*The entire cast of the box office smash film “Think Like A Man,” inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man,” is back for the highly anticipated sequel, “Think Like A Man Too.” And what better place to take all of their relationship drama, but to Sin City?! In this film, hitting theaters June 20th, what starts out as a romantic weekend quickly goes awry when their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail a big event.
EURweb associate Crystal Shaw-King was invited to a set visit in Las Vegas and got to watch the cast shoot some hilarious scenes. From what we saw – this might be even funnier than the first one! The beautiful Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino played host. Cast interviews and filming took place around the casino and in two of Creasers Palace’s most palatial suites – one which is 10,000 sq. ft. and the other that’s 9,000 sq. ft. with an in-door pool. Both are featured in the film.
The cast, which includes Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J, Romany Malco, Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids), Gary Owen, Gabrielle Union and Kevin Hart all sat down for a candid interview spilling the beans on everything from the storyline and their characters in the sequel to their best and or worst relationship advice!
What did you think when you found out there was going to be a sequel? Was it a surprise? Was it serendipity?
Kevin: I don’t know what serendipity is…
Taraji: I’m a little nervous whenever something goes really well and then they’re like ‘ok we’re going to do a part 2’ ‘cause I’ve seen a lot of part 2’s flop and sometimes when it’s so good you should leave it alone, but I just feel like this one could be possibly better than the first one!
Wendi: I wasn’t in the first one but let me tell you, as a viewer for selfish reasons I wanted there to be a second one because I wasn’t done watching these characters. You have to see these relationships through to the end …
Michael: At the time we made the first one I never had more fun or sex during making a movie so that was enough for me to come back!
Talk about the arch that your character takes in the film?
Meagan: Mya and Zeek are at the point now where they’ve been together for a while and they’re doing really well except for Zeek’s past keeps rearing its ugly head. And then also …there’s just constant questions and places that we feel we’re not seeing eye-to-eye, so there’s a little bit of dysfunction there.
Michael: I think like most of the couples in the sequel it’s all about the maturation process of the relationship and I think Dom and Lauren are once again pretty solid in the second one, but independently confronted with challenges to the relationship that they’re kind of forced to work out individually.
Kevin: I don’t really think that tracking my story is the same as theirs … I’m more of the guy that’s driving what’s going on but as far as Ced my relationship is in and out -like we’re back to a place where we’re getting a divorce and it just hasn’t happened yet, so it’s the revolving situation that’s never ending so it’s the same thing carrying into this one.
Jerry: For Jeremy and Kristen … they got married … and with marriage obviously now there’s not a new set of problems, but a new set of marital issues in beginning the next step. It’s the ring, and then marriage, and then family and dealing with trying to make that happen.
Regina: Well we’re getting married!
Terrence: I think we watched Michael grow. He’s broken a lot of the mama’s boy tendencies but my mom – she hasn’t gotten it so she’s still very much involved. She’s still very much controlling and I think her character plays out a lot with all of the women. Jenifer [Lewis] isn’t here, but you’re going to see her interact with all of the women. One of the funnest parts of this film is getting to see different characters interact that never got a chance to do so, in the first one. Even for us guys, we haven’t seen a lot of the stuff that the girls are filming, so ‘’m excited to see the dailies with Meagan [Good] and Raji [Henson] and Gabby [Union] and Regina [Hall] and Wendi [McLendon-Covey] and LaLa [Anthony] together.
Gary: I wanted to see who I was married to. I wanted to because in the first one I had a whole ‘nother vision in my head than her. I thought she was going to be Asian so it shocked me when they gave me a white lady. I was like, “Whoa, that’s crazy!”
Wendi: Tish and Bennett have been married a long time, and we see the world through khaki-colored glasses. Over the course of this movie, it shakes up the snow globe of their marriage. Tish remembers that she’s female.
What’s the best or worst piece of relationship advice you’ve ever gotten?
Kevin: Get married
Was that the best or worst?
Kevin: You figure it out.
Taraji: Well obviously I didn’t get any best advice because I’m still single or I did and it was the worst advice.
Meagan: I used the 90-day rule thing, but I kept it going and went a year and ended up getting married and it’s been awesome!
Kevin: You gotta lock it up Raji, lock that thang up.
What part of your character’s development or what aspect of their personality do you identify with the most?
Kevin: The whole misinterpretation thing. He takes things and runs with it, whether it’s correct or incorrect. I do that in real life. I assume that things are a certain way and I’ll go and plan things according to what I thought it should be and with Cedric that’s the whole thing within this movie. Me being the best man is because I assumed that I was the choice from a conversation that we were having, but I was never truly picked to be the best man but they didn’t have the heart to tell me so. They let me run with the mistake.
Taraji: Being successful and single and that being an issue with guys that want to date me. Sometimes they get a little intimidated by my success.
What do you want the audience to take away from your characters?
Gabrielle: Sometimes the best thing is to chill the hell out. Just chill out and have fun and ride it ‘til the wheels fall off …the first one was about ‘follow these rules and X will happen.’ This I think is almost the opposite. Relax, have a good time, let the magic happen, don’t force it.
Meagan: Don’t try to make the person that you’re with the person that you want them to be. Love them for who they are and for the person you initially fell in love with.
Michael: In the first one there’s a lot of mind games and courtship and stuff like that … I think in this particular film, the connection is there. The hard part is figuring out how to stay there… That’s where the real work begins, when you’re actually in the relationship …that’s where the real work begins.
How much are you improvising? Do you ever actually do a take from the script?
Gary: I’ve never actually read the script.
Kevin: There’s a script?
Taraji: We usually do the first take from the script and then Tim [Story] lets us have fun.
You guys have had a very big social presence online, during the filming of this movie. What is that about? How do you feel that really helps promote it?
Romany: This movie?! You didn’t notice what happened with the last movie?! We set a new precedent for the way movies are promoted because of how active we were online. We haven’t even gotten started with this movie yet. We’re holding back.
Terrence: I think people are attracted to what’s real, and people are attracted to genuine things. What happens with our social media is that it’s so organic. The moments that are created, when we just put moments together, all comes from a place of us genuinely being friends. I think that’s what translates through the photos, through Instagram, through Twitter, and through the screen. I think people really like this movie because this is real. When we have off days, I call Jerry in L.A. and I’m like, “What are you doing?” You do so many projects where there will be the social media person on set who will come in and say, “Hey, use this hashtag,” and all this corny stuff, and it just doesn’t work.
Kevin: You’ve gotta understand that with branding and the way things are promoted, in our day and age, your older movie stars are not reachable or accessible because they’re not a part of the whole social media world. This younger generation that’s around, that’s Tweeting, Facebooking and Vine-ing, the fans appreciate that because they feel like they can get to you. So, the way of promoting movies has changed and turned over to this particular route. If you add up our social media presence, you’re looking at anywhere from 15 to 20 million people that we can reach, as a cast. A movie studio has their regular way of promotion, but they can’t buy our world. That’s our world. And now, it’s becoming a place where, as actors and actresses, you can get smarter about your brand. We have what they don’t have, which is a direct connect to our fans, and we know what our fans want. That is where the power is, within social media, overall. So, the success of the movie isn’t just laying on them. It’s also in what we decide to incorporate ourselves in, and studios now know that. That’s the best thing about social media.
Jerry: It was a very humbling experience. The guys started first. We were all putting up Instagram stuff, and the response was great, but then the girls came in. The girls came in and destroyed us. The reaction when the girls came in just destroyed us. It was humbling. I’m off Instagram now because they humbled the shit out of me.
Michael: As the person who has the least social media presence, with the exception of Regina [Hall], I feel like ever since the first film came out, the fans were on my small little Twitter feed, talking about the first movie. Now, they’re excited about the second one. I don’t think anybody up here started to send things out because they felt like they had to promote a movie. I feel like everybody was just trying to share the experience with the fans. The fans gave us so much on the first one that it was just an opportunity to give back to them without spoiling the movie. It wasn’t like, “Oh, we’ve gotta promote!”
Taraji: It basically just comes out of the organic fun that we’re having on the set. If Kevin and I went out – and I would never go out with Kevin – and we’re at dinner and are look, “Let’s take this picture!,” that’s just how organic it is. It has nothing to do with selling the film. Sometimes I forget to add [the hashtag].
Jerry: People know when they’re getting sold.
Romany: One thing that I think we’re overlooking is that no one expected this film to do what it did the first time, out of the box. We put together a video where we thanked the fans, and how this movie performed on opening night, the fans felt like they played a big role in the success of the movie. We built this city together. Not just us, not just Will and Tim, and not just Sony, but all of us together, fans included. I feel as though giving them all this social media and pictures behind the scenes, it includes them in the process again. I believe that’s a big part of what keeps them loyal, but at the same time, enables us to express our gratitude.
What’s been your favorite scene to shoot?
Kevin: The day when we were doing a toast and when Terrence was talking and I’m slurping the martini glass while he was talking. I’m so pissed off that I’m like slurping my drink as if I’m drunk. It’s so subtle but we couldn’t stop laughing. It was just a fun day.
Gary: It’s not funny, the way he’s explaining it. But when you see it, it’s gonna be funny! Right now, I’m just like, “What the f#*k?!” But, it’s really funny on camera.
Taraji: I guess for me was the “Poison” [song]. We go to the club and the song comes on and we’re dancing on tables and it just turns into a video and it is so much effing fun! We had a ball!
Romany: I think I enjoyed the supermodel strip show the most. There were just a lot of models stripping.
Taraji: What movie is that?!
Romany: I’m trying to sell our movie, people!
Gary: I like working with Wendi. I’ve never had a girlfriend, in any movie or TV show. This is my first love scene.
Wendi: And he managed to not kiss me in our love scene because he loves his wife so much.
Kevin: On a sidebar, because we haven’t said it, we all were in Pt. 1, so Wendi coming on – and I’m such a fan – she’s very, very funny and is so subtle. You just heard about his wife in Pt. 1, so you just assumed that this woman was whatever you thought she was. But then, when you see her, the person that Wendi came as, and the way that she’s playing it, is funny and it gives him a great balance. I think the fans are definitely going to like what she brings to the film. She’s hysterical.