Harold Perrineau may be known to many for his work on Lost, but it was his role in The Best Man that put him and so many of its cast on the map. Perrineau, Regina Hall, Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Nia Long and more are all back in The Best Man Holiday. The film was a smash upon its debut, and now it’s out on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download.
We caught up with Perrineau when he phoned us for an exclusive interview to talk about the gang getting back together, that uber-awesome dance scene where the guys recreated a famous New Edition routine and what it is about these characters that we can’t get enough of… especially given it took 14 years to put out the sequel.
Movie Fanatic: With so many years in between movies, The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday, when you first heard that there would be a sequel -- how surprised were you?
Harold Perrineau: I hadn’t thought about it ever being a sequel. What would it do? When the first one came out, it was such a big hit. Immediately, you think we would do another. But, then you realize, that’s the story. They got married. I think that’s it [laughs]. When this one came up, it was out of the blue. But, it makes sense. Malcolm (Lee, director) had said that people have come up to him over the years asking about a sequel.
Movie Fanatic: I heard that there was a dinner where everyone talked about the idea and Malcolm was seeing if anyone would be interested. When you got together at that dinner, it had been over a decade. Did it feel like not a day had gone by?
Harold Perrineau: It really was like not a day had gone by. We just walked up and were like, “Hey, what’s up?!” It was like we had seen each other the day before. It just goes to the power of those people. Nobody was overly spoiled by Hollywood. There is such phenomenal success with this cast. You think it might be a little bit of people head tripping. But, there was none of that. Terrence was just Terrence -- he’s just crazy [laughs].
Movie Fanatic: The Best Man Holiday was a huge success. The first was too. What do you think it is about this group of actors in these roles that people can’t get enough of?
Harold Perrineau: Anybody who has friends, you see yourself and your friends up there, the things that work, and those that don’t. There’s someone you’re dating or married to… friends who are divorced. Or those of us that have had the misfortune of losing a loved one -- all those things resonate with people. You can find someone that reminds you of yourself, or someone you know in this film. It fits a broad spectrum of America.
Movie Fanatic: Fate is a funny thing and oftentimes a sequel comes years later for a reason. Having those years, your writer-director has grown so much as a filmmaker. What most impressed you about Malcolm?
Harold Perrineau: How he put together all these characters and not making them one-dimensional. The way he stuck us in present time, the way Julian had to deal with stuff, which is the internet. He couldn’t have imagined it [laughs]. But it’s something he has to deal with in this movie as we explore. Sure, [his wife] did some things, but who knew that millions of people one day would get to see it! It was impressive how Malcolm weaved the story of these people and kept it so present.
Movie Fanatic: When I talked to Morris Chestnut for the theatrical release, he said he was nervous for the dance scene because he would have to dance next to you, Mr. former Alvin Ailey company member. But, now that I’ve got you… that had to still be a challenge, right?
Harold Perrineau: First of all, you have this scene where we’re going to be imitating New Edition in one of their most famous dance sequences. That’s daunting [laughs]! I didn’t just walk up and do the moves. I really had to work on it. The thing that makes it groove is that we all look like we’re doing it together, so I could be Mr. Dancer all I wanted to be, but I’ll look like I’m in a different scene than the rest of them -- then it doesn’t work. We have to have this common vibe, which I think we do in this dance thing. I think the entire cast found our thing together.
Bet you're in the mood now to watch The Best Man Holiday online!