Even before I walked into the room to interview Cedric The Entertainer and Taraji P. Henson together, I could tell it was going to be a wild one.Â You could hear laughter all the way down the hall from where they were, and every interviewer who walked out seemed greatly entertained.
Even as I was settling in and they were retouching both of the actors with a bit of make-up, they were constantly taking shots back and forth at each other, and you could sense just how in tune they were.
Personally, I have ridiculous amounts of affection for Henson, who has been a welcome presence in film since I first noticed her in “Hustle & Flow.”Â There’s a warmth to the work she does onscreen that I find really appealing, and in person, she was just as charming.
Mr. The Entertainer, as my friend James Rocchi would call him, has really carved out a place for himself as an actor, and I think he’s got a far more grounded and natural presence in films than a lot of stand-up comics ever manage.
Together, the two of them make up one particular corner of “Larry Crowne,” the new film written and directed by Tom Hanks, and in our short time together, we talk about what purpose they serve in the movie and how much Cedric The Entertainer wants to play an all-mo-cap role in something, and I think it’s a fun conversation with two hard-working character actors who are enjoying this latest experience they shared.
I’ll have more interviews with the cast of the film this week, as well as my review.
“Larry Crowne” opens July 1, 2011.