Steven Grayhm Talks Set Life On 'White Chicks'
PG: You were cast as Russ in the movie "White Chicks". How did you react to getting the part?
S: I was actually quite shocked. I had just finished a stage production of HAMLET. I was still shaking off the after affects of playing the title role and all that comes with it. I honestly thought it was the last thing I would be cast in. In the end, I guess the director (Keenan Ivory Wayans) thought I was funny. For my final audition he was in the room and he encouraged me to really just go for it. So I did. And...the rest is history.
PG: I rewatched the movie before your interview and honestly the scene with Terry Crews where you roll out on a wheelchair is legendary. How many times did it take you to shoot it?
S: I think twice because we cracked up the first time. For the most part, that scene was actually improvised. I thought it would be funny if I appeared to look like a "violated prom queen". So, I had the hair department tease my hair. Ridiculous? Absolutely. But again, the artistic freedom we were given by our director was boundless.
PG: It's been rumored that White Chicks 2 would be coming sometime soon. In fact, Marlon Wayans has stated, "We're thinking about it, actually seriously talking about doing it. It's the one thing that everybody begs us to do." If Sony does pick up the sequel, would you agree to star in it?
S: I heard this news and was actually really surprised because both Marlon and Shawn underwent 8 hours of make up a day for those roles. It's tough because the make-up doesn't breathe and it obviously makes for really long days combined with shooting for 3-4 months. I love the character of "Party Boy" and more often than not, I'm stopped on the street by people quoting my lines who tell me how much they too love that character, too. Let's wait and see what happens!
PG: Who was your favorite person on set to act with & why?
S: I think it's a tie between our director Keenan Ivory Wayans and my co-star Terry Crews. Keenan because he really made me come out of my shell. Try being funny at 6am in the morning with 300 extras in a scene. It's like doing a stand up act with no safety net. Well...Keenan WAS the safety net. He really built us up and always let us explore things in every scene. Terry because he was the most prepared actor on that set. He used to play professional football and I think his work ethic is cut from that cloth of being the hardest man working in the room. He continually surprised all of us on set with what he would come up with. FYI that dance he does in the nightclub - he had rehearsed and rehearsed the choreography leading up to that film day. That was his creation and he nailed it.
PG: Can you tell us anything about a White Chicks reunion?
S: I haven't heard anything about that...yet.
PG: What's your favorite fan moment?
S: Firstly, I don't like to think of anyone as a "fan". Maybe more like an enthusiast or a supporter of my work. There have been some pretty crazy moments where people have quoted lines to me in the bathroom of a restaurant. But I think the most touching was the time I was approached by a Best Buy employee who had told me that he had battled cancer - and won! He told me that WhiteChicks helped him get through all his difficult treatments because it put a smile on his face every day he was feeling down. I don't care what people say - if you can achieve that? That's a very beautiful thing!
PG: Are you working on anything right now?
S: Yes. I am doing a show on Netflix called BETWEEN.