The comedian is hard at work on both the television and theater screen!
Red Grant and his bugle playing solo stole the show away from Ice Cube and Tracey Morgan in last weekend's hit comedy First Sunday. All this month he can be seen in the original stand-up comedy film Katt Williams: American Hustle. It made its television debut as part of Comedy Central Presents. This exciting comedy showcase airs throughout the month and features stand-up comedians Williams, Luenell, and Melanie Comarcho. It is currently available in DVD rental and wholesale stores across the nation.
The project chronicles Katt's life on the road, culminating in Chicago, where Williams gives viewers the low-down on sex, drugs, celebrities and the N-word. Snoop Dogg, Jeremy Piven and Ludacris also make appearances on this wild n' crazy bus ride. But it's Red Grant that once again swipes the film from its headliners and makes it his own.
We recently got a chance to sit down with Mr. Grant and talk with him about his experiences working on both Katt Williams: American Hustle and First Sunday.
Here is our conversation:
Red Grant: Man, this is Red.
Red Grant: What's up boy. I just left the gym. That's why I didn't hear you ringing the cell.
That's cool. You're hear now, so it's good. I wanted to talk to you about this Katt William's project.
Red Grant: Yeah, I was on the road with Katt Williams and we just put out a new DVD called Katt Williams: American Hustle.
Are you guys still on the road? It looks like you have some dates coming up in March.
Red Grant: No, I am doing some solo shows. I will be shooting my Comedy Central special in March. I will be performing some solo performances around that time.
What sort of new material are you going to be doing for your special?
Red Grant: Oh, I've got all kinds of new material. My special is called From My Mother's Basement, to My Sister's Basement, to My Nieces Bunkbeds. It is pretty much about life for me. From growing up to pretty much right now. Including this interview. It is about all of these different things in my reality. My life. These crazy things we'd do.
What was it like being on the road with Katt Williams and that whole gang for the last couple of years?
Red Grant: It was great, man. Know what I'm saying? Katt William's was excellent. The crowds were great. The people were great. Everything was sold out. The response was great. And we were able to make this movie while we were out there. Katt Williams: American Hustle. Though, it is always weird to be out on the road. Especially if you are a comic. You pretty much got to live it. And love what you are doing.
Now, did you say that Katt Williams: American Hustle already came out on DVD?
Red Grant: Yeah, it came out three weeks ago. We sold over a hundred thousand the first week. And we just debuted it on Comedy Central this past Sunday.
Red Grant: I'm so happy. Not only for Ice Cube, but also for my partner Davey Talbert. I was in one of his recent plays that came out. He Say, She Say, But What Does God Say?. Dave comes from that live stage aspect. For him to take it from the stage to the screen was beautiful. Any time an urban film manages to make that much money in a weekend, and its not on as many screens as the others, it is extra good.
When I saw the film, you and Rickey Smiley came on the screen and the whole house went ape shit.
Red Grant: (Laughs)
You guys literally stole the show. How did you get teamed up with Ricky Smiley for those two scenes you were in?
Red Grant: Basically, Davey Talbert and Ice Cube teamed us up. They knew we would be a dynamic duo. To have these two crazy ass comedians playing beside each other is always going to come out good. We didn't even have to push each other. We made people laugh just with facial expressions and playing off each other. I'm pretty good. There are a lot of comedians, and the market is getting oversaturated. But there are some great young comedians, and Rickey Smiley is definitely one. Katt Williams is definitely one. And Red Grant is definitely going to keep hitting them. There are a lot of other people that are coming on Def Jam that are awesome. The market is definitely changing. It is beautiful right now.
Have you and Rickey Smiley talked about teaming up for a future project?
Red Grant: As a matter of fact, we talked about it after we left the screening the other night. You might see me and Rickey Smiley coming to a town near you soon.
Well, you guys were off the charts.
Red Grant: Yeah, we are getting rave reviews for that scene. If you are going to be in a movie and you are not going to be in it long you got hit 'em hard.
With Dave coming from a stage background, how was his a approach little different than what you are used to working with?
Red Grant: Dave, he is the type of person that doesn't have to raise his voice. He is not a show off, so he doesn't have to be loud to get you where he wants you to go. He is pretty much straight forward. He gets you to do what he needs, and he makes it happen. I thought he was one of the greatest play directors in the world. Now he has brought that to the screen. He is really going to be a person to handle. He is going to be one to reckon with. I see him as going down in the books as one of the greatest directors ever.
It's interesting to me that you were in a play that David directed. I didn't know that you did stage work. Do you participate in live theater often?
Red Grant: No. I actually only did two stage plays. I did Guilty Until Proven Innocent with Kacee and Jo-Jo. Then I did the Davey Talbert one. Those are the only two plays that I ever did.
Were you doing the plays to improve your acting skills?
Red Grant: No, man, my acting skills were already there. The comedy sharpens the acting. And the acting helps the comedy. All of it falls into line.
I've got to ask you about that one scene where you go to hold Ice Cube's hand in the "Firs Sunday" film. Was that completely improved?
Red Grant: Some of it was. A lot of it was actually. He went to grab my wrist and I put my hand in his pocket. That was Ice Cube that did most of the improv on that scene. He's one of those guys that is a natural director, too.
From what I understand, he acted as a co-director on this, helping Talbert learn his way around the camera.
Red Grant: Cube did a great job, too. He knows how to work with people. He has been in this game for more than a minute, you know. He just goes in and is real hands on. He knows how to make a scene funnier. He knows how to get laughs without going overboard. Some comedians have to go overboard to get that laugh. He knows how to restrain you.
This film has a real buzzing energy to it. Do you at all equate that to shooting it in a real church?
Red Grant: I don't think it effected the film itself. I think the church brought the funniness to the film. Some of the actors would have tried to be really profane, but the church kept them from doing that. They had to stick to the script. We all grew up in the church as little kids, so we knew how to act.
I wanted to ask you about your own experiences with directing. You made the film Family Reunion pretty much on your own. What was the experience like after that film came out and are you going to attempt to make any more films like that one?
Red Grant: Definitely, man. That was one of the first projects that I ever worked on. It let me get my hands wet. I wanted to do my own project, instead of waiting for ol' Hollywood to come get me. I had been writing and producing for BET for so long, I figured it was time to do it on my own. I wrote Family Reunion then went out and got the money for it. I wrote it and produced it. I lot of people started to respect me after I did that. I am going to be directing some more films coming up. I just finished writing a movie called Mr. Break-Up. I will direct that. It is a comedy. It is a cool little story about a guy that convinces his best friend to break up with his girlfriend for him. After he does it, the word gets out and all of his mates are asking him for the same favor. So the guy starts a new company called Mr. Break-Up. It is a very funny story. He falls in love, and then it falls apart. And the guy finds out how hard it is to be broken up with. There are a lot of laughs, and it's a great story.
Well, that's my time. Thanks for chatting with me.
Red Grant: Not a problem. I appreciate'cha!
Both First Sunday and Katt Williams: American Hustle are out now.