Why Don’t We See Morris Chestnut Get Better Roles?

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. “Dammit, Speed! Stop picking on bald, black guys.” But, hey! I’m bald and I’ve done some pretty crappy, forced, unfunny stuff on film (see the only surviving episode of my ill-fated UMD vlog series The Speed Report). So, from one baldie to another, I do feel the pain of doing this.

But, after his film debut in 1991’s Boyz N The Hood, many folks probably expected Morris Chestnut to get some starring roles that allowed him to showcase his acting ability. Instead, we got to see him in clunkers such as The Perfect Holiday. That’s not to be confused with the (somehow vastly superior) film Last Holiday, although both featured Queen Latifah and a bald, black guy who–surprise!!!–has gotten his share of crap roles, usually as the romantic lead who’s just too cool for school (hi LL Cool J).

Now, no, not all of Chestnut’s movies have sucked. The Best Man and its sequel are great examples of the case for Morris Chestnut. But, for every The Best Man, we get him in a Like Mike (don’t worry, Bow Wow. You’re on my list too) or an Anacondas. Actually…let me take a look at his IMDB.

…just as I feared. For every The Best Man Holiday or The Brothers, we get an average of at least four Like Mikes or Anacondas. But why? He, like Boris Kodjoe, has charisma and has shown signs that he has acting ability outside of being the typecasted bald black guy who some women wet their undergarments over. But, therein lies the problem. He’s been typecasted as the bald black guy who some women wet their undergarments over.

I thought that when Mr. Chestnut did the reboot of V, we’d finally seen him break out of that typecasting. I mean, V was a sci-fi series that, for some, had a biting little commentary on the Obama Administration. You couldn’t get too much further away from “sexy black guy” typecasting than that. Actually, you know what? That may be it. Get Mr. Chestnut onto the small screen–and yes, that even includes his hit-or-miss, Bones-meets-Empire series Rosewood. It’s obvious that we can get him to play roles that, even if they’ve got the “sexy black guy” typecast going against them, allow him to exhibit character and emotions.

Will we? Eh, I don’t know. People seem to like him as the bald, black guy who some women wet their undergarments over. Hell, his character was a huge selling point for that horrible The Perfect Guy movie, even though he was probably in, maybe, ten-to-fifteen minutes of the whole damn-near two-hour flick (oh, Michael Ealy, there’s a bit of “WDWS” for you, too. In due time).

Actually, I just got an idea: a WIRTB Review of The Perfect Guy. 

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on speedonthebeat.com

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