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Arts

5/3/2011, 11:13 p.m.
Pictured (from l to r) at last week’s screening...

Why were you guys interested in this role?

Paula Patton:  When I read the script, I loved it. I just thought it was a great project. I thought it was a wonderful, romantic comedy. I wanted to do a comedy. I loved the character, Sabrina. I just immediately knew I had to do it. It just was something I felt very passionately about.

Laz Alonso: For me, when I look back on my childhood and what got me interested in eventually growing up and becoming an actor, I look at some of my favorite movies. Guys, we like action films. We like to always talk about the real macho blockbuster, shoot ‘em up movies, but the movies that stand out in my head were romantic comedies [like] “Boomerang” [and] “Coming to America.” Those films that are forever classics, those are the ones that inspired me as a kid and brought my family together to watch a movie that made you laugh and cry and believe in love. So, when this film came about, and I read the script, it reminded me of the films that I grew up watching and fell in love with this business in general.

Paula, how has your life changed since “Precious?”

Paula Patton: Oh, wow. I don’t know. I don’t know if a movie can change your life … But it changed my career in that, perhaps, people are more open to different roles that I can play. Being a part of that film gave me more hope and belief in the fact that we could have more art in movies today.

Cinema has become such a capitalistic venture. It’s all about the bottom line and how much money we’re going to make. “Precious” was a labor of love, a true piece of art. It went on to do incredible things and win all these awards. It gave me space in film as an art form. Other than that, it’s just blessed me with more opportunities to work.

Laz, you’ve worked with some great directors like James Cameron and Spike Lee. After working with such directors, do you come away with anything, any ways to improve upon your acting or techniques?

Laz Alonso: Absolutely. It’s funny because, when you step up on a set, you’re not only hired for your ability to portray the character that you’ve been hired to do, but I do believe that there is a certain work ethic that they expect you to have. Working with James Cameron and Spike Lee, it elevated my work ethic tremendously. I feel like every film that I leave from, I leave with something that I didn’t show up with.

When I left “Avatar,” I learned that my attention to detail was much, much greater than it was prior to working on the film. I saw Jim one time sit at a table with two buckets of rocks and go through each individual stone to give the animator a very, very specific texture and color of stone that he wanted for one of his scenes. That level of detail – you just don’t have the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes sometimes. So, seeing someone like him pay such attention to every little nook and cranny in his film, it’s no accident that he’s as successful as he is.

The same thing with Spike Lee. So, I feel like working with these guys has made me a better actor and just understand the material a lot better as well.

“Jumping the Broom” opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, May 6.

Coming Up …

Chelsea Handler, comedian and host of E!’s “Chelsea Lately” performs stand-up at the Agganis Arena on Tuesday, May 10.

The Wilbur Theatre presents “Wale” on Wednesday, May 11 at 8 p.m.

Grammy Award-winner Adele comes to the House of Blues on Sunday, May 15.

If you would like me to cover or write about your event, e-mail me at inthemixwithcolette@gmail.com.