Hollywood Live Extra: Morris Chestnut talks to Tanya Hart about “Diarra from Detroit”



Hollywood Live reporter Tanya Hart had the opportunity to sit down with Morris Chestnut to discuss his new project, “Diarra in Detroit,” which premieres on Thursday, March 21 on BET+.

Click play to hear the Hollywood Live report from Tanya Hart:

Please note: the following transcript may have been edited for clarity.

Tanya Hart: Hey there, so glad you tuned in and are joining us right now because our guest is somebody very special, the inimitable Morris Chestnut. How are you, Morris?

Morris Chestnut: I’m doing well. Thank you for having me. How are you? 

TH: I’m doing great. Good to see you. So we just saw you on the Image Awards show talking about “Diarra from Detroit”. It was too funny. Okay, did you have fun?

MC: I did. I did. It’s always, it’s always a great show. We had a great time there and it’s so well produced and you know, so many people came out. So it’s always a good time. 

TH: Oh, well, so the show though, I got to tell you, I’ve seen the trailer. It looks hilarious. And it’s a little bit different for you. You know, it’s like you can tell us what the show is about. It’s following a divorced school teacher and she’s been ghosted and you’re the ex-husband and, you know, you play that role actually very well. But tell us a little bit about the show and, and it’s very funny. I thought it was funny. 

MC: Yes, it’s one thing is when I first read the script, it was, it was truly something I knew it was different. It’s, it’s basically, it’s a, it’s a comedy mixed in with a mystery. It’s written by Diarra Kilpatrick and I can’t, when I first read it, the script was incredible. I went online, I looked at her work as an actress. She’s a very talented actress, and she, I looked at some of her interviews, very witty, very smart. And of course, the show is produced by Kenya Barris, and it’s, it’s a show. It’s basically a show of a, of a school teacher who she’s getting, we’re we’re divorced. She goes out on a Tinder date. The Tinder date ghosts her, so she, she feels like, she, she believes that he is someone that was kidnapped from way back in the day, so that’s what unveils, it kinda starts off and sets into motion this mystery that she is just determined to solve. And there’s so many different types of hijinks and so many different types of elements with friends and visual effects. It’s just a well-produced show that I’m really excited to be a part of. 

Executive producer Diarra Kilpatrick poses for a portrait to promote the television series “Diarra from Detroit” during the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, at The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

TH: Absolutely. I mean, the cast is great. You got some great people in the cast. And like you said, of course, Kenya is doing it and he, he’s, he’s pretty good at doing that comedy stuff, you know? He’s got a good little hit with that. 

MC: I think he’s going to have a career at least. I think he should stick with it. 

TH: I think he should. And apparently, you should too. I can’t, you know, I was reading about it. I can’t believe 30 years has gone by. I think that’s when we first met — It’s “Boyz n the Hood.” I know you were a kid. 

MC: For sure.

TH: You were definitely a child, but you were doing good then and you’re doing even better now. I understand that a lot of it’s because of your discipline. Now, I hear that you get up every day and work out at like 4:00 in the morning or something like that. 

MC: I do get up, but today it, it varies because it’s harder to maintain that schedule when I’m, when I’m working. But yeah, I normally get up between, I normally get up between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. to work out. I worked out today. I was at the gym today. I’m in California. I was there at 3:30 a.m. So I finished my workout and came back and being able to talk to you. 

TH: There you go. Well, that’s why you look so terrific and that you really just keep it all going. I’ve got to ask you though, what are you really passionate about? You know, after three decades in the business and, and really becoming a movie star. And that’s not, I’m not saying that lightly because we don’t really have movie stars that much anymore, but you’re one of them. So…

MC: That’s true. 

TH: Yeah. After all of that, what’s, what’s, what are you passionate about now?

MC: Yeah, no, it’s honestly, I love… Actually, “Diarra from Detroit” is one of the things, you know, some people are saying, well, you know, you’re going to be on a show that, you know, a lot of people aren’t, you know — one of the things I’m excited about with “Diarra from Detroit” is, and just in general, even in the industry as a producer, because I’m branching off and doing some producing, I love working with and exposing the world to different types of stories, the different types of new talent, talented people, which is why I wanted to be a part of Diarra. So that’s what I’m passionate about. Now, there’s a few things that I’m working on behind the scenes that lends itself to do just that, bringing up and bringing up and young and coming talent to the forefront. 

TH: You know, it’s so important for, especially for younger people today. I mean, we’re all facing a new world. We’ve got AI as an actor, you know, we’ve all just gone through all of these strikes and everything. So what do you tell younger people wanting to come up in the business and they’re looking at you and like, how do I do that? Is it even possible to do this anymore? 

MC: I don’t know. With AI it’s going to be challenging. In the past, I would tell, I would definitely tell actors to focus on the craft. And I still think, I would like to think that there’s going to be an opportunity still for actors to to be able to express themselves creatively and make a living at it. So I was still, I was still telling them to focus on that. But it’s, like you say, with AI, it’s really hard to know what’s coming. I don’t know much about it. I’ve seen some of the things, I’ve seen some of what it’s capable of. And so I would just tell, I would still say focus on your craft and just work hard at getting opportunities. 

TH: Love it. I love it. Well, Morris, like I said, you have always represented us so well. For so many, many years and Diarra, I was calling it, I was mispronouncing the title. It’s “Diarra from Detroit”, correct? 

MC: Yeah. Diarra (De-Arah).

TH: Right. Okay. “Diarra from Detroit”. And she brings it too. She really does. We’re so excited. She’s great. She is, everybody in the cast is great, including you. This airs on BET, which I believe is the combination of Tyler Perry’s company, BET and Paramount. So wherever people get their BET+, you have got to tune in. This, let’s see, we premiere on the 21st. That’s this week of March. 

MC: This Thursday. This Thursday and the first three episodes will be released. 

TH: Well, we will definitely be tuning in. Morris, please join us anytime you got something going on. We love you. 

MC: Thank you so much, Tanya. I appreciate you. I love you for all the years that we’ve, we’ve done things together. So thank you. Thank you for having me once again. 

TH: Absolutely. Anytime. And everybody out there, you just be good to yourself and somebody else and whatever you do tune in Thursday, the 21st, “Diarra from Detroit”.

The post Hollywood Live Extra: Morris Chestnut talks to Tanya Hart about “Diarra from Detroit” appeared first on American Urban Radio Networks.

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