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Interview: Five Questions For Craig Robinson of New Film ‘Miss March,’ TV’s ‘The Office’

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CHICAGO – Craig Robinson is one busy character actor. Besides his recurring role as Darryl Philbin in the popular NBC show “The Office’, he co-stars in the comedy film “Miss March” (releasing on Friday) as the strangely named Horsedick.MPEG.

HollywoodChicago.com recently had five questions for the talented Mr. Robinson, including a reference to his role in the upcoming sequel “Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian”.

Craig Robinson as Horsedick.MPEG in
Craig Robinson as Horsedick.MPEG in “Miss March”
Photo credit: © Twentieth Century Fox

HollywoodChicago.com: In playing a broad character like Horsedick.mpeg, what kind of standard do you see in real life rap or hip-hop lifestyle that helps to bring alive such a archetype?

Craig Robinson: We all see the blinged out guys, the entourage, the girls, so that was already built in. But what [writer/directors] Zach [Cregger] and Trevor [Moore] did with this particular character was amp up the ridiculousness of the personality by making him repeat the same thing over and over for an entire song. I really responded to that. He less of a rapper and more of a repeat ‘liner’.

HC: If you were to compare this film to the Wizard of Oz, with the Playboy mansion being Oz, which of the characters would Horsedick be in this film and why?

CR: Horsedick is the Cowardly Lion. He comes off like he’s going to kick some ass, but he’s actually scared of stuff. His whole thing is like he portrays myself through his name, but does the name really define him?

HC: You’ve worked with an interesting variety of TV and film directors. What kind of directing style makes you as an actor most comfortable? For example how is Tyler Perry [”Daddy’s Little Girls”] different than Kevin Smith [”Zach and Miri Make a Porno”]?

CR: I like a ‘hands-on’ person, meaning that if the script is clear and the vision is clear, then I don’t find myself wondering whether or not I’m doing something right. Once I have clarity, then I can add on or bring more in. Some mystery is good, but clarity is what I want.

Tyler Perry is very ‘hands-on,’ throwing out joke after joke. I would then catch it, put in the voice of my character and spit it out. Even after I was finished, he put me in another scene, just because it got a laugh.

Kevin Smith is very laid back. He was like ‘the cast does the magic, I do my thing in the editing room’. He didn’t have to say too much, because he knew what he wanted. He also knew when to challenge me.

HC: You played an stereotypical rapper in Miss March, in the Night at the Museum sequel you are portraying a Tuskegee Airman from that heroic boundary breaking period during World War 2. What do think a Tuskegee air man would say about the portrayal of African American men like Horsedick in the media?

CR: I think they would scoff and say ‘C’mon young brother.’ Get it together, what are you doing? (laughs). But ultimately he would understand that the actor is on his hustle and has to make his money.

Craig Robinson in
Craig Robinson in “The Office”
Photo credit: AP Photo/NBC

HC: One question about “The Office”. I think one of the most fascinating elements is that the creators have chosen to highlight vulnerabilities in even their most heroic characters (like Jim and Pam’s insecurities). How do you feel about that direction in a comedy context and how does that make the show richer?

CR: The show will always have a lot of heart even though it is set in a world where the most outrageous things can happen. I am actually surprised sometimes on how much heart they put in it, balanced with the humor.

The awkward moments, the heart, the humor kind of combines with some real-life situations. They take these issues and mix them up to create the direction of the show.

“Miss March” opens March 13th at area theaters.. It features Craig Robinson, Zach Clegger, Trevor Moore, Raquel Alessi and Hugh Hefner. “The Office” is on NBC-TV Thursdays nights 9pm/8 Central.

HollywoodChicago.com staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com


© 2009 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

Anonymous's picture

Kevin Smith is very laid

Kevin Smith is very laid back. He was like ‘the cast does the magic, I do my thing in the editing room’. He didn’t have to say too much, because he knew what he wanted. He also knew when to challenge me.

Anonymous's picture

Craig Robinson is one of the

Craig Robinson is one of the funniest actors from Hollywood. I will remember with pleasure a lot of roles. The interview is taken in a good manner too.

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