kerry washington craig robinson david alan grier*Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington – two actors with white hot careers – star in the new film “Peeples” out in theaters this weekend.

They both revealed their individual reasons for wanting to star in the film together … Kerry: “For me doing a comedy because I love to be able to change it up in what I do and I’m really drawn to comedy … I don’t have a lot of opportunities to do it.”

And Craig, for which this is his first leading role: “Tina Gordon Chism [the film’s writer/director] pitched … she had this spirit about her and then she was telling me about the cast and then she said something about spanking Kerry Washington and I said ‘yes!’’

“Peeples” follows what happens when Wade Walker (Craig Robinson) crashes this girlfriend Grace’s (Kerry Washington) family, the Peeples’ annual reunion in the Hamptons to ask for their precious daughter’s hand in marriage.  The cast includes David Allen Grier, S. Epatha Merkerson, Tyler James Williams and Kali Kawk, with appearances by Diahann Carroll and Melvin Van Peebles.

The film doesn’t follow the traditional “Tyler Perry Presents…” formula – while it was produced by his 34th Street Films according to the cast – Tyler was only on set for one day.  “Peeples” is also not what one might assume is a ‘typical black film.”  According to Washington “there was a real historical significance that there have been black families in the Hamptons traditionally for decades  and the film honors that … it could be any American family – you could see the same movie being made with a Latino family, with an Asian American family , with a white family.”

As for the laughs … Robinson said there was a collaborative mix of what was scripted and good old fashioned improv.  First time director and writer of the film Tina Gordon Chism (Drumline, ATL) allowed the actors, especially comedic pros like David Allen Grier and Craig Robinson to use their improvisational skills to the max and they did!

“Peeples” opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow, May 10.