Beginning on February 12th at 10PM ET, BET Networks and Paramount Television will air its 10-episode comedy series, Boomerang, a reboot on the 1992 romantic comedy.
Executve produced by “The Chi” creator Lena Waithe and Halle Berry, who starred in the original film, the series will follow the two characters as they try to step out of their parents’ shadows and make a legacy of their own.
“Everybody Hates Chris” and “General Hospital’ alum Tequan Richmond and his “All Night” co-star Tetona Jackson have been cast as the leads in the series. They will play the son and daughter, respectively, of the characters played by Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry and Robin Givens in 1992 romantic comedy.
Richmond’s character Bryson, son of Jacqueline Boyer (played by Robin Givens in the film), is described as resourceful, tough and charming. Raised by a single mother, he’s self-assured and doesn’t hide his vulnerability. Every bit as driven as Simone, Bryson wants to make his mark on this world.
Jackson’s character Simone, daughter of Marcus and Angela Graham (played by Eddie Murphy & Halle Berry in the film), is described as privileged, beautiful, cool and driven to a fault. She has an easy confidence that she inherited from her father, but a down-to-earth, chill vibe, which she inherited from her mother. The shadow of both her parents looms large and she is eager to step out of it and make a name for herself.
Leland Martin and Lala Milan have also been cast as series regulars.
Martin will play Ari, a digital producer with big dreams. He is handsome, charming, effortlessly confident, and has an edge and swagger that is completely disarming. Ari doesn’t believe in labels. He’s an equal opportunist when it comes to dating.
Milan is Tia, a misguided performance artist with high ambitions. She is a classically trained dancer who wants to topple the patriarchy. She’s charismatic and wildly unique. Tia is an activist at heart, but she doesn’t mind being a little ratchet every now and then.
Recurring cast members are Brittany Inge, RJ Walker, Joey BadA$$, Dreezy, Kimberly Hall, and Paula Newsome.
Inge’s character is Crystal. Described as “a Type-A Southern belle, Crystal works in advertising with Bryson and is one of Simone’s best friends. She can be buttoned up, but she always speaks her mind. Crystal was married to David when she was younger.”
Walker will play David Wright. Described as “a Wall Street guy turned preacher with a strong moral compass. Fastidious about his looks, he feels well beyond his 26 years. He was married to Crystal.”
BadA$$’s character is Camden Knight. Described as “gorgeous, edgy and sexy, Camden is a professional musician; the only innocent thing about him is his smile.”
Hall’s character is Rocky. Described as “a lesbian with a dominant personality, she is very protective over her girlfriend Tia and her career.”
Newsome’s character is Victoria Johnson. “Your least favorite aunt, Victoria is the Creative Director of The Graham Agency, and Bryson and Simone’s boss. Set in her ways, mainly because they’ve worked so well for her in the past, she’s tough on the younger associates, in spite of their family connections to the agency.”
Blackfilm.com recently caught up with the cast as each talk about joining the series and what sets the series apart from the film.
What attracted you to the series?
Leland Martin: The original was one of my favorites movies growing up. To be honest with you, I used to watch that all the time in college. It’s a huge privilege for me to be actually working in the project. I’ve seen it over and over numerous times. It was something that I auditioned for. We all auditioned for it. We did several, several auditions just to get these particular roles.
Brittany Inge: I was based in Atlanta prior to auditioning for Boomerang and I was the only Atlanta local hire from the show even though I had just moved from Atlanta when I actually booked it. I lived in Atlanta for the last 11 years, going to college and then pursuing acting. I had done roles, small co-star roles leading up to this moment and then Boomerang happened after I came to New York. Then I had to go back to Atlanta to film and I’m a huge fan of the original film as well. That’s been my journey to this moment.
Lala Milan: For me, I had not seen Boomerang until I was going in for the audition, but I had heard about the movie and I had heard about the people who were in it. Just hearing about some many legendary actors and actresses, I said to myself that I really have to really be a part of it. The auditioning process was definitely a thing for me. I had to audition, A lot of people assume that the social media thing around me that this was a given, but it wasn’t so I want to make that clear.. She works.
Tetona Jackson: I had heard of the movie and I think I watched it close to when I auditioned for the show, I got called in like everyone else and one thing led to another. Callbacks and I’m very happy to be hear.
Did you audition for the role you are playing?
Tetona Jackson: I went in for Simone and now I’m here.
Tequan Richmond: I had worked with Lena Waithe on The Chi. We shot two pilots for the show and it ended up going down. They ended re-casting the whole thing and before I left Chicago, Lena whispered to me and said, “Just wait on me.” I don’t know what “just wait” means. Two and a half years later she calls me and says to come in for Bryson for Boomerang and now I’m here.
RJ Walker: I met Lena around the time Black Panther came out. I saw her and said, “You’re Lena Waithe,” and she looked at me and said, “Yeah, I am.” I told her that I’m a big fan of hers and she came to the premiere of season 2 of Atlanta and after she saw me in the first two episodes of that show she said, “You were dope.” I then said, “If you have anything down in the pipeline, let me know because I want to work with you.” Fast forwarding, I would see her a few times later on and then the audition came out. I actually auditioned for Bryson, but I had them laughing and they told me that I would be good as David. I came in and auditioned and she told me I had the role at a party, which made my whole weekend and now I’m here.
Outside of the two characters, Simone and Bryson, which connects to the film, what separates the series and the film?
Brittany: Everything is separated from the movie because it’s not a remake. We came at it from a fresh perspective. We’re putting a Black millennial spin on it and it’s really our take on our lives; twenty-somethings trying to navigate and support each other as a group of friends. We’re on a respective journeys but also as a collective; how we come together, support each other and help each other out.
Lala Milan: We’re also touching on the things that are taboo, specifically sexuality. That’s very huge in our culture but a lot of people don’t like to speak on it. Especially with Leland playing a character that is a bisexual male.
The original film had a lot of humor in it. Will that sort of humor be included in the series?
Lala Milan: I provide the comedic relief.
Tequan Richmond: We do a lot of comedy but it light and we try to deal with serious topics in a light manner and like Lala has said, she is the comedic relief. Whenever she comes on screen, it’s time to laugh.
RJ Walker: Everyone has their moments but it’s grounded. They all lend to the comedy. We’re a unit.
Are any of you like the characters you play?
Brittany Inge: I would say yes. Crystal is super Black and that’s me. She’s very smart and funny and she’s like the mother to her friend group and that’s totally me in real life.
RJ Walker: I play David, the ex of Crystal. I find myself in positions where I’m giving advice or making the first step and David does the same thing on the show. I also have a spiritual background and was able to lend that to the character. He’s chilled though at the same time and I can relate to that.
How was meeting Halle Berry?
Tetona Jackson: Unfortunately, we have yet to meet Halle because she was away shooting a film while we were shooting the series. I think she was filming John Wick 3 but Lena was there. It was great having her on set. She’s definitely very hands on with the project. Having her there a lot of times helped because she’s very encouraging and it was lit.
Leland Martin: I was a huge fan of Halle growing up and just to have her name on this particular project is huge in my opinion. She’s legendary. Oscar winner and to have that type of caliber of person put their name on this project, I feel honored just to be part of something that has her name on it.
Will each episode be different or continue like a soap opera?
RJ Walker: Every episode is like a short film of sorts. You’ll have one episode where it will all be in one setting and other episodes, we’re traveling around in one region. There is a through line throughout it all but it can stand alone if you watch each one by itself.
Tetona Jackson: We like to describe it like a “Black Friends.” It’s very muck like that series. There’s a storyline but you don’t have to watch every episode in order to understand, but you should.
Is Bryson well off on his own or because of mom?
Tequan Richmond: I feel that he’s privileged but doesn’t realized just how privileged he is. At the same time, he’s working to create his own legacy to step out from the shadow of his own mother. It’s a little bit of hard mix with a little bit of privilege. That will show throughout the episodes as we get through the series.
Will folks be able to relate to the characters?
Lala Milan: I feel that folks will be able to relate to my character as far as her occupation because she does everything. That’s the thing for millennials these days. A lot of us have multiple hustles just to try to make it through and I feel that my character is just trying to make it. Who can’t relate to that? We’ve all done different jobs whether we like it or not. I can get money from this one or I don’t like it but I will still do it because I’m getting money. Who can’t relate to that especially nowadays in 2019 where everyone wants to be an entrepreneur.