Morris Chestnut discusses “Not Easily Broken” movie

Suite 411 sat down and talked with Morris Chestnut about his starring role in T.D. Jakes movie “Not Easily Broken,” opening on Friday, Jan.9.  Click PLAY to see the video:

“Not Easily Broken” star discusses being handpicked for role

by Allison Horton

On Friday, Jan.9, “Not Easily Broken,” a movie adapted from the book of the same name by renowned pastor and author Bishop T. D. Jakes will be released in theaters. The movie showcases how a couple’s faith keeps them together during peaks and valleys in their marriage.

Actor Morris Chestnut discusses being the first choice by producers to play the lead character Dave, becoming an executive producer for the first time, and how president elect Barack Obama has changed his household.

Chestnut, known for his movie roles in “Boyz n the Hood” and “The Best Man,” said he was flattered to be the first choice for the lead role in Not Easily Broken but also wanted to executive produce the movie.

“I wanted to do more than just act in this movie,” he said. “[T.D. Jakes] was very gracious and allowed me the opportunity to do that and he was great to work with. This is my first film that I executive produced and it was just a great opportunity to get on the other side of the camera…and to really understand how things work.”

Chestnut agreed with the movie’s screen writer Brian Bird that “Not Easily Broken” was the male version of “Waiting to Exhale.”

“It deals with a lot of male issues in regards to marriage,” he said. “The male issues are dominant over the female issues in the movie so it could definitely be that.”

Bill Duke, who has directed such films as “Hoodlum” and “A Rage in Harlem,” was chosen to direct this project because of his knowledge and experience in the film industry, Chestnut said.

“He brought so much –that wasn’t even on the script –onto the screen,” he said. “I don’t where we would be without him.”

Chestnut said that he was able to use experiences from his personal life as a husband and father of two children to play the role of Dave, a husband having marital problems.

“I’ve been married for awhile and I know that marriages can have its ups and downs,” he said. “I definitely drew from my own experiences to play this character.”

His real life role as a father has changed due to President elect Barack Obama, said Chestnut. Obama has impacted the lives of his sixth- grade son and fifth- grade daughter.

“They came home talking politics,” he said. “Just him inspiring and encouraging that kind of political awareness in a child…is unbelievable.”

Chestnut said that he is still getting used to the fact that Obama will be the first African-American president of the United States.

“Whenever I think about it a huge smile always comes to my face,” he said. “It is indescribable. You think, ‘Wow, would something like this ever happen in my lifetime,’” Chestnut added. “I would have thought no. I just can’t believe it.”

The biggest challenge Chestnut said he has faced in his acting career is not always getting the part.

“If you’re not Will Smith there is always going to be a role that you want that you can’t get,” he said. “Every actor goes through that except for Will or maybe Tom Cruise. That is the biggest challenge. You read a script that you fall in love with and they want this guy or that guy… just different things that don’t allow you to get what you want.”

There is still one role that Chestnut would like to play in the future.

“I want to produce and star in an action movie,” he said. “That is on the horizon. I am working towards that right now.”

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