Romany Malco had the perfect actress in mind when he started to cast his hilarious new mockumentary Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison.
“I needed someone who could come into this film and you wouldn’t look at them and be like, ‘Oh, there’s a big star,’ and be pulled out of this mockumentary,” Malco tells ABC Audio. “I wanted you to stay in the mockumentary. And Regina Hall was the person, [who] had this ability [to] just transcend it. You don’t see Regina no more.”
In his new film, in which he wrote, directed and edited, Malco plays his popular YouTube personality of Tijuana Jackson, who now wants to become a world-renowned motivational speaker after being released from prison. Hall plays his skeptical parole officer Cheryl Wagner.
“And you listen to her talking and you don’t even think Regina,” he says. “You think Cheryl… Officer Cheryl Wagner.”
“Same goes to Tami Roman,” Malco continues, referring to the actress who plays his sister Sharea in the comedy. “You know, I was a fan of Bonnet Chronicles. I didn’t know who Tami Roman was. Had I known who Tami Roman was, I’d never made as much fun of Basketball Wives as I did.”
While Malco admits having some recognizable names in his film was an asset, the actor-creative says there were a couple of good reasons why he mostly focused on new talent.
“I’ve made it my duty to audition a lot of people who weren’t known actors and who hadn’t really had the break,” he says. “Partly because… I didn’t want the celebrity to pull you out of it. But the other reason for it was that people who haven’t had the big break… worked harder.
Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison is now available On Demand.
By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.