Atlanta Daily World
Michael Ealy’s feature films include “Think Like a Man,” “Barbershop,” “Seven Pounds,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Never Die Alone,” “For Colored Girls,” “Miracle at St. Anna,” “Takers” and “Underworld: Awakening.” In 2007, he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role in Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell.” Meanwhile, on TV, he’s appeared in ABC’s “Flash Forward” and CBS’s “The Good Wife.”
Here, the versatile thespian talks about starring in “Unconditional,” an inspirational, faith-based feature. In this bittersweet tale of redemption, he portrays Papa Joe Bradford, a real-life role model who, despite kidney disease, teams with a recently-widowed, childhood friend (Lynn Collins) to make a difference in the lives of needy kids in Nashville.
Los Angeles Sentinel (LAS): Hey Michael. Thanks for another interview.
Michael Ealy: I’m good, How are ya?
LAS: What interested you in Unconditional?
ME: It started with the script. I kind of fell in love with some of the miraculous, lyrical and poetic nature of the writing. Ultimately, I still had to respond to the role. And I did respond to the character. The fact that this guy was a real person, someone who, after turning his own life around, was doing everything in his power to influence the development of youth in his neighborhood made me feel like this was an important movie to do.
LAS: Did you get to meet the real Papa Joe Bradford in the process of making the movie?
ME: Yes, sir, and we’re still good friends to this day.
LAS: Editor/legist Patricia Turnier says she loves your performance in Think Like a Man because you made your character really believable. She asks: What does Papa Joe’s philanthropy mean to you?
ME: It’s tough for me to see Papa Joe as a philanthropist because I generally think of philanthropy on a grander scale. For instance, I consider Bill Cosby a philanthropist because of all the colleges and charities he supports. I see Papa Joe as more grassroots. With him, it’s not so much about big changes as it is about an individual’s daily effort. It’s a lot like what a teacher does. When I visit a school, and students get excited, I always tell them, “It’s not me you should be listening to, it’s your teachers, because they’re here every day.” It’s that sort of commitment that Papa made, even though he had his own family, seven kids. Yet, he still finds the time to be daddy to a lot of other children, too. He’s there on a daily basis. I can’t give that. That means a lot. That is special. That is extraordinary.
LAS: Patricia goes on to say that friendship is one of the main themes in Unconditional where the lead character reconnects with an old friend. She’s wondering whether you have a best friend with whom you would like to reconnect.
ME: No, me and my three best friends from childhood never stopped being boys.
LAS: Patricia also recognizes you as the love interest in music videos by both Beyonce’ and Mariah Carey. She wonders whether you plan to play the hunk again opposite a pop diva in another upcoming video.
ME: No, not really.
LAS: On a similar note, children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: Is being so good-looking ever a drawback because people try to typecast you in your career?
ME: [Chuckles] Yes.
LAS: Irene would also like to know what’s up next for you.
ME: I am about to start shooting the remake of About Last Night, an adaptation of David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
LAS: Is there any question no one ever asks that you wish someone would?
ME: If you could change anything about yourself, what would that be?
LAS: Last time we spoke, I asked you to come up with a generic Michael Ealy question. Did you think of one yet?
ME: Yeah, if you could talk to anyone who has passed on, who would that be and what would you say?
LAS: Great, thanks. The Pastor Alex Kendrick question: What motivates you at this stage of your career?
ME: Good question. It’s important to me to start challenging myself more as an artist. I’d like to try different genres, and not always take the popular role or the favorite part. I’m highly motivated to be flexible. I don’t always have to play the picture’s moral compass. And I also want to have a lot more fun.
LAS: What would make your life easier?
ME: [LOL] What would make my life easier would be being able to keep my private life private as long as possible.
LAS: Thanks again for the time, Michael, and best of luck with the film.
ME: Alright, Kam, I appreciate it, man.
by Kam Williams, Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Sentinel
(YourBlackWorld.com)–Just a few days ago, it was announced by Michael Baisden that he was leaving his popular radio show. The announcement stunned listeners, since the show was doing so well. It also appeared that Baisden was leaving on his own accord, and that he would have a few days to say goodbye to listeners before heading off the air.
But these reports are being contradicted by Access Atlanta, who says that Baisden has been locked out of his studio and can’t even finish out the show on his own terms. Here is the original tweet that Baisden sent out to the public:
"At 3pm ET today, Michael and George (Willborn) will begin saying goodbye after 10 years on radio. Tell everyone to tune in and call in to show some love for the most thought provoking, funny, and socially active shows ever to come to radio!"
Baisden’s tune changed later on when it was revealed that he’d been locked out of the studio and couldn’t come in to properly finish off the show before leaving:
"In the words of Rodney King, 'Can’t we all get along?' Just because we couldn’t come to an agreement is no reason to deprive the listeners, our affiliates, and our advertisers of only 9 days to say goodbye and show our appreciation.
All their action does is make me more determined than ever to come back! And next time there will be no middlemen between me, my affiliates, and my listeners. Lesson learned!
I’ll miss you family, stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for my daily inspiration post and updates on the return of The MB Show! The journey continues!!!"
Radio Facts claims that the negotiations between Baisden and Cumulus did not go well and that they are upset that he released information to the public before getting their permission to do so. Negotiations were still pending, but it appears that Baisden walked away from the table.
Baisden said more about the situation on his Facebook page:
"Who would have ever thought that a Black man from the South Side of Chicago, with no college degree, no formal training in radio, TV, or writing, and the youngest son to a single 17 year-old teenaged mother with three children, would one day lead civil rights protest and help to elect the first Black President. Life is truly amazing!
I am proud of what I have accomplished with my life and look forward to what is to come next. Life is full of new beginnings, whether it’s a new relationship or a new business venture; change is the one constant…and we must learn to embrace it.
For years I’ve encouraged you to step out on faith to live your dream, to never compromise your principles, and most importantly, not to be afraid to try something new, but above all else, dare to be different. Well, it’s time for me to practice what I preach!
When I began writing books in 1993, my only goal was to have a positive impact and challenge people to think outside the box. In 1995 I took that leap of faith and left my job with a four-year-old child to support, three thousand dollars in my pocket, and a dream. And as strange as this may sound, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would make it.
Call it cockiness or confidence, but I was determined that no force on earth was going to stop me from realizing my dreams. And after five best selling books, two stage plays, two televisions shows, three DVDs, and one of the most successful radio programs in history, I’m just getting started!
No, it was not my intention to leave radio, I had plans for The Michael Baisden Live Tour, my 10-year anniversary party in DC in July, and I was looking forward to being on the air this summer to get justice for Trayvon Martin and his family.
But sometimes fate, the universe, God, or however you want to label that undeniable force, has it’s own plans. Someone once told me that the greatest experiences in life are unplanned ones. I guess I’m about to test that theory."
We wish Michael the best of luck in his new endeavors. We’re sure they will be successful.
Special to the NNPA from the New Pittsburgh Courier
Rapper Gucci Mane is again being sought by Atlanta police. The Atlanta native, whose real name is Radric Davis, was accused of hitting a man over the head with a bottle of champagne for reasons unknown.
An arrest warrant for aggravated assault was issued for Davis after James Lettley, of Fort Hood, Texas, said Gucci Mane hit him with the champagne bottle while he was attempting to get a picture with the rapper. The alleged event happened at Harlem Nights Ultra Lounge near downtown Atlanta. Gucci Mane was there promoting a mixtape release.
Lettley, 32, said Saturday he wanted to get a picture with the rapper and was talking to a security guard when he was hit March 16.
“Once he struck me in my head, I looked at him in a state of shock and looked at him like ‘why?’” Lettley said. He said he was then hit in his face by a second man and left the club, according to The Associated Press.
Police said the assault caused a severe gash to Lettley’s head.
He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and told sources that he had to get 10 stitches. Police said the rapper may have taken off in a white Chevrolet Tahoe.
AP reported that it was unclear if the rapper has an attorney.