“This is the first time I am taking on a character with South African roots, with an accent and everything […] You know, it is all about the challenge. That is the fun part of being an actor – it is the challenge of going in and stepping into someone else’s world and just being as if you were them. So I’m really looking forward to mastering and getting the (Twsana) accent right as well as the language. I’m here learning more about the tradition, the heritage and everything about the character.
Morris Chestnut in an interview with South African news site, Independent Online, discussing his starring in and producing a feature film titled Asylum Down, in which he will play “a reluctant heir to the gold and platinum reserves owned by a modern-day African royal family, who takes over the land and pushes it into the ruthless world markets, which could be to the family’s detriment.“
Chestnut also talked about wrapping up principal photography on The Best Man Holiday, the upcoming sequel to The Best Man, sharing that it was quite a challenge:
“That role pushed me like no other because the character was so emotionally conflicted. His emotions were high at some points but, for most points, they were very low. So I had to be in the headspace that I don’t like to go into often. That was extremely, extremely challenging. Probably, the most challenging to this day.”
He also added that he believes The Best Man Holiday is even better than The Best Man, saying that the movie is going to engender some strong emotions in viewers.
One revelation he makes that I wasn’t aware of, is that he’s sold shows to TV networks, but none has really moved… yet.
“I am venturing into doing more things behind the camera. I don’t want to be director, I enjoy just bringing projects together. You know, in America I have sold a couple of television shows. None of them have aired yet. I will probably get a few projects as a producer so that is my next step in Hollywood.”
He was a producer on Not Easily Broken, by the way, which he starred in with Taraji P. Henson.
Chestnut has been in South Africa, where he plans to spend a lot of time, working on his accent, as well as getting familiar with the areas where filming will take place.
Producers of the film are shooting for a film with international appeal, so don’t be surprised if there are other non-South African actors cast in the film.
Production on Asylum Down is scheduled to begin in 2014, with 75% of the film expected to be filmed in South Africa, and the funding to come from there as well.