‘They Was Mad’: Bill Bellamy Opens Up About the Backlash ‘How to Be a Player’ Received from Female Viewers and Reveals Alternative Ending

The 1990s served as a playground for actor Bill Bellamy who rose to fame hosting Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam.” The stand-up comedian also starred in a variety of films, including “Love Jones” and “Any Given Sunday,” but he’s perhaps best known for his role as the A&R playboy in the 1997 classic “How to be a Player.”

During a recent appearance on Angela Yee’s “Lip Service” podcast, the 57-year-old reflected on the popular sex comedy, which also starred Lark Voorhies, the late Natalie Desselle-Reid, and Bernie Mac, and how backlash from its female audience triggered movie executives to change the ending.  

T.J. Martell Foundation's Annual Spirit Of Excellence Dinner
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 22: Bill Bellamy attends T.J. Martell Foundation’s Annual Spirit of Excellence Dinner at Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on October 22, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

“So I did it in a colorful fun way so that people could digest it, but guys like the fact that I had so many, women were like, ‘You know what, he gotta get caught though,’ ” the actor said, recalling his approach to starring as the infamous ladies’ man Drayton “Dray” Jackson.

“ ‘Cause we had two endings to that movie,” he revealed. “The one ending was that I got away with everything, and the movie tanked. Women was like, hot! You know they do the little focus group thing? [They said] ‘F-ck that!’ They was mad, and when he got caught, they was like ‘Okay, good; thank you.’ ”

Elsewhere in the interview, the comedian revealed that starring in the film also took a toll on his personal relationships. “I was cool with the fellas, but I couldn’t pull a chick for a minute,” he shared. “I was stuck for like a year because chicks was like ‘Oh my God, No Bill, stop. You not going to do me like that. I’ve seen your movie .’ ”

The star added, “I knew the character was going to be hard to play because I was just like, this is a character that is going to be difficult for women to digest. I said the only way I can do this is if I’m not arrogant about it. He continued, “So I had to make it fun, so it wasn’t like, ‘Yo, I’m this dude.’ I said, ‘I got to be fun, so like, I don’t know I’m being a bad boy, I’m just being a bad boy.’ ”

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