His name is Romany Malco – the American-born Trinidadian, once a member of hip-hop group, College Boyz, whose big break came when he starred as MC Hammer in a VH1 telepic about the entertainer, in 2001.
But the role that really introduced him to the rest of the world, and that many will likely remember him for thus far, was as the trash-talking womanizer, Jay, in Judd Apatow's 2005 box office hit, The 40 Year Old Virgin (although Think Like A Man opens in a week).
He also had roles in Blades Of Glory, Baby Mama, The Love Guru, and a recurring role in Weeds, the Showtime cable TV series.
But before all of the above, in early 2001, he co-starred in a low-budget, indie comedy flick, alongside Paul Rudd, called The Chateau, about 2 American brothers Graham and Allen Granville (Rudd & Malco, who's character is adopted), who learn that they have inherited a chateau in France (which comes with its own staff), courtesy of their great uncle who recently died.
They travel to France to claim their inheritance, but, of course, very little goes as planned, as they are ill-equipped to communicate with the chateau's staff – a property that's burdened with debt, forcing the brothers to find a buyer for it, leaving a bewildered staff resorting to desperate measures to prevent them from selling the place.
Naturally, hilarity and hijinks ensue.
It's actually a decent indie comedy; My understanding is that there really was no script, meaning much of it was improvised, and it was shot relatively cheaply and quickly, with a handheld digital camcorder, evident in the films really "noisy" images, making it seem almost documentary-like.
For his part, Romany's Allen Granville is the bad cop to Paul Rudd's good cop. He's kind of an arrogant, self-centered prick actually; But it's a role that isn't all that different from past roles he's played – see Jay, the trash-talking womanizer in The 40 year Old Virgin for instance.
The film is wisely short, clocking at at about 90 minutes (with credits), and, overall, nothing ground-breaking, but I really appreciated the no-budget/lo-budget aesthetics, since that's the milieu within which I usually play. And it's funny enough, thankfully, and kind of irreverent; it's a comedy after all :)
It's like something they made on the fly, just for kicks, between *bigger* projects, and had a lot of fun doing.
The film grossed over $200,000 at the box office that year. Not bad considering the kind of film that it is.
Romany continues to work however, in mostly supporting roles in comedies… but he stays busy enough! Check his IMDB resume.
Any fans of Malco out there? He's one of those guys who'll likely always be around for while, popping in and out in movies and TV shows here and there, even though his name may not be on everyone's lips.
Here's a trailer for The Chateau, which is available on DVD, though I couldn't find it streaming anywhere:
Trailer provided by Video Detective