Honeymag.com interviews Anthony Anderson


This interview is straight from honeymag.com:

Honey Magazine: In the movie, The Backup Plan, explain your character and how it was working with Jennifer Lopez?
Unfortunately, for me, Jennifer Lopez and I did not get to share any screen time together. It’s a romantic comedy about a woman who feels her biological clock is ticking but she doesn’t have a mate to have a baby with. In so, she meets Alex O’ Loughlin, who is her co-star in the film, and they hit it off after she has already been artificially inseminated and pregnant. Now they are a couple and she has to tell him that she is pregnant…He’s faced with the dilemma of being with somebody he is just now getting to know but whom he digs. He also faces the dilemma of being the father of her child yet not being the father of her child. So he wanders into Central Park, sees my character and strikes up a conversation. I basically become his confidante and sort of a guru if you might, in terms of fatherhood because I have three kids of my own. My character is basically the voice of reasoning for him. Whenever he is faced with a dilemma or a problem he comes to me in the park and we talk about it and I give him insight.

How was it playing this role, being a father yourself?
Yea, it wasn’t a stretch at all. It was fun, giving advice as to what to expect as a father. The good, the bad and the ugly. There is a roller coaster of emotions that not only Jennifer Lopez’s character will be going through because of the birth of the child, but that he’ll go through as the man and the father of the child.

Is it true that you married your college sweetheart?
Yes. We met in college at Howard University. We’ve been married for ten years and we’ve been together for twenty. I went to her apartment to invite her roommate to a party I was having. Her roommate wasn’t home, and she answered the door. I said, “You don’t live here.” And she said, “Neither do you and what to do want?” So, I was like, “Wow. I’m coming to invite Stacy over for a party tonight and you’re more than welcome to come.” Stacy never showed up and she did and we’ve been together ever since.

You are Detective Kevin Barnard on Law & Order. How is it working on the show?
We just finished taping season twenty last Thursday evening which tied Law & Order to Gun Smoke as the longest running one hour show in television show history. All signs point to us coming back for another season, for next year, which will break the record. So, I’m excited about being apart of Law & Order because one its an institution, it’s a great show. And two, it’s making history and I’m excited about it.

Law and Order is a different role than Honey Girls are used to seeing you in. How long have you been with the show?
It’s been two and a half seasons now. When I come back it will be three years since I’ve been with the show.

How is it going from comedy to a serious role? Any conflicts at first and do you try to put comedy into your role?
There were no conflicts; comedy is something that comes easily for me. The hard part was getting the opportunity to play a character such as Kevin Bernard because most people know me from the comedies I have been apart of. Most people didn’t know me as a serious actor ’till Hustle and Flow and The Departed and then the television show, The Shield. That made it easier for the role of Kevin Bernard on Law & Order to come my way. Comedy is in my bones. Naturally I can find the humor in something, but with Law & Order they give me the one zip-liners they used to give Jerry Orbach when he was alive during the show. Now I get to give the one line buttons at the end of the scene and a lot of them are comical. It’s a lot of cynicism but I get to deliver it and I have fun doing that…

Before your role on Law & Order, were you ever typecast?
No. I felt myself going down that direction and I could have easily made a career as the comic relief or the funny guy in these films because that’s what my career had been up to that point. But I knew the bigger picture and there has always been the bigger picture for me and comedy has always been just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve been trained for this [acting] for thirty years and I was willing to sit back and sit out for a little way until a role like The Shield, The Departed, Law & Order or K-Ville or Hustle and Flow came along. I was willing to sit back and wait because Hollywood can be very fickle at times if you do one thing well that’s all they will see you as and I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed or typecast into that. I wanted to show them that I have range like a Rover, like this is what I do. There is so much more to me then just the fat funny guy and that’s what I was able to show before I was typecast into that.

Favorite acting role to date?
Antwon Mitchell on The Shield because they saw me in a light that they had never seen me in before. People were actually afraid of that character. That was actually a grave departure from what they were used to seeing me in; the funny, affable, loveable guy. Antwon Mitchell was a stone cold killer. He was a heartless, in your face killer, with no remorse and I enjoyed playing that. I enjoyed making people feel uneasy because after that role was I was seen as an actor. Even though I had done great work up until that, and I had worked with great people in the industry, when I portrayed Antwon Mitchell on The Shield that changed everyone’s opinions. Everyone said, “Whoa, this motherf***er is for real.” So I loved that two-year run I had on The Shield.

How is the Mixtape Comedy Show Tour?
The mix-tape isn’t on the run yet but I’m on the road right now doing a variation of the show. Royale Watkins and myself, we stream live every third Sunday on Facebook and on U-Stream. The first time we streamed we had 29,000 viewers and 1,000 live views, 29,000 viewers watched the show in its entirety. Last month, we had 5,000 viewers live on Facebook and 40, 000 people watched it in its entirety. So, it’s a great show that we do at Gotham’s comedy club in Midtown Manhattan, every third Sunday of the month. Tony Rock has come down, Alex Thomas, Tracey Morgan, Donnell Rawlings, Kym Whitley, Mark Viera, we’ve had a great run of comics come through every month. We have no promotion and it’s a sold out house every month and we mix it up with a freestyle battle. We close the show with an old school artist and we’ve had Dana Dane, Full Force, Kangol Kid, Pepa, Audio Chu, Mr. Cheeks, all these people came through just on the love and the strength of what we do and they bless us every month.

What’s your favorite city for comedy tours?
It’s a toss-up. Miami, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston.

Is it because the audiences there are amazing or you just love those cities?
It’s a combination of both.

What are your upcoming projects?
I’m working on a film with Jack Black called The Big Ear and it comes out this summer and possibly with Patrick Dempsey on a film called The Playback.

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