*David Alan Grier can thank one person for his role in “Tyler Perry Presents Peeples” – his co-star Kerry Washington.
“Kerry and I were doing “Race” on Broadway and the [film’s] producers all came,” the 56-year-old “In Living Color” veteran told us during interviews for “Peeples,” opening Friday. “I don’t know how much Kerry had to do with it, but she was in there. She said, ‘Don’t worry, there’s [a part] in there, I’m gonna hook you up.’
“Next thing you know, they called and we started talks and I was in the movie.”
In “Peeples,” Grier plays Kerry’s father Virgil Peeples, who meets her fiancé Wade Walker (Craig Robinson) for the first time when he crashes their family retreat in the Hamptons.
The roles are a far cry from their characters in David Mamet’s “Race,” which had the theme of “race and the lies we tell each other on the subject,” the playwright once explained. Washington and Grier starred as two of three lawyers – the other played by white actor James Spader – who were offered a chance to defend a white man (Richard Thomas) charged with a crime against a black woman.
“Race” ran with Washington and Grier from its November 2009 opening through their exit in June 2010. The duo, however, managed to leave Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre with their film roles in “Peeples” locked in.
“Then I found out that Craig was on board to do it, and S. Epatha Merkerson, and it just kind of evolved around that,” said Grier.
Below, David admits to being initially cautious about the Tina Gordon Chism-directed production, despite the high regard he held for his co-stars.
“Tyler Perry Presents Peeples” opens Friday. Watch the trailer below.