Darrin Dewitt Henson Talks New Movies, Why He’s Still Dancing And Beef With Columbus Short
Darrin Dewitt Henson has been in this game for a minute. Though I first noticed him as “Lim” in the Soul Food series, his first love has always been dancing. And it was through this form of expression that he branched into the acting world. Recently, we had the chance to chat with Darrin and get caught up on all of his new projects (He’s a busy man.), talk about his favorite artists to choreograph and of course get to the bottom of the beef between him and Columbus Short.
Tell us about your new movie After
In my words After is a very heartfelt, dynamic film about an American family who goes through hardships of life as well as hardships of loss. Really, the movie is about surviving through life and being able to strive forward although we come up against some challenges that may be either physical, mental or spiritual challenges.
What attracted you to the film?
I actually had a friend who died in 9-11. And when I read the script, I felt like it was such a creative way to tell a story. That’s why it was near and dear to me. I thought that this movie was a way to kind of deal with the loss and in a very, very powerful way, to speak to people of color and show that we’re all human and we’re all going to deal with death and hardships in life. This was a way where I could convey it and it spoke for me and allowed to heal at the same time.
What other projects do you have the works.
I have a film coming out called Chocolate City which is like the Black Magic Mike. I also have another film coming out called Bad Apple. I’m also in Carl Weber’s Choir DIrector and I play the choir director. Another film which is a Christmas film, so I have about four or five films coming out next year.
What will distinguish Chocolate City from Magic Mike?
First of all, kudos to Magic Mike. Kudos to Channing Tatum for developing that script that would spawn a movie like Chocolate City. It was interesting when the director called and said that he was interested. I was on the fence. I didn’t really know because I’ve never done anything like that before. But I can tell you that it was such a freeing, kind of energetic, synergistic rush being on that stage doing that and being half naked. It was liberating! It was a fun film to do. We had a great time, I choreographed it as well so that was pretty awesome. My character Magnus– he’s like a conscious stripper. It’s so interesting.
So which was your first love, acting or dancing?
Definitely dancing, absolutely 100 percent. And that’s why I still do it. I love dancing. I love choreography. I love movement and I love the expression of the body. That’s what it is, it’s expressing yourself through your body. And I love that, I love being able to do that.
How does dancing help to convey emotions in acting?
Because dancing is emotional. So what I did was, as a dancer, when I turned to acting, I just used the transference of energy. I took that same energy and applied it to my characters. So I’m able to convey these characters emotionally because dance and the feeling of using your body, affords you the opportunity to do that and I knew that a long time ago. Which is why when I made the transition, I was excited about it. And still am excited about it because I’m literally not even half way through my acting career. I would say I’ve done about a quarter of the work I’m going to do as an actor. I’m still new so it’s exciting.
Who were your favorite artists to choreograph?
Michael Jackson, Prince, N’Sync, Jordan Knight. I had a good time working with Britney Spears, definitely J-Lo. Those were the most fun because they were the most challenging. They had the ability and the stronger someone is, the deeper you have to dig. I thought that it was fun that they challenged me.
Read about the testy Twitter exchange with Columbus Short on the next page.