and our bodies were as strong as the next person. Practicing the choreography was fun and we had a great captain of our ship. The director Jean-Claude La Marre wrote a great script and made everybody comfortable. It really is a fantastic film.
You may have had an unfair advantage being an established choreographer, but who would you say had the best moves?
Actually, it wasn't an advantage. I was really intimidated because I had never done male exotic dancing before. I always danced and choreographed with clothes on, so it's a completely different feeling, having to stand in front of a room full of women close to being naked. When I walked out on stage, I was scared for a second. But when I started focusing on the music and the women started screaming, the intimidation turned into power really quickly.
How did you get over being outside of your comfort zone?
When the women began screaming and I focused on the music, that lead me in the direction I wanted to go. It excited me and I forgot how uncomfortable I was.
"I always danced and choreographed with clothes on, so it's a completely different feeling, having to stand in front of a room full of women close to being naked."
Many people know you from your dancing days and your work with N'Sync. Do you still talk to Justin Timberlake or members of the group?
I've been inundated with my acting career; I'm on Single Ladies now. Following Chocolate City, I have Choir Director coming out, then Sons 2 the Grave coming out. So I've been so focused and deep into my studies as an actor, I haven't really been out and about much. But I have a great relationship with a lot of the artists I worked with. It's a great love and respect there. We're all tied to each other through our history.
What was it like working with Michael Jackson?
Wow, working with Michael Jackson was probably one of the most historical times in my career as you can imagine. It has left me speechless most of the time and it's something I use in terms of energetic memory that still drives me today.
You've been in over a dozen films. Do you have a favorite character?
My next character is my favorite character to play. I don't choose between ones that I've already done. I always say my next character is my favorite.
Do you have any hidden talents?
If I told you, they wouldn't be hidden nut I juggle and I can ride a unicycle.
"Working with Michael Jackson was probably one of the most historical times in my career as you can imagine."
What do you contribute your success to?
Focus, ridiculous focus. I have a book out now titled Ain't That the Truth and the tag line is, "Acknowledge, admit and invite truth into your life." One of the things I talk about is having a really strong focus, following one course until successful. Having a strong passion and focus coupled with action and patience equals success to me. That's the road I'm on, that's how I vibrate and what I have fun doing.