“You never know what to expect with me, project-wise,” says Anthony Anderson, as he settles in for our interview to promote his latest movie “Scream 4.” “You just know that whatever it is, you’re going to be thoroughly entertained.”
An unusually versatile and charming actor, who glides with ease among every film genre, from comedy, crime capers to serious dramas, Anderson is the kind of actor who makes it look easy.
“Acting is something I have trained at since I was 9 years old,” he shares. “Hollywood has that thinking that when you do something and you do it well,” he continues “that is all they see you doing. I wanted to show that I was more than shits and giggles, so everything in my career has pretty much been calculated.”
A native Angelino, Anderson first gained attention as one of Jim Carrey’s sons in “Me, Myself and Irene” and has subsequently appeared in such films as “Barbershop” “Kangaroo Jack,” “Exit Wounds,” “Cradle 2 the Grave” and “Transformers,” as well as in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar®-winning film, “The Departed.”
“They were all thought out,” explains Anderson, on his versatile ability to tackle all genres. “I never questioned where my career might go, because I knew where I was going to take it. I am the driving force behind this. I take pride in myself and my career for not really making some of the silly slapstick movies,” he continues, “It’s all about who I will be working with and I am willing to work with the best people with the best material.”
The actor, who brought his talent and humor to the small screen in his own WB sitcom “All About the Andersons” has also appeared in the police-drama television series, “The Shield,” opposite Michael Chiklis and Glenn Close.
In “Scream 4,” the newest installment in the franchise that ushered in a new wave of horror in the ‘90s, Anderson plays a local Woodsboro Sheriff, who has to track down the famous masked killer. He stars opposite Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Hayden Panettiere.
Directed by suspense master and director of the first trilogy Wes Craven, it’s a cast Anderson, who cites “Friday the 13th” as his favorite horror flick enjoyed being a part of.
“Wes is a practical joker, which I didn’t expect. Seeing his films, which are all horror films, you wonder how he is going to be. When you get there, it is the complete opposite of what you might have thought. He is a great and fun guy and is a practical joker.”
In this fourth installment, Sidney Prescott (Campbell) is now the author of a self-help book and returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey (Arquette) and Gale (Cox), who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts). Unfortunately, Sidney’s appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger.
“There are a lot of twists and turns along the way,” adds Anderson, who was one of the cast members subjected to a practical joke played by the director during filming.
“I remember doing a scene and there was a guy hiding in the closet,” shares Anderson. “He wasn’t supposed to be there. I go and open the closet and he jumps out with the mask and the knife and I almost pissed on myself. I turned around to see Wes laughing his ass off in the background.”
Anderson, who recently returned to the cast of NBC's Emmy Award-winning drama "Law & Order" for its final season, can also be seen in the upcoming movie “The Big Year” starring Jack Black and Steve Martin and the crime caper “The Power of Few,” which stars Christian Slater.”
“I dance in the horror genre, dance in the comic role and also in a dramatic piece, just to let you know that I am a jack of all genres.”