You may know him as Lem Van Adams of the Showtime hit series "Soul Food" or remember those infomercials touting the latest dances from the biggest pop artist around, but I had a chance to chop it up with one of Black Hollywood's hottest heartthrobs, Darrin Henson about what's going on now. From award winning choreographer to leading man on the stage and silver screen Darrin Dewitt Henson has transitioned successfully while sticking to his dancing roots. With his grand aspirations he is sure to be around a long time, and with a smile like his, we can all be happy with that!
Check out what he had to say about his latest projects, what's to come next, and where he's headed.
Melody: Tell me about your new project April Fools.
Darrin: Well, it’s a movie I did two years ago that’s out on DVD now. Directed and written and produced but Nancy Norman. It’s in the same vain as “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” I play a young detective who is a partner to Obba Bomatunde’s character and his daughter has witnessed a murder that seems to have come back to haunt her.
Melody: How did you get involved with the project?
Darrin: Nancy Norman actually called me. I’d met her through someone else and she told me that she really liked my work and she was doing this movie and wanted to know if I would be interested in doing the movie. She’s a really nice lady and she’s worked with Treach [of Naughty by Nature] who’s a friend of mine, so I said sure why not. I’d never done anything like that or played a detective, so I thought it would be fun.
Melody: Okay, expanding your repertoire. Now some may recognize you as the dancer/choreographer, or some may know you as Lem [of Soul Food] or from "Stomp the Yard", so which came first, acting or dancing?
Darrin: Dancing, dancing definitely came first.
Melody: So how did you transition into acting?
Darrin: I just made the choice to do that. I’d spent a lot of years dancing and choreographing and wanting to evolve I chose to go into acting. I started going on acting auditions as opposed to dancing auditions.
Melody: Are you still dancing and choreographing?
Darrin: Absolutely, I just released a DVD, “Darrin’s Dance Grooves Part 2” and you can find that on my website DarrinHenson.com. I still teach classes, I just taught a class here in L.A. this weekend. Most of the time people go to my website to see what I’m doing and where I’m teaching but I am definitely still heavily involved in choreographing.
Melody: I must admit that I do own Darrin’s Dance Grooves Part 1…
Darrin: Ah, thank you! We have a following clothing line right now, it’s a whole lot of fun. It’s called Henson, the logo is real vibrant, and the clothes are really fun as well. A lot if ladies gear, hoodies, and tops. For working out, you know. We designed as line that is definitely for the mature woman who likes to exercise.
Melody: Okay, a line activewear, that really falls into your area of expertise. So can they find out more information about that on your website?
Melody: So what are some other projects that you have outside of the DVDs?
Darrin: I just finished filming a movie, The Express, with Dennis Quaid, myself, Charles Dutton, and Rob Brown and that is due out October of 2008. It’s a football film, and I play Jim Brown. So I am excited about that. I am also on a 5 episode arc right now on the ABC Family show Lincoln Heights which comes on Tuesdays at 8.
Melody: Are you focusing on more films or television?
Darrin: Um, both. You know I dance on the weekends, so that’s taken care of. As long as I am acting, it doesn’t matter if its film or television.
Melody: So where you do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?
Darrin: What I would have liked to do is, win an Oscar, an [NAACP] Image Award, I would like to win an Emmy by then. I would like to open a school for children who have reading and writing problems, to help them with their artistic side meaning singing, dancing, rapping, what have you while they work on their curriculum in school. I would like to participate in the movement to heal Africa and just be a person who is consistently growing. Though I don’t believe in a destination, it’s all a process.
Melody: So a little background on you, where are you from and where did you grow up?
Darrin: I’m from New York and I grew up in the Bronx.
Melody: Okay, my mother’s from the Bronx.
Darrin: Good woman.
Melody: That she is. [Side Note: He recognized my Louisiana accent, which was crazy.] Do you come to Louisiana often?
Darrin: I’ve been to New Orleans quite a few times.
Melody: That’s a great place to visit.
Darrin: Where do you live at in Louisiana?
Melody: I live in Baton Rouge, about 45 minutes away from New Orleans.
Darrin: Oh Baton Rouge! I shot a movie in Baton Rouge a couple of month ago.
Darrin: It was called “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” and they just finished shooting the movie with Patti LaBelle and Ciara “Mama I Want to Sing.”
Melody: That’s right, I knew about that one, but I didn’t know about “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”
Darrin: “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is me, Hill Harper, and Golden Brooks. Also Darius McCray and Mel Jackson.
Melody: Okay, is there a release date for that one?
Darrin: You can go to Codeblack.com to find out.
Melody: Okay and that is the same one as “April Fools.”
Melody: Wonderful, is there anything else you would like to highlight or promote?
Darrin: Definitely, my clothing line, just come to my website DarrinHenson.com and check it out. Drop me an email, drop me a note, I answer all the emails myself. Pick up a copy of “Darrin’s Dance Grooves Part 2.”
Melody: I will have to do that. I have to say part one was a little difficult for me though.
Darrin: We made part two a lot easier to learn from.
Melody: Okay, are there any particular styles of dance in part two?
Darrin: It’s Hip Hop but we do it with a split screen, back and front. So when you dance, you see it from the back and the front.
Melody: That’s good, I wish more people would do that! Now do you have a MySpace?
Darrin: Yes, www.myspace.com/darrinhenson, all my new pictures and everything are up on there as well.
Melody: Okay great, I’ll have to stop by there. Well thanks for taking the time to talk to pop-junkie.com come.
Darrin: Thank you.
Labels: Darrin Henson, Exclusive