michael ealy

Michael Ealy in ‘Unconditional’

*There’s nothing like a movie that gives you a good ol’ feeling after a good ‘ol cry – and that’s what the new film “Unconditional,” starring Michael Ealy evokes.

This isn’t Ealy’s first starring role, but may be the first of this kind for him.  This isn’t the Michael Ealy who played ‘Dominic’ in the hit film “Think Like A Man” – yes the searing blue eyes are present, the million dollar smile gleams, however this Michael Ealy delivers a performance that far exceeds that of the romantic lover boy that women have come to swoon over.

Ealy stars alongside Lynn Collins as the real life ‘Papa Joe Bradford’ in a film that follows what happens when an unsung hero collides with a friend from his sordid past by way of a tragic event. That unexpected encounter sets their lives on journey that reveals that no matter the circumstances, hope and love can be found in the most unexpected places.

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“Unconditional” is the first movie from Harbinger Media Partners, LLC. Founded in 2009 by Jason Atkins (CEO) and J. Wesley Legg (COO). Harbinger creates and produces high–‐quality theatrical films to inspire moviegoers to pursue God and serve others.  However this film, given its roots, might surprise you.  It doesn’t beat you over the head with a heavy handed message as much as it leaves you with a sense of seeing that there is light where it may only appear dark.

EURweb spoke with Ealy about this role, why he decided to take it, the “Think Like a Man Sequel” and more…

On what the film is about:
I think the film is about hope, redemption and second chances.  And there’s a big part of the film that’s about my character’s daily passion, which is to try and influence the children in his neighborhood in the most positive way possible and let them know that they are supported despite not having both of their parents or, one of their parents.  You know, it’s important to him it’s a passion of his.

On why he chose to do this role:
I literally read the script and it wasn’t until I got to the end that I knew that Papa Joe Bradford was a real man.  And that, I found extraordinarily intriguing and admirable, and wanted to meet him immediately.  And so I signed on to do the movie and within a day of being in Nashville I was able to sit down with him and just kick back.  Really, I mean it was weird, you know we just started talkin’ and we clicked and I think I made a friend for life.  I really did cause he is, he’s an extraordinary man … extraordinary.

On the best compliment he got from playing the role:
The best compliment I received was from his actual wife, Denise – and that is, I mean the woman that inspired him to do the things that he did and she tells you ‘you nailed it, I saw Joe, a couple times I saw Joe.’

On if he wants to move past the ‘sex symbol’ image:
The sex symbol thing to me … Ok here’s what happened, I think people fell in love with ‘Dominic’ you know? I genuinely feel like people fell in love with Dominic, like 10 years ago people fell in love with Ricky (from “Barbershop”). And that’s just, that’s ok – you know, that’s not all of me up there… I will do whatever speaks to me and if there’s a role that you know, requires me to be romantic – if I really want to do it I’m gonna do it.

On if he’ll reprise his role as Dominic in Think Like A Man:
Yes, it is real and yes I will sign on to be Dominic.

On if he was surprised by the success of “Think Like A Man”:
Yes, yes.  You know you get surprised … at this point in my career I’ve done enough movies to not take anything for granted.  And I’ve been in movies with big stars, I’ve been in movies with you know ensemble casts and you just, you never know what’s gonna really take off, you just don’t.

Watch Michael Ealy like you’ve never seen him before when Unconditional hits theaters tomorrow, September 21.

Listedn to Crystal Shaw King’s full interview with Michael Ealy about “Unconditional” below: