Michael Ealy may have God-given assets that make female moviegoers swoon, but he lets his faith take the lead in a new Christian-th
In a powerful story of healing and redemption, Ealy’s character is inspired by the real-life “Papa” Joe, a man who has dedicated his life to serving the needs of children from severely under-served communities. The Think Like A Man star discusses the challenges of playing an emotionally heavy role, his on-screen fear and ideal spots he’d take a woman on a date.
Michael Ealy: No magical story behind it really. My manager called me about a script and was pretty excited about it. He said I think you’re gonna like this script so I read it and instantly I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s get involved. What do we need to do?’
What attracted you most to this script?
M.E.: The fact that the message and the theme was encouraging. I do a lot of movies where it’s about gettin’ the ladies, you know, being a criminal, a lot of movies that don’t necessarily encourage people to go out and do something in their community—this is one that does.
You’re known for doing various roles like in Barber Shop, Think Like A Man and Common Law. What are viewers gonna find surprising about your performance in Unconditional?
I don’t wanna tell them what they’re gonna take away but I think they’ll see a much more vulnerable side and hopefully they’ll garner some of Joe’s nobility. I’ve never played such a noble character in my opinion.
How do you prepare for such an emotionally heavy role?
The key to preparing for this role was talking to Joe and his wife and his family and getting the real information from the source. That probably made it a little more easy to prepare but at the same time daunting because those people are gonna watch you. You really need their seal of approval as a man in order to feel like you accomplished what you set out to do.