From New Line Cinema comes your VIP ticket into the hottest event of the year: House Party, the remix to the fan-favorite ‘90s classic. Aspiring club promoters and best buds Damon (Tosin Cole) and Kevin (Jacob Latimore) are barely keeping things together. Out of money, down on their luck and about to lose the roofs over their heads—and freshly fired from their jobs as house cleaners—the pair needs a huge windfall to make their problems go away.
In a ‘what the hell?’ move, they decide to host the party of the year at an exclusive mansion, the site of their last cleaning job, which just happens to belong to none other than LeBron James. No permission? No problem. What could go wrong?
How about a time traveling DJ, undependable security, a runaway guest list, one borrowed Lamborghini, angry rival promoters, a stolen championship ring, escalating property damage, a faded koala…? But also, one outrageous ride stacked with double-take cameos and timeless throwback tracks, R-rated comedy and two friends’ worth cheering for… you have to see to believe. After all, a night like this doesn’t come around more than once. So, party like your life depends on it.
This version of House Party is a remix, not a remake, ushering in something new for the culture, including new faces, new talent and great cameos. It doesn’t set out to duplicate what’s already been put out in the world. Instead, it takes familiar the elements and emotions and repurposes it in a whole new way.
Two of those new talents are stand-up comedian D.C. Young Fly as D.J. Vic and Rotimi, who is best known for playing Dre in Starz’s Power. In celebration of House Party, The Koalition spoke to D.C. Young Fly and Rotimi to learn more about balancing comedy with drama, stepping out their comfort zones, a possible sequel and more.
Best known for his comedic work on Wild ‘N’ Out and making people cry onstage, D.C. Young Fly took his feature work seriously, crafting his character as the good friend who means well, but who could easily wind up as a part of the problem when the going gets tough.
He says of his character, “Vic gets turned up when he drinks alcohol. He gets real turned up, so I got to have fun, go a little wild. I really learned a lot by watching everybody on set. It was beautiful, and my man [director] Calamitic did his thing. I feel like I’m in the same place in my career as House Party, bridging the old school and the new school together. And it’s about honoring the old, because without that, we wouldn’t be here. We’re keeping the old nostalgia feel while giving them a new House Party.”
During filming, the freedom to laugh was a regular occurrence that was always encouraged. Calmatic’s signature style—well on display in the music videos he’s directed for such artists as Lil Nas X, Pharrell Williams and Anderson.Paak—allowed for plenty of improvisation and spontaneity from his actors. There was a lot of trust in the actors to get the job done and bring their A-game. But the movie and its director also allowed the actors to show a different side of themselves by switching things up. It was the perfect project that balanced comedy with heartfelt moments.
For both D.C. and Rotimi, finding that balance depended on the words. “The words give you the skeleton, but the moment gives the flesh and the body. When you have good writing, it’s easy to have fun, but when you have a great director who allows you to play a little bit, then it’s incredible even more. We both had incredible writing and we had an incredible director [along with] incredible actors who knew how to deliver everything. It was dope,” Rotimi said.
“Comedy is about the timing is about the facial expression, it could be about body language. [Whatever] somebody would do in a scene, if it made sense to do something different, you have to be able to do that. It was just really ordained all together.” Rotimi continued with D.C. in agreement.
D.C’s expansive work in the comedy, acting and digital spheres have made him a standout as an entertainment multi-hyphenate. While D.C. has proven that innate comedic ability, abundant creativity and a passion for generating laughter being onstage is a vastly different experience than filming a movie.
“When you’re on stage by yourself, you have to create [anything], it’s like acting but you have to create it; but when you’re on set, you [create less] and actually embody the character. We have so many different beats and so many different punches as a comedian. You just have to go out there, understand and really have to love the art. This role kind of helped me because [our director] Calamitic wanted him to be a little bit more subtle. He didn’t want him to be overly aggressive. He said, ‘That’s what you do but you’re going to do that without doing that. Can you do that?’ I’m like, ‘If that’s what you want, that’s what you’re going to get. I [was] having fun with the character, and not only that, but [the Vic character] also correlates with the greatest Martin Lawrence. How can you not pay homage to Martin Lawarence but bring in a fresh new face.” D.C. said.
Known for playing dramatic characters, Rotimi brought the laughs paying Homage to Full Force from the original movie. “For me, it’s just knowing this is a moment where I can show my range, and everybody can see. Dramas is cool, now let’s check the box of Comedy, now let’s check the box of Romance. I’m just consistently trying to show what I can do and having this platform on a humongous global platform like this it’s only God and I’m so excited for people to see me do this and [to see what] D.C. does. People are going to love it.”
Memorable characters? Check. Crazy set-ups to get lost in? Check. Music? Dancing? Tons of laughs? Big check. All important, but this House Party is all about paying respect to the past and paying it forward to the next generation; something both D.C. and Rotimi can attest to.
“House Party was a classic we can’t touch a classic. We can’t recreate a classic. It’s like music, we could just take a sample from this classic and create a whole new song. It’s like writing a love letter to the old heads to let them know ‘we’ve seen what y’all did, we appreciate what y’all did. Not only do we acknowledge what y’all did, we need y’all’s help to lead us in the right direction, so we can tell the young ones what they need to be doing.’ God willing, in the next 30 years they are trying to follow what we did right,” said D.C.
To learn more about House Party check out the full interview in the video above including their thoughts on a possible sequel.