Icon Living: Morris Chestnut Reflects On His 30-Year Career, 'The Enemy Within' And 'The Best Man'
Editor's note: This interview was conducted prior to the passing of John Singleton.
It has been 20 years since Morris Chestnut sizzled on the big screen as NFL baller, Lance Sullivan in The Best Man, and nearly thirty years since he stole our hearts as Ricky Baker in the late John Singleton's debut feature, Boyz n the Hood. Now at age 50, one of film and television's most iconic leading men hasn't slowed down one bit.
These days, Chestnut stars on the NBC thriller, The Enemy Within as Supervising Special Agent Will Keaton. As the hard-charging leader of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, Keaton is trying to catch terrorists while mourning his fiancé's death and relying on the treasonous Erica Shepherd (Jennifer Carpenter), the former CIA Deputy Director of Operations, to help him stop the very man she betrayed her country for.
Shadow And Act recently sat down with Chestnut at Rockefeller Center's Rainbow Room to discuss The Enemy Within, his extensive career, the uneasiness he felt about being labeled a sex symbol, and why it's always been about the work for him.
"I like to stay busy, I just don't stop," Chestnut said, reflecting on his thirty-year career. "That's the fun of doing what we do as actors. It's not having to do the same thing every time, even though the characters or storylines may be similar. What the character is going through is always different. There's just a lot of variety —that's what I love about it."
We last saw Chestnut as the carefree Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr. on Fox's Rosewood, but his role as Will Keaton on The Enemy Within is much darker and physically demanding. "That's the tough part about this show because the schedule is so rough," he said. "We're working so much. For all the stunts, I worked them out right before we started filming. A couple of times we tried to schedule some rehearsal time for the stunts before we started shooting that episode, but it never worked that way."
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Photo via Instagram.