The Perfect Guy is a romantic thriller about a woman who meets a Dr. Jekyll that turns out to be more of a Mr. Hyde. The film stars Sanaa Lathan (Leah Vaughn), Michael Ealy (Carter Duncan) and Morris Chestnut (Dave) and follows their twisted love triangle after Leah begins to move on from Dave with Carter.. that is until she finds out that her new love has a little more than a dark side. After finding out Dave doesn’t want to take things to the next level in their relationship, Leah ends it and soon meets Carter. The two begin a hot and heavy affair, until one night Carter shows Leah a side of himself that changes everything.
We had the chance to sit down with stars Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy to talk with them about their characters, what they hope audiences will take away from the film and their thoughts on chemistry between actors. Here’s what we learned…
From what audiences have seen in the trailers, Carter is the ex from hell. He stalks Leah, leaving threatening notes and hiding under her bed, but the scariest thing about him could be that he thinks he’s doing it all for the right reasons. “He’s not a monster. He believes that what he’s doing is best for both of them,” said Ealy. “Like he really believes that she should know better. That she should understand that with him, she’s fine and that’s hard for her to grasp. He definitely thinks he’s doing the right thing for her and that’s another scary thing, if someone is thinking for you. If someone feels they need to think for you, like that would be kind of terrifying…”
Although we spend a lot of time with Carter’s scary side, the movie works to maintain a balance between being a romance and thriller, a deliberate decision made during film’s production. “We strongly had to deal with that in development of the script because the original script felt like a romantic comedy for like half the movie, like literally not even a romantic film, a romantic comedy, and then it turned into this thriller. It was like, you’ve got to somehow meld the two together and make it more of a romantic thriller,” Ealy stated.
Even though the movie is intense (and can get pretty hot at times) it still earned a PG-13 rating. Sanaa revealed that if she could chose, she’d want the film to be R-rated. “You never see black people do that kind of tasteful- I’m not saying I wanted it just for the raunchiness- but I like that kind of tasteful, kind of edgy rawness. We haven’t really seen that a lot, so I thought that because the script was so solid, it would have been great.”
The two have an undeniable chemistry (which even we saw during the interview). You can tell they are comfortable around one another and enjoy each other as friends and co-stars, a quality that both feel comes across on-screen.
“I think chemistry is important, but I don’t think chemistry is as hard to come by as people say,” Michael expressed. “I think you have actors who are two things: 1. they’re good, and 2. they actually care about the project to kind of let go of all of the personal stuff and just be engaged in the project, then the chemistry will be there.”
Lathan disagreed to an extent saying, “I believe that you can aim at chemistry, and I believe that if you’re a good actress and you’re committed to the story and the characters, that you can actually create chemistry if you don’t have it, but then there is that natural thing that actually is something that you feel even if you like a person just as a friend. I have a new girlfriend that I met last year, and we just have amazing chemistry, and we love to be around each other and that is chemical, you know?”
Regardless of how the chemistry got there, it’s definitely there and filming the scarier scenes sometimes got so intense that Lathan had to step away to decompress. “I had to step away from [Michael], because he was in a whole other head space and it was kind of, it was great and exciting for me to see, but it was trippy to be around him.”
Audiences are in for a wild ride throughout the movie, but at the end of the day Ealy wants you to know that there’s still a very real lesson involved. “…One of the things we hope that people walk away from this movie and talk about: What did she not see prior to this happening? The goal is to have every woman see the movie and be like ‘OK, I would have fallen in love with him too’ and then be like ‘But wait a minute, why wouldn’t I have seen – why would I overlook what she overlooked?’ and it’s there. It’s definitely there.”
Check out the trailer for The Perfect Guy below and be sure to go see it when it hits theaters tomorrow.
Photo Credit: Screen Gems