Excitement buzzed as stars filled the Regal L.A. Live theater in downtown Los Angeles for the premiere of the new comedy, “The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2.” The second installment in the “Meet the Blacks” franchise features Katt Williams and Mike Epps alongside Lil Duval, Bresha Webb, Zulay Henao, Michael Blackson and Tyrin Turner, with a host of cameos and appearances. The premiere attracted talent such as Snoop Dogg, Mark Curry, Too Short, Gary Owen, Danny Trejo and more.
“This movie is funny,” said TV Host Terrence J. “When you watch it you’re going to be dying laughing, but you’re also going to be scared; there’s a lot of scary moments in the film. It’s going to throw you off,” he added. Executive producer and former basketball player Matt Barnes praised the film, which he said was a blast to make, adding that the highlight was “the fact that we got Katt Williams and Mike Epps back together and on film.”
Actor Mark Curry expressed his excitement and expectations for the movie. “I just wanna laugh; that’s all,” he said. “And that’s all I want to see when I go see movies.”
Lil Duval, who stars as Cronut, the cousin of Mike Epps’ character Carl Black, was eager to see how people reacted. “That’s how I am with my comedy,” he said. “It’s not if I think it’s funny, it’s if you think it’s funny, so that’s what I’m excited to see: how people received it.”
The film itself is a labor of love for the husband-and-wife team, writer and director Deon Taylor, and producer Roxanne Avent Taylor. “You know, we’ve been blessed because we own all of our own content,” Avent Taylor shared.
She continued, “Robert Smith has continued to support us in everything that we do so it enabled us to come in through Hollywood because everybody told no we couldn’t get in; we couldn’t do anything that we wanted to do. So we created our own lane.”
“This is part of independent filmmaking,” said Deon Taylor. “Part of the energy is when you’re an artist is being able to do something unfiltered and un-handcuffed.”
Snoop Dogg, who makes a cameo in the film and is a solid supporter of the Taylors, said he was looking forward to continuing his journey in entertainment. “I’m just looking forward to just keep doing what I do,” he said. “I love my job; my job is making people happy so look forward to doing more of it.”
The film gave emerging talent a chance to expand their roles on the big screen and work with some of the industry’s stalwarts. “Usually every movie I’ve been in, it’s been two minutes,” said comedian Michael Blackson. “But this movie I’m at least a good 45 minutes to an hour in, so I moved up.”
Ha Ha Davis, who plays Officer Friendly recalls moments on set. “My scenes with Katt Williams and Mike Epps were like; they just threw me right in the woods and I was like ‘hold on I got to go right at it? I don’t get no time to prepare?’ ”
The cast also found humor in some of the real-life similarities played out in the film, which chronicles unusual, supernatural neighbors and the quest to figure out their actions. Lil Duval admitted he currently had a strange neighbor himself. “He just be walking around,” Lil Duval said. “I think he like one of the neighbor’s friend that just got out of jail – and he just walking around just like he in the neighborhood… like ‘man stay yo ass in the house.’ ” They also weighed in on the funniest star.
“The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2” premiered in select theatres on June 11 and passed $1 million for its opening weekend. The filmmakers plan to widen its run through the summer.