Boris Kodjoe is back at it again!
Humbled to be a working actor and the king of a great family that includes his wife Nicole Ari Parker, he seems more than content with life then ever before.
In an exclusive interview with GlobalGrind, Boris talked about how nervous he was on the set of one of his first gigs with Steve Harvey, his surprisingly normal trips to the grocery store, and his role in the new Resident Evil: Retribution film in theaters this Friday.
He speaks candidly and is honest about his and Nicole's relationship - man, he loves that woman! He also gave some key pointers on what two people need if they really want to make a relationship work.
GlobalGrind: You’re in the new Resident Evil movie. How does it feel to be back in this franchise?
Boris Kodjoe: It’s like a family reunion, man. Every time we get to work together again, it’s so familiar now. It’s so much fun… We worked out together for 6 weeks before shooting to learn all the fight choreography. Paul Anderson is the man. He really took it to another level with this movie. It’s more epic in scale, it’s got tons and tons of action… way more than the other movies combined, and the fight choreography is insane. To be able to do these kinds of movies, and at the same time do dramatic comedies and stuff, it’s been great because as an actor you get to do one drama and that’s it.
The movie’s based off the video game. Do you play the video game?
Yeah, I played the video game. I started out not knowing about it, and when I was in the movie I started playing. It’s kind of cool… I’m getting better and better! The videogame makers visit the set every time we shoot so at this point, as much as the movies are influenced by the game, now the games are also influenced by the movies.
When you’re forming something like this, knowing there’s a lot of zombies and scary stuff, do you ever get scared?
When you film and you’re on the set, it’s very technical because everything needs to be choreographed. So, when the zombies jump at you, you know it 20 hours ahead of time and you’ve done it like 30 times, so after a while, you just laugh. It’s not as scary as the final result, but when I saw the movie a couple of days ago, I jumped a couple of times because I didn’t anticipate it coming!
Is your character Luther different than he is from the first movie?
The last one you saw, he disappeared and everyone thought he was gone and then he came back. It’s hard to say what happened to him. We might not even find out this movie. He definitely is concerned about Alice, so he teams up with a bunch of guys and they go look for her in the Umbrella Corporation, because that’s where she’s being held. He’s developed a liking towards Alice. He respects her, he admires her, and he wants to see her safe. He does whatever it takes to rescue her.
I want to go back for a second to your first day on The Steve Harvey Show when you walked on the set.
That’s one of your first roles. What was it like that first day on the set?
I was just nervous man. It was my first gig. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know anybody. My confidence was real low [laughs]. It’s one of those… first day of school type of situations. It was fun because Cedric, Terry, and everybody made me feel real welcome and Stan Lathan was the director - he’s a mentor of mine now. So, everybody is family now but the first day was definitely nerve wrecking.
You’re in a very public marriage, does it ever get rough?
Does it ever get rough… yeah man! We’re married so we deal with the same things that everybody else deals with on a daily basis. It’s not like we wake up with full makeup and a tuxedo on. We get up, we have headaches, we make breakfast, go grocery shopping, we take the kids to soccer practice, and the only difference is that we make believe for a living. We might have different jobs than other people, but other than that we lead very, very normal lives. We enjoy our kids, we enjoy each other, and that’s our priority. That’s what we do!
As a fan myself, I’m interested to know, what’s grocery shopping like? Do you tag along with grocery shopping or do you just go get the bags after someone else goes grocery shopping for you guys?
Actually, we go together and we have 3 or 4 servants that run to the grocery store [with us] and I’m in the cart, being pushed by the servants. I just point to stuff and then they grab it for me and they put it in the cart. At the check out counter, I tell them to bag it, and I tell them what to do. So, that’s how we grocery shop… I’m just kidding [laughs].
You know how it is; when I go grocery shopping with my wife, she's in charge… even though I might be able to hold the list if she lets me. If I put anything in the cart, it will be subject to extreme scrutiny on her part. We just have to accept it, so every time I can sneak in an apple bar or something, I’m a happy camper. [Laughs]
I’ve seen you guys on red carpets and the way you guys interact is actually priceless. How cool is it to have someone who has your back?
It’s the best thing in the world. As a man, when you’re out there battling, hunting and gathering, and bringing home the bacon, it’s only worth it because you know you’ve got somebody at home that you love, that cares about you, and looks out for you. That’s why you’re out there battling in the first place. So to have somebody like that, that’s what life is all about. Without it, it wouldn’t even be close to being the same, so I’m very blessed!
Zombies are very big this year. They are the new vampires. If you were in the zombie apocalypse, what would your game plan be to stay alive?
Oh it’s simple; I’d just pack the family up, put them in the truck, and take them to Milla’s (Jovovich) house.
We’d be safe!
What do you want everyone to pull away from this movie?
I want this to be escapism for everybody! Leave your sorrows and your stuff and your business at home. Take your shoes off, relax, grab popcorn, and just enjoy this ride. It’s full of action, it’s full of zombies, it’s a whole lot of butt kicking, and some fine ladies in there as well. Michelle Rodriguez is back, Sienna Guillory is back, and Milla is back. It’s just a great ride. So relax and take off from real life for about an hour and a half.
There’s been a lot of failed celebrity marriages. As a happily married guy, what advice would you give to some of the celebrities that do go through problems - how to rebound or how to stay together?
I’m not an expert and we go through it day by day. We learn as we go. But I think one of the most important prerequisites is that you like each other as people. If you like each other as people, and you respect each other as such, it’s much easier to fight for each other, to be there for each other… because love takes on many different shapes. I think a lot of people… when they fall heads over heels for each other, they forget to check in and see, do I really like this person, do I like what he/she stands for, and their values and principles and where they want to go in life?
I’m really lucky that my wife and I were friends first. I fell in love with her personality, and then I fell in love with her everything else. So, that’s definitely a prerequisite. The other is you got to put in the work every single day. Don’t ever take each other for granted. You got to work at yourself, you got to work at the relationship, you got to try and grow individually and grow together. Those are two things that I think are very important.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Personally, I want to give my kids everything. I want to inform their journey, and their growth, and I want to be there for them every single day, as well as my wife. That’s really my priority in 5 years, as well as in 10, and in 15 years. Now professionally, just to grow as an artist, venture behind the camera, and on the business end, continue to do well with our businesses, and continue to support our foundation, and eventually eradicate all preventable Spina Bifida, which is possible globally in 10 years, the head of the CDC just announced. So there’s a bunch of goals that I have on that side, but again, really my priority is to be the best husband and father I can be, because that’s the real, true legacy I can leave behind.