This past weekend, actor Lamman Rucker, star of the new romantic comedy “Black Coffee”, was in his hometown of Washington, DC helping promote the new release. I had the immense pleasure of spending a few hours with Mr. Rucker after a showing of the fim. I was able to see Mr. Rucker interact with fans, from joking around to giving autographs to posing for pictures. He even took the time to speak with a young movie theater employee. But he did more than speak. Lamman took the time to share words of wisdom with and mentor this young man, who was only 19 years old. While most stars would probably just speak to a few fans, pose for a couple of pictures, and keep it moving, Lamman took the time to spend a few moments with every.single.person. that was in line that came to see the movie. He even spoke to a group of young people from JobCorps that saw him from across the theater. And yes, they promised to come back the next day to see “Black Coffee”.
In the film, Rucker plays Hillman “Hill” Grant, a successful, domineering man who is intent on winning back the affections of his ex-wife. When asked what attracted him to this project, the star stated, “It was the positive message that spoke to me. And it was kind of fun not to play the “Nice Guy”. It was an opportunity to create beautiful things with beautiful black people and beautiful minds with great spirits.” Lamman was excited to work with One Village Entertainment again, having done four films with the company in the past, and Tri-Destined Studios for the first time; he has since completed another film with the company. “I believe this (‘Black Coffee’) had the potential to be a great thing, and I’m happy with the work that everyone did. And it seems as if the audience is pleased with the film as well.” And he could not be more accurate. The level of admiration and praise he received after the film was not lost on me. Everyone that spoke to Rucker after the film had positive things to say, even some young ladies that talked to me before and after the movie. They enjoyed the film immensely and were sort of shy about approaching Mr. Rucker. I assured them they should just go and talk to him and that he would not turn them away, which he did not.
Seeing the “hometown love” at the theaters was not lost on me. Nor was it lost on Lamman. “It’s encouraging, it’s affirming. It’s interesting what people recall and what people bring up” is what Lamman stated when asked how does it feel when coming back home. When people recall stories, it’s interesting to see what people say about who he is and what he has done. “So you’re not surprised to see me do what I’m doing or the way or the level that I’m doing it. As long as people aren’t saying I’m disappointed in you and what you’re doing now…thank God that I’m not hearing that. There are many sincere and meaningful things that people are saying. That’s really encouraging. It makes me very happy to hear that.”
During the course of our conversation, Lamman shared stories of how he checked a well-known rap artist on his attire- saggin pants in a corporate office-and how he approached some young men that were being blatantly loud and disrespectful to one another in a grocery store. Lamman took a few moments to approach these young men and let them know they did not need to behave or dress in that manner. When asked why he took that time when most people would walk away, he stated, “Because I mean it. Because I’m sincere. And because I know it (speaking with them) works. I use them as teachable moments that most people would shy away from.” Lamman continued, “There are always times when we know what we should do, but instead we come up with all of these excuses why we shouldn’t, and then we don’t do it.” Lamman has “the courage to open my mouth and my ears and my mind and my heart to take the time out to do what is right and to take advantage of the moment. But you can’t be self-serving. You have to be genuine. As long as you know what you’re doing is from a pure place, then nothing but good can come from it.”
When asked where we can find him in 2014, Lamman stated he has a few movies in the can, including another romantic comedy “First Impressions”, “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” and “The Man in 3B”, based on Carl Webber’s novel, and we can find him in a television series in the fall. “I don’t know the title or who’s in it or what channel. I haven’t gotten the job yet, but I know it’s coming!” Lamman stated with a hearty laugh. I know I believe in speaking things into existence, and it seems as if Lamman does, too. He is also re-launching his all natural body care line, Forplai by Lamman Rucker. He has also re-structured his leadership for his non-profit, The Black Gents, which is working on solidifying its board during the first quarter of 2014. “We want to do the best we can to be models of manhood, brotherhood, and fatherhood. We want to do the best we can to educate and entertain through the arts.” In order to make a significant impact, Lamman believes in serving as leaders for our families and communities.
As we’re wrapping up, a couple walks up to us to attend the midnight showing. Lamman rises, greets the couple, thanks them for coming, and provides them with a signed movie poster. The gentleman is surprised to see Lamman and thinks it’s an added bonus to see him outside of the theater. We joke and laugh for a few minutes, and Lamman tells them he hopes they enjoy the movie.
It is so refreshing to see someone that is so well-rounded and has his hands in a lot of things to not only better himself, but, more importantly, to better our communities and those generations coming up after him. When it comes to the things that he has planned for 2014, Lamman says, “I’m nervous as heck, but I’m excited about the possibilities.” So are we, Lamman.
Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!