The Black Family is moving on up. When Carl Black (Mike Epps) comes into newly found wealth, the family gets more than they bargained for in “Meet The Blacks.”
Carl and his family move from windy city Chicago to Beverly Hills with hopes of a fresher lifestyle. His wife Lorena (Zulay Henao), daughter, Allie Black (Bresha Webb), son Carl Jr.(Alex Henderson), and cousin Cronut (Lil Duval) journey together to make something of themselves. Unluckily enough it turns out they picked the wrong time to move. Beverly Hills is hosting its annual purge where all crime is legal for twelve hours. The Blacks will learn survival of the fittest in order to stay alive. This hilarious star studded, comedic parody will have your stomach in knots.
Our reporter Chasity Saunders sat down with co-stars Mike Epps and Zulay Henao exclusively to discuss Meet The Blacks:
Zulay you are gorgeous, absolutely stunning and we got a chance to be introduced to you in a bunch of Tyler Perry projects. We’ve seen you in The Single Moms Club and we get to see you now on television on If Loving You is Wrong, so talk to us a little bit on how the project Meet The Blacks came to your desk and why you decided to take on and play this character Lorena?
ZH: Well I got a phone call from my agent and then he put me on the phone with the director. Unfortunately I wasn’t in L.A. to meet him personally but we had a conversation and the only thing we spoke about was how I respected the way he wrote her. Which he wrote her as a sexy Latina woman, yes but also with a lot of character and a lot of depth and a lot of consistency. She really cares about keeping her family together, really cares about where he got this money from just for our family’s sake. And I appreciated that just because it didn’t have to be written that way, it could’ve been more stereotypical and more degrading like we’ve seen in the past. And that was really the only conversation we had, and then obviously the fact that Mike was attached to star in it was very attractive to me because I’m a huge fan.
We’re all huge fans of Mike, he’s an amazing actor. Tell us what it was like playing opposite Mike on screen.
ZH: Hilarious. I’ll be honest the first day I met Mike I was a little intimidated because he was a little quiet the first day we met. But then he became this, and I was like awe I enjoyed working with him so much. I laughed my butt off.
Mike we love your comedic genius from cult classics like Next Friday, Friday After Next. The Hangover one, two and three …. Tell us how this project came about for you and why did you decide to take on the role Carl Black.
ME: Well Deon Taylor brought it to my attention, he said, “Hey Mike I got a film for you.” I said yeah that’s cool. He said “You know, you get a chance to star in it.” I said Oh yeah that’s cool. Then he said “hey, let’s do it.” I said hey that’s cool, how much money are you going to pay me. He said “that’s what I want to talk to you about.” [laughter] You know, but I think it was a great decision to do a film like this because it has so many great comedians in it.
And there’s a mixture too, we’ve got you and Michael Blackson in there together on screen, I was crying. But then we get to see these new artists that are coming out and with the entertainment industry constantly evolving. What was it like to mix the generations and bring something new to this parody?
ME: It’s cool. It’s making it fresh, it’s making it beautiful. We’ve got beautiful Zulay in it, we’ve got Bresha Webb and then you go from them to Mike Tyson.
ZH: But then you said it’s a lot of generations in there.
We get to see both of you guys on TV as well, Survivor’s Remorse and also with Tyler Perry. So how different was it to switch of those gears that you’re doing both with TV and then coming back and doing a film?
ZH: It was refreshing for me because this was a completely different direction than what I do from Esperanza; Esperanza is in kind of a rut. This is, she’s married, she happily married, she’s in a really good place in her life so it was really good to switch gears a little bit and be happy and be a caretaker and be a nurturing woman.
And we get that from you, I think a lot of people may not know that you actually served some years in the Army. How was that transition for you?
ZH: You know, I don’t think that I would be here if it weren’t for the Army. I mean that I would be working as an actress if it weren’t for the Army. I think that the Military gave me the vantage point of the world, it gave me such a big paradigm of the world where I thought that I can do this.
ME: An edge.
And with you Mike the last time I got a chance to sit down with you was in New York, you were doing Jumping The Broom. Since then we’ve seen you do so many more projects. We get to see you play a lot more roles that are in depth. And that fact that you are going to be playing Richard Pryor, can you talk about how that was to finally have that opportunity come to you and what you were able to bring to it.
ME: Well again I get presented with opportunities and I pick the ones that I think are good for me and my career and that was one of them to play Richard Pryor.
The film is now playing.