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‘When The Bough Breaks’

Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall reunite in psychological thriller

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein has been a contributing arts & entertainment writer for the Banner since 2009. VIEW BIO
‘When The Bough Breaks’
Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall star in “When The Bough Breaks.” (Photo: Photo: Screen Gems)

It’s been 25 years since Morris Chestnut made his feature film debut in John Singleton’s “Boyz n the Hood” as high school running back Ricky Baker. Since 1991, the versatile actor has gone on to star in numerous film and television projects, including “The Perfect Guy,” “Kick-Ass 2,” Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and TNT’s “Legends.”

Chestnut currently stars as Dr. Beaumont Rosewood on the Fox television series “Rosewood,” which returns for a second season on September 22.

Regina Hall, who’s currently filming the movie “Girls Trip” with Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish (NBC’s “The Carmichael Show”) in New Orleans, made her feature film debut alongside Chestnut in Malcolm D. Lee’s 1999 romantic comedy “The Best Man.” Since her breakout role in the film, Hall has firmly established herself as one of today’s most talented and gifted actresses.

In addition to appearing in the first four “Scary Movie” horror-spoofs, Hall has delighted fans with her comedic chops opposite Ice Cube and Cedric The Entertainer in “Barbershop: The Next Cut” and in 2014”s “Think Like A Man Too” and “About Last Night.”

Hall reunites with Chestnut in the drama “When The Bough Breaks,” directed by Jon Cassar of Fox TV’s “24” and “24: Live Another Day.” The two play lead characters John and Laura Taylor, who, after many years of desperately trying for a baby, decide to go the surrogate route and hire a young woman named Anna (Jaz Sinclair of “Paper Towns”). But they soon learn that Anna is not what she appears to be, and soon become entangled in a web of lies as Anna’s obsession with John endangers them all.

Drawn to the script

No stranger to challenging roles, Chestnut, who also is an executive producer on the film, was drawn to the script because he felt “it was unique in its own perspective and voice,” the actor said by phone recently. “So, I wanted to be a part of that. I knew Regina Hall was involved, so I was really looking forward to working with her.”

If you go

Screen Gems’ “When The Bough Breaks” opens in theaters nationwide September 9.

For Hall, one of the difficult parts in filming a movie like this was the “emotional journey when you’re dealing with issues as sensitive and heart-wrenching as surrogacy and fertility issues,” the actress said, also speaking by phone.

The film careers for both actors launched in 1991 and 1999, respectively, and each has been very successful in volleying between the big and small screen. When asked about the key to their success and longevity in Hollywood, Hall said it was due to “looking and picking the right parts and really working with really great people, always trying to continue to pick material that you connect with and doing the work, so that every opportunity you get to perform, you’re doing your best.”

Chestnut summed it up by saying it’s about “being courteous and respectful of the people you work with.” The actor especially takes that to heart, he said, “when you’re standing around with someone for 14 hours a day.”