The “Think Like a Man” actor is stepping into an array of roles these days and he dished about his recent work on TV and upcoming leading film roles, on of which is “About Last Night.”
Ealy plays a machine on TV — a role he never dreamed of getting when most actors are growing up — thinking about the many characters they would like to play.
“Growing up as a kid, or even when I first started out as an actor, I never thought about playing a machine. I don’t know why, it just never entered my mind,” he told theGrio. “You know, I thought about being immortal, being a super hero, being a cowboy, a cop, all of those things, but hadn’t really thought about being a machine. So the opportunity to break new ground for myself was intriguing.”
Although, he’s been playing in popular romantic comedies as of late, Ealy isn’t necessary being typecast.
“The interesting thing is that Think Like a Man was actually my first romantic comedy – before that I hadn’t done one. But because it was so big, so huge, people act like I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said. “Yes, I had filmed [About Last Night and Think Like a Man Too] before I started this project, and yes, there was a bit of me saying, “Let me go in another direction here.” Part of the appeal of Dorian was I assumed, as a machine, he would never have a love interest, so I wouldn’t have to do anything remotely like what I had just done in the last two to three years.”
Think Like a Man became a popular success across demographics — making more than $100 million worldwide — appealing to not only black audiences, but mainstream audiences as well.
“I think sometimes it boils down to subject matter. I feel like with Think Like a Man – despite its all-African-American cast – there was no real African-American theme to the movie. So it’s like it’s a movie for everybody that was just cast all-African-American… It definitely opened up the minds of people who maybe hadn’t gone to see a movie with a predominantly black cast before.”
Nevertheless, he believes About Last Night goes more in depth into relationships than his previous hit rom com.
“What made me excited about doing About Last Night was the opportunity to dig deeper into the realness of a relationship. I think with Think Like a Man, because we had such a big cast, we couldn’t really get into every relationship on a more organic level,” he said.
As for working with his homie Kevin Hart again he said, “you know, working with Kev gets better and better every time we do it, actually. On Think we had a ball. On About Last Night we had a ball. There’s no way you’re not going to have fun working with Kev, it’s just not gonna happen.”
About Last Night hits theaters on Valentine’s Day and “Almost Human” airs Mondays on Fox at 8pm Eastern.