Multi-talented actor Columbus Short has proven his dexterity to remain on the mainstream movie radar since his breakout role as DJ in Stomp The Yard.
Relishing in more challenging roles like the lead in Tyler Perry’s This Christmas opposite Idris Elba, Mekhi Phifer and Regina King, and his supporting role as Little Walter in Cadillac Records, he discussed his latest character choices in a round-table phone conference call.
“By design, I think, from Stomp The Yard success, it gave me an opportunity to be a little bit (choosier) and a little more strategic,” said the Kansas City native who just wrapped up post-production in Death At a Funeral, a comedy with Chris Rock, Tracey Morgan and Martin Lawrence.
Emphasizing the importance of going after a range of different characters, particularly from an African-American actor’s perspective, he said, “You want to do pieces where you can cross over. So I’ve tried to pick pieces that are humanistic stories that neither have that black nor white (distinctiveness).”
And in his latest film, Armored, starring veteran actors Laurence Fishburne and Matt Dillon, he relished the opportunity to prove his acting ability on a mainstream level.
“I fought so hard for the studio to let me be up front in this movie. I want (my core fan base) to be able to come with me into this next level, going into the mainstream.”
Playing the role of Ty Hackett, who was honorably discharged from active duty after his parents tragically passed, he is laden with the responsibility of taking care of his fourteen-year-old brother, Jimmy, unpaid medical bills and a mortgage.
“We don’t go into in the movie, but clearly he experienced some things that were traumatic while he was in Iraq,” Short said. “It’s kind of that postwar syndrome that he is struggling with and his own fears and things that shook him up a bit that he’s bringing back into mainstream with his job and his family.”