We can imagine how a young actor’s physical resemblance to their onscreen parent is sometimes just as important as their raw acting talent. Tyler Perry really did have a beautiful opportunity to cast both Nia Long and her 13-year-old son Massai to play mother and son in the new film Single Moms Club, but Nia had one condition: Massai had to work for it.
Boom. Just like that, an opportunity that could have led to a life of entitlement and ease quickly turned into a real learning opportunity for the young teen. "I selfishly wanted him to play the part," Nia told USA Today, "but I said to Tyler, 'He needs to audition and earn it. It can't just be given to him. He's had such a privileged life compared to my life. I don't want him to have a sense of entitlement.'"
That's a mighty strong statement to make to a teen boy but Nia said he took it really well. The 43-year-old actress immediately sent Massai to study with her old acting coach to make sure he was truly ready for the part. And that hard work paid off! Two days after he submitted his audition tape to Tyler, Massai got the role!
Single Moms Club, which is in theaters now, was a labor of love for Tyler, as he made the film to honor single moms, such as his own Aunt Jerry, and raise awareness of all that she and other women go through, often by no choice of their own. She "never complained and never asked for handouts," Tyler wrote on his website. "She did what she had to do."
We wonder if by making this movie, Massai has gained a new appreciation for his own mom?
Do you think Nia did the right thing in requiring her son to audition? Sound off below!
Source: USA Today