Interview: Shemar Moore and Bill Bellamy Talk 'The Bounce Back,' On-Screen Friendship, and a Sequel to 'The Brothers'
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Interview: Shemar Moore and Bill Bellamy Talk 'The Bounce Back,' On-Screen Friendship, and a Sequel to 'The Brothers'

Shemar Moore - The Bounce Back

It was less than a year ago that actor Shemar Moore raised

over $630,000 on Indiegogo to help fund his feature film “The Bounce Back,” which

he stars in and also executive produces.

Directed by Youssef Delara

(“Filly Brown”) and written by Delara and Victor Teran from a story by Staci Robinson, the romantic comedy stars Moore as an author who’s marketing a

relationship book but hasn’t gotten over his own heartbreak. Bill Bellamy co-stars

as his friend and manager, and Nadine Velasquez as love interest.

As “Bounce Back” recently wrapped production in Los Angeles, Shadow And

Act spoke with Moore and Bellamy about the movie and what other projects

they have coming up, including a possible sequel to their 2001 comedy “The

Brothers.”

On executive

producing “The Bounce Back”:

SHEMAR MOORE: It’s been an exciting five weeks. Without

sounding corny, it’s kind of a dream come true. Wearing an executive producer

hat, I’ve gotten a firsthand look at how hard it is to get a movie made. It’s

nice to be on this side and see it because I’ve always been on the acting side,

where you just audition, learn your lines and show up to work, but you don’t

really know the machine of how it’s all put together.

As executive producer I’m in control of the vision, the

story, the creative process. There’s nobody taking my idea and turning it into

something that I really didn’t have in mind. What’s nice is myself, Youssef

Delara and Ray Brown, we all share the same vision of what we think the script

is, how we feel it should look, and the story that we want to tell.

On teaming up with

producing partner Ray Brown:

SM: “The Bounce Back” will be the first movie out of our

production company called Ankle Socks and Baseball Pants. There’s a funny story

about when I met Ray playing flag football. He had ankle socks with no elastic

in them and I was a baseball player, so I was playing football in baseball

pants. We were teasing each other that he needed to find some success so he could

afford ankle socks with elastic and I needed to realize what sport I was

playing and put on the right uniform.

We became best friends and I spent 20 years working on my

craft as an actor. He spent 20 years really understanding the business side of

Hollywood and bringing ventures to life, and so we’ve collaborated. And so it’s

nice to do business with a friend because now it’s like a “we started from the

bottom, now we’re here” sort of thing.

On working with Nadine Velasquez:

SM: Nadine was in “Snitch” with The Rock, she was in “Flight” with Denzel, she was in “My Name Is Earl” on television. She’s beautiful and

stunning, the camera loves her. But she’s also subtly brilliant. Being a true actress is so important to

her.

On casting Bill Bellamy:

BILL BELLAMY: We were both on “The Arsenio Hall Show” and his

dressing room was right next door to mine. I hadn’t seen him in a while and we

started catching up and he was like, “Yo B, I’m doing this project. You’ve got

to do it with me. You’d be perfect to play Terry, my best friend.”

So Ray sent me the script and when I finally sat down and

read it, I was like, “Oh yeah, this is it.”

SM: Bill, he’s ridiculously funny, but he knows how to

maintain the truth of the story. So he’s not just in there for slapstick

one-liners. It’s such a challenge working with him because you never know

what’s going to come out of his mouth. He stays true to the words, but then he

puts his Bill-isms in there. And just the facial expressions, and his timing

and cadence.

And the thing about Bill, yes he’s very funny, but he’s a

universal funny that appeals to so many different people. There’s nobody else

who could play this role, to be believable as my best friend and have all the

qualities that his character needed. 

Bill embodies not only the punch lines, but the essence and theme of

what the movie is about, at the same time running his mouth and being a fool.

Shemar Moore and Bill Bellamy

On characters:

BB: Terry is absolutely neurotic, charismatic, fun, and

sickly intoxicated with the success of Matthew Taylor. We came up together in

the game and we’re trying to go get it. He wrote the book Bounce Back after

coming off this horrible divorce, and it has become a hit

and everybody’s starting to catch onto it. So you see me fighting with him and

believing in him more than he believes in himself sometimes.  It’s a fun ride.

On crowdfunding:

SM: Going with Indiegogo, I didn’t know much about it to be

honest, so I was a little wary and unsure. The idea of asking complete

strangers over the Internet for money just felt a little weird. But I learned that

it’s not really all about looking for money.

What people need to realize is that crowdfunding helps show

the industry that there is a demand for the movie. Hollywood’s about numbers

and people in the seats. So by raising the money through Indiegogo, we were

able to create a buzz and we knew there was a demand. So now the trick is to

make the best movie we possibly can, and I think we’ve done that. We are on the

verge of what I call a big little movie. There’s not a lot of eyes on us, which

is nice for now because it leaves us alone to really just be creative and make

the best movie possible.

On improvising and

creating laughs:

BB: You can’t write what comes out of this crazy mind! I

definitely have done some fun stuff that was right off the top of the head. And

Youssef wants those moments that are just priceless. So I think we got a lot of

real moments between me and Shemar, we got some funny as hell moments, we got

those business moments, so it’s everywhere. It’s not a straight comedy, but

it’s sort of a comedy with heart.

On finding the truth

of the film:

SM: The words say one thing, but it’s starting to evolve now

that we’re shooting it. There’s many colors of life and relationships, whether

it’s family or lovers or heartbreak. On the first day of shooting we did a big

seminar scene where my character had seven pages of dialogue and I was pitching

the Bounce Back book. We had an audience of extras playing the women in the

seminar and one of them yelled out, “This isn’t a freaking movie, this is my

freaking life!”

It was funny, but it was a great compliment. Not just that

we were doing a great job, but if she represents the audience that’s going to

watch the movie and she can see a correlation to her own life, then I think we’re

on to something. So I want you to leave the theater feeling like you had fun,

but also thinking, “Wow, that feels real.” And if we can accomplish that, then

I don’t think we can ask for more.

On the resurgence of

the ’90s style romantic comedy:

BB: Timing is everything. The ’90s was the era that blew me

up, so all the people who were 15, 20, or 30 at that time, years later they’re

still my fans, still Shemar’s fans. So literally it’s nostalgic for people to

see us and be like, “Yo, when I was in high school you were my dude!”

Now that everybody’s grown, people from that generation are

the new decision-makers. So they want to see things they saw in their childhood

and their high school and college days. It’s starting a trend now and I hope we

make more, and give more work to other actors and directors. I hope that it

keeps going.

Favorite nostalgic

and romantic films:

BB: I have to shout out a couple great movies from back in

the day. I want to say “Love Jones” ’cause it’s all that. I want to say “The Five

Heartbeats,” “Love and Basketball,” “Brown Sugar.” And “How to be a Player”!

On future projects:

SM: What’s wonderful is, you believe Bill Bellamy and Shemar

Moore as best friends, because we have a great rapport off-camera. We have some

ideas and some other things we want to do, similar to what he did in Fastlane

years ago, or Bad Boys with Will and Martin. We have all these ideas, because

this experience has been so fun.

BB: “The Brothers II” is on deck, we already have the script

and we’ve got all the guys. So now it’s about budget and when we’re going to go

into production. So we’ll see. I think work begets work and once people start

seeing you they’re like, “There go Bill and Shemar, they’re doing the damn

thing.”

The Bounce Back is slated for release in 2015.

 

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