The latest installment of the ATL podcast. We'll talk with District 2 City Councilman Kwanza Hall about the revitalization of Old Fourth Ward, bringing business back to Auburn Ave. and high school football rivalries. Don't miss this candid conversation.
by David T. Baker, Special to the NNPA from The Louisiana Weekly
Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl, now boy has to meet the family. It’s an age-old story and the plot of the latest Tyler Perry-produced film "Peeples." "Peeples" is a romantic comedy about Wade Walker (played by comedian and actor Craig Robinson) and his pursuit of love interest Grace Peeples (played by Kerry Washington). In the film, Wade’s love for Grace is so strong that he crashes her family’s annual Sag Harbor reunion in order to ask her father Virgil Peeples (played by David Allen Grier) for Grace’s hand in marriage. And that’s when all the trouble begins.
The Louisiana Weekly sat down with comedian and actor Craig Robinson to discuss his career in acting, comedy and his role in upcoming film Peeples.
LW: You were a teacher before you became an actor. How did your career as an actor and comedian begin?
CR: In college …I knew I was going to go into comedy for sure. Stand up. Comedy chose me. It overtook my life. I was always joking around. Always. People would come back and tell me my bits that I didn’t even know were called bits back then but they were like ‘Oh I was trying to tell somebody how you were saying this…’
That was special to me. Then at one point I realized people could make a living doing that. I saw two guys perform at a talent show or something and they did comedy and I was like ‘Whoa’ because comedians always seemed like superheroes to me or something. You couldn’t touch them. And here’s somebody I could actually touch that’s doing this. And it was like ‘How do you do that?’ It was one of the first things I got serious about. And from comedy, once I started getting into that it was almost a natural progression to take some acting classes. For me it felt like it would be smart to. If I ever got a chance to, you know, be on a sitcom or do a line or two here, it’d be smart to know what I’m doing. So uh, I started taking acting classes and the rest is history.
LW: You have a well-established career in comedy. Is there room in your career for other types of roles?
CR: Absolutely. I’m open to dramas and action and whatever else. And I’m open to doing some music stuff. There’s definitely room.
LW: What has been your favorite role to play?
CR: I just did a movie. There’s a movie coming out called ‘Rapturepalooza’ where I play the antichrist and that was just so much fun to play just because he could get away with anything. He had security team around him all the time and just said whatever came to his mind; he was inappropriate – he thought it was charming – it was just such a clash of everything.
LW: Where do you pull your inspiration from when you’re playing these characters?
CR: From being on the road all those years and doing comedy; there’s definitely some inspiration in that. I’m a huge fan of Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison and all these people who just make you laugh. Kevin Klein is an inspiration of mine; he’s one of my favorite actors. It comes from different places but mostly just I try to focus on the moment…in case I improve something…and that’s one of the nicer things. Like you improve something, come up with it and it comes back to you via somebody quoting you on Twitter or somebody saying whatever line: ‘Ole pregnant bitches!’ You know…that’s always fun to be like “Ok, I thought of that and here it is.
LW: Your character Darryl Philbin on “The Office,” how closely does that mirror your actual life –t he person that he is, the very reserved yet very wise?
CR: People say I’m reserved. I don’t know how wise they think I am. Some people say I’m cool. I guess that if anything, that would be part of it. But Darryl’s a lot meaner than Craig and he breaks down in interviews, you’ll notice. I don’t think Craig does that. I might’ve done it once. I think I had a breakdown (he says with a chuckle). For an audition — it was all but promised to me then I just blew it because I just wanted it too much. But I don’t think they’re that similar. I don’t have a kid. Darryl has a kid. Darryl is always trying to impress people. Craig doesn’t care all that much. Well Darryl, not impress but he’s always…I don’t know. I don’t think they’re that similar.
LW: As that show [The Office] comes to a close, I believe it’s in its last season now, where are you looking to transition after that? Do you want another TV series role or do you want to only do movies?
CR: I just shot a pilot for NBC. It’s called ‘Mr. Robinson.’ I’m in a bubble of hope, hope that they pick it up. And if they do we’ll know in a couple of weeks. And if they do, that’s where I’ll be on TV for a little while longer, and if they don’t we’ll have to figure it out. I’ve got some movies coming out…[I’ll] go work on Hot Tub Time Machine part 2. And then we’ll really have to do some soul searching.
LW: You have a new movie coming out called Peeples. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
CR: Peeples is a comedy, a family-oriented comedy, produced by Tyler Perry, written and directed by Tina Gordon Chism. She wrote ATL and she wrote Drumline. And this is her first directing gig. It’s about a guy—Wade Walker—I play him. He’s in love with his girl and she’s in love with him—Gloria Peeples played by Kerry Washington. Only thing is, she doesn’t want him to meet the family because she’s just not ready for him to meet her family because basically he’s not good enough – or nobody is good enough to get past her father. So she kind of wants to keep it going with Wade but it’s just not the time yet. The father is played by David Allen Grier. So Wade decides, because Gloria goes on a weekend with her family to Sag Harbor, Wade decides ‘Ya know what, I’m going to go down there and I’m going to surprise her, and I’m going to propose, and the family is going to love me.’ And of course it doesn’t go exactly as planned.
LW: What was it like working alongside David Allen Grier who is well-known for his comedy also?
CR: He’s the funniest dude on the planet. He’s the father of the set. We had a ball, a blast every day. We were all singing on the set, and David was just as brilliant as you know him to be. And once you meet him, you’re going to love him even more.
LW: And what about Kerry Washington [in a comedic role]?
CR: It was a first for many of us. Tina’s first directing, my first leading man, Kerry’s first kind of comedy thing showing her comedy chops and she’s a natural. She did her thing, and she’s just brilliant. She’ll make you laugh anyway so it wasn’t a stretch for her to get you to laugh on the page.
LW: Who has been your greatest inspiration in the acting?
CR: Definitely Richard Pryor. Matter of fact, there’s a part in this movie that I kind of did an ode to Richard Pryor, tip my hat to him from a scene he did in Which Way is Up? that has stayed with me forever. It was kind of when I was playing the guitar and making this silly face. It was straight up Richard Pryor textbook silliness.
LW: Do you have any advice for emerging actors, directors and writers of color?
CR: Absolutely…not! I don’t know about giving advice but I’ll tell you what, man: Everything you learned in kindergarten: play well with others; respect you and respect others; be yourself. You’re the only you that’s out there so make sure you’re the genuine article, and when you’re presenting yourself they find you.
Tyler Perry presents Peeples premiered in theaters May 10. To view the trailer or find more about the movie, visit www.peeplesmovie.com.
Damn, Mathew Knowles can't catch a break, huh?
According to TMZ:
The IRS says he still owes all sorts of taxes on some of that income -- over $1.2 MILLION.
Uncle Sam just filed a ridiculously large lien against Knowles, claiming he needs to cough up some cash from the years 2010 ($485,575.95) and 2011 ($728,004.89) ... all totaled, $1,213,580.84.
Sheesh! That's a lot of paper. Just goes to show how rich Bey really made her dad. Mo' money, mo' problems, we guess.
By Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff
This dude has no chill.
According to the Huffington Post:
Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Joe Balicki says the 23-year-old Young was arrested late Friday in San Clemente for allegedly breaking into a home.
Balicki says Young fought with deputies after a foot chase.
He has been charged with attempted burglary, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. He is in custody Sunday on $75,000 bail.
But just a few days earlier, Young was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Then, on the same day, he was arrested for trying to take his car away from a tow yard.
The Detroit Lions drafted Young in 2011, but released him in February after a drop in productivity and disputes with teammates.
Basically, Young gives no f*cks. But it's time to have a seat, man.
By Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff
SOURCE: Huffington Post
Well now the 17-year-old is being hit with a major child support bill to take care of his seed.
According to TMZ:
Keef -- real name Keith Cozart -- was sued for child support by his middle-school-aged baby mama earlier this year. She claimed Keef fathered her kid -- born in 2011 -- when he was only 15.
According to court docs, the teenage rapper pulls in about $13,000 A MONTH!!! Pretty baller considering his age.
As a result, a judge ordered Keef to pony up $2,600 a month in child support -- based on his lucrative career -- plus $500 in day care expenses and $10,400 in previously unpaid support. A hearing is set for next month to finalize the amount.
Damn, dude is getting paid! But looks like he's going to have to give up the bulk of his money anyway.
By Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff
Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams, who recently signed a six-year, $100 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, wants the $785,000 10-carat engagement ring he gave to former fiancée, Erin Marzouki, back and is taking her to court to make sure he gets it, according to the Bleacher Report.
The Houston-based lawsuit reportedly alleges that Marzouki never loved Williams and was only in the relationship for monetary gain. As per the legal document:
[Marzouki] never intended to marry [Williams] and used the relationship as a means to get to [Williams’] money and acquire gifts, according to the Bleacher Report.
The couple reportedly split up last January, when Marzouki decided to call it quits on the relationship. When the two-time Pro-Bowler reportedly asked for the ring back on several occasions, Marzouki allegedly failed to comply.
Williams and Marzouki got engaged on February 19th last year.
The 28-year-old NFL player, whose contract has been deemed one of the most lucrative in NFL history, not only gave his ex the ring, but reportedly also handed her an American Express card a month earlier to which she charged more than $108,000 then added an additional $230,000 worth of “luxury items” according to the lawsuit.
When Marzouki called off the engagement, she allegedly failed to return the ring, and according to Williams’ legal team, she promised to do so if her relationship with Williams came to an end.
In the meantime, Williams’ lawyers are requesting a restraining order and permanent injunction that bars Marzouki and anyone associated with her from doing anything with the ring like selling or even damaging it in any way.
Reportedly, Williams has a good chance of winning the ring back because he lives in the “no-fault” Lone Star state. In Texas, the person giving the ring is legally allowed to ask for its return “on breach of the marriage engagement” by the donee.
Written by NewsOne
Rapper Lil Kim has reportedly been hit with a $15 million lawsuit by her former business manager amid claims that her diva-like behavior cost him a ton of money in lost endorsement deals, according to TMZ.
Andrew Ro, who reportedly handled the petite plastic surgery princess’ business deals, allegedly signed a licensing agreement with Kim, whose actual name is Kimberly Jones, in August of last year and planned to roll out a multitude of promotions using Kim’s persona from vodka to perfume to clothing to energy drinks to a honey maker and even a Steve Madden show line.
But according to Ro, Kim’s troublesome attitude was problematic for business. Kim allegedly refused to attend meetings unless she was paid extra, and when a project reached completion, Ro contends, Kim would forgo its promotion as with her perfume line. He also claims that she wouldn’t even take company phone calls.
Last March, when the contract was reportedly breached, Kim fired off a cease and desist letter regarding any future projects. Kim then filed a $1 million lawsuit, claiming that she was bamboozled by Ro and his partner Sunny Barkats in to signing a series of bad licensing deals.
Ro then hopped on the lawsuit bandwagon and filed one of his own against the controversial performer for a reported $15 million making her the scapegoat for all of his failed deals.
The case is still pending a judge’s ruling.
New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne was hospitalized in Los Angeles, CA after experiencing another seizure, reports the NY Daily News.
The rapper was taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital late Tuesday night by his bodyguards and was released early Wednesday morning.
Lil Wayne took to Twitter Wednesday morning to assure fans that he was fine:
As previously reported by NewsOne, after suffering multiple seizures in recent months, Lil Wayne experienced a series of seizures in March that landed him in ICU in critical condition for over a week. TMZ erroneously reported that he was on his deathbed, but the rapper later admitted that it was more serious than he initially let on:
“The thing is, man, the bad news is, I’m an epileptic, so I’m prone to seizures,” he said. “This isn’t my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh seizure. I’ve had a bunch of seizures; y’all just never hear about it. This time it got real bad because I got three of ‘em in a row, and on the third one, my heart rate went down to, like, 30 percent. Basically, I could’ve died soon. That’s why it was so serious. The reason being for the seizures is just plain stress, no rest and overworking myself. That’s typical me, though.”
The rapper is also in the news for finally “apologizing” to the family of Emmett Till for comparing the slain teen to a mangled vagina. But Till’s family is not willing to accept the rapper’s empty words.
By NewsOne Staff
The fashion community is in an uproar over Vogue Netherlands’ attempt to pay homage to Black icons in a feature with a White model in Blackface in its May 2013 issue.
The editorial “Heritage Heroes” showcases white, blond model Querelle Jansen as American-born French singer and dancer Josephine Baker and electrifying Jamaican singer and model Grace Jones. Jansen is pictured in the spread with Blackface and a funky, black Afro wig and a cone-shaped high-top hair style in the other photo.
The feature was designed to underscore the contributions of Baker and Jones to the fashion world.
Fashionita.com, a leading fashion blog, said, “A couple of alternative ideas: use a model who already looks something like Grace Jones or Josephine Baker without face paint. Or just, you know, don’t paint a white person’s face Black ever? Why is this even something we have to keep pointing out? European editors and stylists especially, it seems, are really not getting it.”
Blackface is not uncommon even in 2013 in the Netherlands. During the winter holiday a Black slave, or helper, named Zwarte Piet, accompanies Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) on the delivery of treats and presents to the children. Today, White people often dress in Blackface to pose as Zwarte Piet during holiday celebrations.
Blackface has been a recurring issue in many of European fashion publications.
Numéro magazine was recently under fire for its March 2013 issue, placing model Ondria Hardin, 16, in an editorial “African Queen.” Her skin is painted black. The editorial was shot by photographer Sebastian Kim. In 2010, Numéro magazine published a similar editorial with model Constance Jablonski in black and blond Afro wigs alongside a Black toddler.
In 2009, Vogue Paris published an editorial with model Lara Stone dressed in black paint from head to toe. The 14-page spread was styled by then-editor Carine Roitfeld, who left Conde Nast to launch her own publication CR Fashion Book, now in its second year.
by Krishana Davis, Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
(Photo: Vogue Netherlands (Courtesy Photo))
Pop singer Rihanna has stirred up controversy about celebrity use of Instagram and the N-word. The singer recently posted a picture of herself with a young boy on her lap. The photo, posted to Instagram, was tagged with the caption “My lil n***a.”
Rihanna’s caption sparked criticism from her fan base, many of whom used Twitter as an outlet to express their disapproval.
One fan tweeted, “The word is derogatory. If some cultures aren’t allowed to say it, no one should.”
Another said, “So I love the hell out of her but that word I hate.”
The self-proclaimed “good girl gone bad” has made many recent headlines with the racy and provocative photos she posts on the site, including one of her smoking marijuana. But those who work closely with the stars, like Treavion Davenport, a Los Angeles-based PR expert and celebrity publicist, believe that celebrities should proceed with caution when posting images to unfiltered social media like Instagram.
“Unfortunately many celebs get caught up in the moment and the common folk norm of posting thoughts, observations, and candid photos; that they underestimate the potential negative and far reaching impact,” says Davenport.
Instagram, much like any other social media, gained fan interest from the lure of access into celebrities’ private lives. Instagram is a photo-sharing app that posts images instantaneously.
Celebrity publicist and brand strategist April Love agreed with Davenport telling theGrio, “I advise clients that social media can be our best friend one day and our worst enemy the next.” Love has worked with various celebrities such as Monica, Cee-Lo Green and the media personalities from the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Other stars, like Fantasia Barrino, have been hit with the backlash of posting controversial photos on Instagram.
Last year, the “American Idol” singer caused uproar when she posted anti-gay marriage sentiments on the site. She later backtracked and said that her words were “taken out of context.”
“I think that celebrities have a fine line to walk when it comes to social media,” says Kelley L. Carter, an Emmy Award winning entertainment journalist. “There’s danger there — and we’ve seen it play out many times.”