It’s common wisdom that devoted parents will do anything to protect their child. But what if the biggest threat to a family comes before the baby is even born? In the nail-biting thriller, When the Bough Breaks, wannabe parents John and Laura Taylor (Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall) find out how a lullaby life can quickly become a waking nightmare.
Young, professional, and successful, the Taylors desperately want a baby to make their picture perfect family complete. After exhausting all other options, the ideal woman walks into their life: Anna (Jaz Sinclair). She’s undeniably beautiful, friendly, and ready to be the Taylors’ surrogate. They immediately hire her and take her under their wing. There’s something else growing inside Anna besides a baby, however.
As Anna gets further along in the pregnancy, the trust between her and the Taylors starts to crack. She develops a dangerous fixation on John that grows increasingly psychotic, and he begins to learn that she’s not who she says she is. A deadly game has been set in motion, and it will take everything the Taylors have to fight for control of their future before it’s too late.
We talked one on one with stars Morris Chestnut (“Rosewood”; The Perfect Guy), Regina Hall (Think Like a Man, Scary Movie) about the upcoming movie.
Michigan Chronicle: Being key members of Black Hollywood, how do you feel about doing this movie and are the roles and movie opportunities getting better for black actors and actresses?
Jaz Sinclair, from left, Morris Chestnut, and Regina Hall attend the Screen Gems premiere of “When the Bough Breaks” at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on Sunday, August 28, 2016, in Los Angeles.
Morris Chestnut: To me, I think, just to be able to be working in Hollywood for a sustained period of time is something, whether you are black, white, to work in Hollywood, in general, is definitely a blessing.
In regards to black Hollywood, I definitely think the opportunities in—Hollywood are increasing, they’re improving in terms of television. I still feel that we could be doing a little bit better in films, in terms of opportunities, but there are opportunities, nonetheless, in both.
Regina Hall: Yes, and I agree with Morris. I think it’s a work in progress, but it’s always a blessing to be working and that ideally, things continue to evolve.
MC: Morris you’re executive producing and starring in the film, how was that experience?
Chestnut: It wasn’t my first time, but it’s always a great opportunity to when you’re not just an actor in front of the camera. To be able to have some input into the overall process beyond just being an actor is something that I’ve been continually trying to do more and more of each time out. It was cool.
MC: This film has some pretty dark subject matter. What would you guys say is the most difficult part of filming a movie like this?
Hall: Well it is an emotional journey when you’re dealing with issues as sensitive and heart-wrenching as surrogacy and fertility issues. Just starting from there is already a lot.
Chestnut: Right. Doing a film like this where, like she [Regina] says, it takes an emotional toll on you, as an actor you have to be in that space day in and day out, it’s really draining. Just being in that space when you draw from your life’s experiences to be in that mental head space, it was a relief to be done with it. I was looking forward to doing something that was fun and light afterwards.
MC: Both of you have been very successful in transitioning between film and television. What do you think has been the key to your success and to your longevity?
Hall: I just think looking and picking the right parts, really working with really great people, always trying to continue to pick material that you connect with and doing the work and luck, but doing the work, so that every opportunity you get to perform, you’re doing your best.
MC: Based on the movie, it talks about the couple’s struggle within their marriage and fertility issues. Also the thought that having a child could make their marriage stronger. Do you think that in real life it becomes problematic when couples think that a baby can help them fix those marital issues? Do you think maybe they should try to fix them before they try to get a child involved?
Chestnut: I think that you’re asking if we know, in real life couples who think that the baby is the solution to their marital issues?
MC: Yes, in real life, because sometimes we do see people think that if they have a child that might bring them closer together or help them fix any issues. Do you think that’s a smart idea or do you think that always ends up being problematic?
Chestnut: Well, I would just say this, I think that within a marriage, you always have to work on that despite anything else. You have to work on your relationship with your wife, with your husband, and that’s first and foremost. I don’t really think that anything other than that core relationship is really going to help a marriage or if it’s a bad relationship, you have to deal with the other person. I don’t think anything such as a child, money, cars, or anything of that nature will help a marriage survive.
When the Bough Breaks is produced by Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, written by Jack Olsen, and executive produced by Morris Chestnut, Dylan Sellers, and Glenn S. Gainor. Valerie Bleth Sharp co-produces with Brian Dukes as associate producer.
“When The Bough Breaks” opens in theatres nationwide September 9th.