“What Men Want” cast members Aldis Hodge and Richard Roundtree stopped in Philadelphia to promote the upcoming movie. In a relaxed setting in the Philadelphia Ritz Carlton, the actors were very open about their role in the film.
During most of the conversation, the 76 year old astute Roundtree deferred to his co-star, Hodge who has been on stage since the age of 2. The respect and admiration shared between the two is undeniable despite the age difference.
This movie attacks common stereotypes of African American men and women in a fun and thoughtful way. Aldis Hodge (Will) talks about his love for kids and why this role was so important to him. Having grown up without a father, Aldis recounts how this role allowed him to represent his idea of a father. Coupled with Richard Roundtree (Skip) the father of the strong willed Taraji P. Henson (Ali), they show that men can be vulnerable while opening the viewers eyes to something that it is not always positively portrayed or celebrated.
“What Men Want” is so relevant to women of all ages as we still have to go the extra mile to get ahead because strong willed women are not always welcomed. Hodge describes how he hopes that women take note of the unrelenting presence of Taraji P. Henson (Ali) and never lose sight of who we are.
While there was no talk about Richard Roundtree's repeated role as “Shaft”, a thought provoking conversation was had about the increase demand for minority representation behind and in front of the camera. With sparks in their eyes, both actors acknowledged that more is needed. Roundtree is super-impressed with our participation but “it can improve greatly, but the intelligence of people of color I love. It’s only expanding”. Hodge, an Academy member notes that he has a job to do. “Change the Spectrum… “I don’t look at it as increased representation, I look at it as increased acknowledgment. When it comes to people of color in all facets — whether it’s Black, Brown, yellow — we’ve been killing it for a long time! We just haven’t been acknowledged for it.”
What Men Want” opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, February 8th. Check your local listings for showtimes and support!