David Alan Grier S. Epatha Merkerson Peeples interview slice

The Tyler Perry name-brand provokes an impulsive knee jerk response. Either you’re on the bandwagon or you’re vehemently against. This Friday’s Peeples presents quite the conundrum for the Perry-less faction of viewers. While the film sports Perry’s name on the one sheet, the man didn’t direct the film instead serving as producer. The credit here belongs to Tina Gordon Chism, the writer behind the much-better-than they-ought to-be Drumline and ATL. Peeples – her first stab as writer/director – is no exception to this norm. I’ll admit a certain amount of trepidation before the lights dimmed; but within the first reel, I was quickly won over by the film’s quick and gentle wit.

Much of the film’s merit can be laid onto its game cast – in particular David Alan Grier (In Living Color)and S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order) as the patri/matri-arch to potential son-in-law Craig Robinson. In the following interview with the duo, Merkerson and Grier talk acting opposite film-legends Melvin Van Peebles and Diahann Carroll and reveal the art in using comedy to deal with serious subject matters. In addition Grier discussed the planned reboot of the classic sketch-comedy In Living Color and why ultimately it failed. For the full interview, hit the jump.

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By Tommy Cook