In Tyler Perry’s newest Box Office hit, Movie Madea Goes to Jail, an up-and-coming assistant district attorney comes to her rescue along with other inmates to get her out of the clinks. The young DA, named Chuck in the film, is played by RonReaco Lee who, as of late, has begun to attract a lot of attention from the ladies for his sexy, suave looks.
Lee may best be known as “Ty”, the mechanic on the Mowery twins sitcom, “Sister Sister”. He has had recurring roles on “The Shield”, “ER”, “Girlfriends”, “Committed”, “All About the Andersons” and numerous guest roles on “Monk”, “Boston Public”, “Moesha”, “Home Improvement” and, recently, a recurring role on “Worst Week”. This spring, Lee stars as “Jason” on the new ABC midseason comedy series, “In the Motherhood”, with Megan Mullally and Cheryl Hines.
When looking toward the future in the film business Lee expresses his thoughts: “The main thing now is that more and younger African-Americans are taking the initiative to create their own avenues as opposed to waiting for the right script and wait for that right audition. We are starting to write and starting to produce and I think that is going to be the key. Tyler Perry kind of opened it up and let everybody know that if he can do it, anybody can do it.”
Lee secured the role of Chuck last year after a chance meeting with Perry through a mutual friend who had worked on Perry’s stage shows. Perry was in town for last year’s NAACP Image Awards and set up a table read with potential cast members and Lee was invited to attend.
As he puts it, “I got a phone call to do the table read. Derek Luke, Keshia (Knight Pulliam) and, of course, Perry was there. Afterwards he shook my hand and said ‘good job’. I’ve learned to kind of take those complements in stride because sometimes they mean ‘good job but you’re not going to get it’. It was probably about a month before I heard that they were actually going to offer me the role. I was super duper excited and that was it!”
There are many young Black actors who aspire to be in a Tyler Perry movie because it has become an exclusive club. How does Lee feel about being a part of that status?
“This has kind of become a rite of passage for a lot of young African-American actors out here to do a Tyler Perry movie and I think that says a lot about his movies. I’m tremendously proud of anything that our community, as African-Americans, can readily identify with.
“I was part of a show for a couple of years in the late 90s (Sister Sister) and that was the thing that people usually recognize me from, especially a lot of younger kids. It’s one of those things where when you are doing it, you don’t think about the impact that it is having on the community.
“It is not until you finish it and you start meeting those parents that come up to you and say you know what, it was one of the very few shows that I could watch with my kids and not have to worry about rough language or any trick situations and you start feeling really honoured. So, for me it is just an honour to be a part of something that is really revered in our community. If Tyler Perry called me today and said I need you to be in Atlanta tonight and we are working tomorrow, I would be there!”
Photos by Bobby Quillard/www.quillardinc.com.