*In entertainment, variety is the golden ticket. With actors and directors, it makes or breaks selecting a role and or rolling the dice on a project that can potentially open the door for a diversified catalogue of future game changers.
For Will Packer, variety is a professional way of life, as evidenced in his role as producer for the new romantic comedy “Think Like a Man.” The film, based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment,” marks the latest change of pace for the Rainforest Films co-founder as he welcomed the chance to give moviegoers something to laugh at.
“I’ve always tried to be a filmmaker that’s done a variety,” Packer told EUR’s Lee Bailey about his “first out and out comedy” while reflecting on past work. “I mean I’ve had a dance movie. I’ve had a drama. I had a thriller in “Obsessed.” I’ve done a variety to different genres. So this being a comedy is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Directed by Tim Story, “Think Like a Man” revolves around four men whose love lives are affected when the women they are pursuing buy Harvey’s page-turner and start taking the author/comedian/nationally syndicated radio host’s advice to heart. Upon realizing a man is responsible for their women’s new mind-state, the men set out to use the book’s information to their advantage as they plot to turn the tables on the women and teach them a lesson.
Although his company is producing “Think Like a Man,” Packer is quick to say it was a collaborative effort to bring “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” to the big screen.
“It was something that myself along with (Columbia/Screen Gems president) Clint Culpepper up in the studio…we said we wanna make a movie that would appeal to guys and women. And how do you do that with a book that’s primarily written for women? Well, you tell it through the eyes of the guys and that’s kinda where that idea came from, to make it more universally appealing,” he explained. “When I first approached him [Harvey], I didn’t know exactly…I told him my vision for the film was to do something that was true to the essence of the book, which is like kinda straight talk, no chaser, keepin’ it real. Something that talked about men and the way we see relationships and women and the way they see them.
“I didn’t know exactly how we were gonna execute that, but I wanted it to be something that felt universal and had universal themes because that’s how his book is,” Packer added. “And he bought into that vision. He said ‘You know what? That’s the type of movie I want to see made on this book.’”
While it could’ve been easy to make an R-rated version of “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” Packer opted for a PG-13 rating.
“It’s an adult relationship movie. It’s about people who are adults and trying to live, love, laugh and cohabitate, live together. It’s a battle of the sexes…We didn’t want to go there with a hard R rating. We wanted it to be more appealing. I don’t think there’s any need to have a hard R rating with this type of film.”
Up next for Packer is pre-production on “No Good Deed,” a new thriller reuniting him with Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba.
“We’re shooting that in Atlanta. I’m looking forward to it. It’s gonna be good,” Packer stated. “It’s gonna be something that you have not seen African-American actors in a film like this… It wasn’t written with African-American actors in mind. I can tell you that. I think it gives it some flavor.”