On this Veteran’s Day, I reflected on the role that Michael Ealy portrayed as an alcoholic war veteran in the Tyler Perry’s movie, “For Colored Girls”.
Last night I took the time to check out the movie. I actually performed excerpts from the book /play written by Ntozake Shange when I was a student at the High School of Music and Art. I enjoyed Mr. Perry’s interpretation and would like to share with you Michael Ealy’s thoughts on his role as a veteran.
(Excerpts From BlackVoices) Michael Ealy‘s acting career is white hot.
The Maryland native is playing his most challenging role to date with Tyler Perry‘s much-buzzed about adaptation of Ntozake Shange‘s legendary play, ‘For Colored Girls.’
Ealy has the task of playing Beau Willie, a tormented Army veteran and the abusive lover of Crystal (played by Kimberly Elise) who has been through hell and back — and is a living nightmare
Those who have read the book and already know the source material will be familiar with the monster character he portrays, who commits a most heinous and tragic act.
When Tyler asked you to take on this role, was it an easy decision to say yes?
Michael Ealy: They actually made an offer to me and I had my reservations. I wasn’t sure, took me a couple of weeks to make a decision. In some peoples minds he will be a monster, and part of the challenge in taking the role is how do I humanize him? I have no desire to play a monster for the sake of being a monster. One way I saw that was post-traumatic stress disorder, something facing a lot of soldiers coming home. That was the way I can humanize him, because before he went to war everything was fine between him and Chris.
With Tyler visualizing the men, does he humanize them so it doesn’t become a male-bashing film?
ME: I don’t feel like the film is male bashing, I don’t feel like the play is male bashing. I feel like there are men in the play who are very good. For whatever reason, it’s just going to come across to certain people as an anti-male film. The movie’s not going to be that different from the play. If you felt like the play was a male bashing play, you’re not going to enjoy the film. If you’re open to watching the triumph of these women over the adversity in their life, step up and watch. I think it’s more about the triumph of the women, and I don’t know if Tyler had much to do with that. The women in the play had real voices, women of color.
November 11 is Veterans Day, a time to honor those who have served the nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be holding events across the country to recognize the efforts of our brave men and women. Join Secretary Shinseki in saying “Thank you” to our Veterans.