Shemar Moore - The Bounce Back

It was less than a year ago that actor Shemar Moore raised
over $630,000 on Indiegogo
to help fund his feature film “The Bounce Back,” which
he stars in and also executive produces.

Directed by Youssef Delara
(“Filly Brown”) and written by Delara and Victor Teran from a story by Staci Robinson, the romantic comedy stars Moore as an author who’s marketing a
relationship book but hasn’t gotten over his own heartbreak. Bill Bellamy co-stars
as his friend and manager, and Nadine Velasquez as love interest.

As “Bounce Back” recently wrapped production in Los Angeles, Shadow And
Act spoke with Moore and Bellamy about the movie and what other projects
they have coming up, including a possible sequel to their 2001 comedy “The

On executive
producing “The Bounce Back”:

SHEMAR MOORE: It’s been an exciting five weeks. Without
sounding corny, it’s kind of a dream come true. Wearing an executive producer
hat, I’ve gotten a firsthand look at how hard it is to get a movie made. It’s
nice to be on this side and see it because I’ve always been on the acting side,
where you just audition, learn your lines and show up to work, but you don’t
really know the machine of how it’s all put together.

As executive producer I’m in control of the vision, the
story, the creative process. There’s nobody taking my idea and turning it into
something that I really didn’t have in mind. What’s nice is myself, Youssef
Delara and Ray Brown, we all share the same vision of what we think the script
is, how we feel it should look, and the story that we want to tell.

On teaming up with
producing partner Ray Brown:

SM: “The Bounce Back” will be the first movie out of our
production company called Ankle Socks and Baseball Pants. There’s a funny story
about when I met Ray playing flag football. He had ankle socks with no elastic
in them and I was a baseball player, so I was playing football in baseball
pants. We were teasing each other that he needed to find some success so he could
afford ankle socks with elastic and I needed to realize what sport I was
playing and put on the right uniform.

We became best friends and I spent 20 years working on my
craft as an actor. He spent 20 years really understanding the business side of
Hollywood and bringing ventures to life, and so we’ve collaborated. And so it’s
nice to do business with a friend because now it’s like a “we started from the
bottom, now we’re here” sort of thing.

On working with Nadine Velasquez:

SM: Nadine was in “Snitch” with The Rock, she was in “Flight” with Denzel, she was in “My Name Is Earl” on television. She’s beautiful and
stunning, the camera loves her. But she’s also subtly brilliant. Being a true actress is so important to

On casting Bill Bellamy:

BILL BELLAMY: We were both on “The Arsenio Hall Show” and his
dressing room was right next door to mine. I hadn’t seen him in a while and we
started catching up and he was like, “Yo B, I’m doing this project. You’ve got
to do it with me. You’d be perfect to play Terry, my best friend.”

So Ray sent me the script and when I finally sat down and
read it, I was like, “Oh yeah, this is it.”

SM: Bill, he’s ridiculously funny, but he knows how to
maintain the truth of the story. So he’s not just in there for slapstick
one-liners. It’s such a challenge working with him because you never know
what’s going to come out of his mouth. He stays true to the words, but then he
puts his Bill-isms in there. And just the facial expressions, and his timing
and cadence.

And the thing about Bill, yes he’s very funny, but he’s a
universal funny that appeals to so many different people. There’s nobody else
who could play this role, to be believable as my best friend and have all the
qualities that his character needed. 
Bill embodies not only the punch lines, but the essence and theme of
what the movie is about, at the same time running his mouth and being a fool.

Shemar Moore and Bill Bellamy

On characters:

BB: Terry is absolutely neurotic, charismatic, fun, and
sickly intoxicated with the success of Matthew Taylor. We came up together in
the game and we’re trying to go get it. He wrote the book Bounce Back after
coming off this horrible divorce, and it has become a hit
and everybody’s starting to catch onto it. So you see me fighting with him and
believing in him more than he believes in himself sometimes.  It’s a fun ride.

On crowdfunding:

SM: Going with Indiegogo, I didn’t know much about it to be
honest, so I was a little wary and unsure. The idea of asking complete
strangers over the Internet for money just felt a little weird. But I learned that
it’s not really all about looking for money.

What people need to realize is that crowdfunding helps show
the industry that there is a demand for the movie. Hollywood’s about numbers
and people in the seats. So by raising the money through Indiegogo, we were
able to create a buzz and we knew there was a demand. So now the trick is to
make the best movie we possibly can, and I think we’ve done that. We are on the
verge of what I call a big little movie. There’s not a lot of eyes on us, which
is nice for now because it leaves us alone to really just be creative and make
the best movie possible.

On improvising and
creating laughs:

BB: You can’t write what comes out of this crazy mind! I
definitely have done some fun stuff that was right off the top of the head. And
Youssef wants those moments that are just priceless. So I think we got a lot of
real moments between me and Shemar, we got some funny as hell moments, we got
those business moments, so it’s everywhere. It’s not a straight comedy, but
it’s sort of a comedy with heart.

On finding the truth
of the film:

SM: The words say one thing, but it’s starting to evolve now
that we’re shooting it. There’s many colors of life and relationships, whether
it’s family or lovers or heartbreak. On the first day of shooting we did a big
seminar scene where my character had seven pages of dialogue and I was pitching
the Bounce Back book. We had an audience of extras playing the women in the
seminar and one of them yelled out, “This isn’t a freaking movie, this is my
freaking life!”

It was funny, but it was a great compliment. Not just that
we were doing a great job, but if she represents the audience that’s going to
watch the movie and she can see a correlation to her own life, then I think we’re
on to something. So I want you to leave the theater feeling like you had fun,
but also thinking, “Wow, that feels real.” And if we can accomplish that, then
I don’t think we can ask for more.

On the resurgence of
the ’90s style romantic comedy:

BB: Timing is everything. The ’90s was the era that blew me
up, so all the people who were 15, 20, or 30 at that time, years later they’re
still my fans, still Shemar’s fans. So literally it’s nostalgic for people to
see us and be like, “Yo, when I was in high school you were my dude!”

Now that everybody’s grown, people from that generation are
the new decision-makers. So they want to see things they saw in their childhood
and their high school and college days. It’s starting a trend now and I hope we
make more, and give more work to other actors and directors. I hope that it
keeps going.

Favorite nostalgic
and romantic films:

BB: I have to shout out a couple great movies from back in
the day. I want to say “Love Jones” ’cause it’s all that. I want to say “The Five
Heartbeats,” “Love and Basketball,” “Brown Sugar.” And “How to be a Player”!

On future projects:

SM: What’s wonderful is, you believe Bill Bellamy and Shemar
Moore as best friends, because we have a great rapport off-camera. We have some
ideas and some other things we want to do, similar to what he did in Fastlane
years ago, or Bad Boys with Will and Martin. We have all these ideas, because
this experience has been so fun.

BB: “The Brothers II” is on deck, we already have the script
and we’ve got all the guys. So now it’s about budget and when we’re going to go
into production. So we’ll see. I think work begets work and once people start
seeing you they’re like, “There go Bill and Shemar, they’re doing the damn

The Bounce Back is slated for release in 2015.