'Peeples' Stars Kerry Washington, Craig Robinson Reunite for L.A. Premiere
It was a family reunion at Wednesday night’s Peeples premiere in Hollywood.
In the Tyler Perry-produced comedy, Craig Robinson stars as Wade Walker, an aspiring child psychologist working as an entertainer who surprises his girlfriend Grace Peeples, played by Kerry Washington, at her family’s annual get-together in the Hamptons. There, he meets her folks for the first time and hopes to gain their approval before proposing to their daughter.
To present her film at Arclight’s Cinedome, writer and first-time director Tina Gordon Chism took the stage and expressed her appreciation for the cast. “They are everything to me. As a first-time director -- for them to trust me meant everything,” she said. “They did all the heavy lifting in the movie.”
As a fellow first timer on the film, Peeples marks Robinson's leading man debut. The Office actor told reporters on the red carpet: “It was a dream to be in my first leading man role. I grew as an actor. We had each other's back. Kerry is this ultimate woman -- she's smart, beautiful, talented, brilliant. David Alan Grier is the funniest dude on the planet. [...] It was amazing.”
With the film focused on family quirks, Washington told reporters how she appreciated the message about being with supportive loved ones.
“I love that you come see this film and leave feeling really good about family, life, love, and it’s because this family really loves each other,” said the Scandal actress. “And I feel that about my family. We’re all very supportive of each other. I don’t think my family has the same intense secrets that this family has because they’ve got a lot going on, but still, I think we all identify with family, loving each other through it all.”
Chism, who wrote the script, had a clear vision of telling the film's story and putting together the perfect cast for it.
“She’s the only person who could direct it because she knew how everything looked -- the sound and smell,” film producer Stephanie Allain told The Hollywood Reporter, raving of Chism. “She was a first timer, but it didn’t feel that way because she was so confident. The script really attracted all the talent.”
On set, Allain described Robinson and Washington’s chemistry as being “kind of like a real couple.” She added: “They’re very funny together. I think they inspire each other.”
Tyler James Williams, who plays Grace’s young brother Simon, also agreed that the pair’s dynamic made their relationship persuasive.
“I believed them as a couple, I actually believed it,” Williams told THR. “Everyone was having such a good time. Everyone was so comfortable around each other. You don’t find that in films where a lot of people are that comfortable.”
The feeling was mutual among other cast members.
Playing Wade’s older brother Chris, Malcolm Barrett described how he knew they became a family while filming. “One of the craziest moments that let us know we were a family is I think [the] two or three days of filming in the house, they locked down the piano in the main room during non-takes because we were using it too much and doing too many songs,” said Barrett. “So afterwards it was like, alright, we know the dynamic between us.”
Grier, Grace’s overbearing and humorless father in the movie, recalled his favorite on-set moment, telling THR, “when all the cast was there. We could all interact together. Everyone at the house -- playing off each other’s [energy] -- for me, that was the most fun.”
Similar to her cast members’ sentiments about enjoying each other’s company, Washington shared with THR that “the dinner table in the movie was my favorite [scene] because a lot of us worked together all day.”
Tyler Perry Presents Peeples hits theaters on May 10.