The movie and TV star loves ‘Martin,’ Facebook, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Lakers
Morris Chestnut’s childhood dream was to be an NFL running back. And when the world met him a little more than 25 years ago, he was a high school jock by the name of Ricky Baker in John Singleton’s epic and impactful 1991 Boyz N The Hood. Baker met a tragic demise that fans have yet to get over. The role was a phenomenal entrance into Hollywood and Chestnut simply melted into the character, likely drawing on his experience as a running back for Richard Gahr High School in his hometown of Cerritos, California. Chestnut’s forte is to transform into iconic characters such as Lance Sullivan, the New York Giants running back who just signed a life-changing contract in 1999’s The Best Man (and in the 2013 sequel, The Best Man Holiday). Currently starring in Rosewood, which returned to Fox on Jan. 6, Chestnut talks football, Martin and why he’s not an emotionally irrational NFL fan.
What’s your primary social media tribe?
They kind of all wash into one! But I’d say Facebook just because I’m a little old-school. That’s the one that I’ve built the longest. It has the furthest reach and the engagement … seems more in-depth … It’s more personal.
What’s your favorite throwback TV show?
I’m a big Martin fan. I love the humor. I love the friend dynamic on the show.
Describe yourself during football season.
OK, so this is what it is. I call myself a football loser because all I do on Sundays is watch football. I have friends whose emotions really fluctuate with their teams. When their team wins, they’re as high as a kite. And when their team loses, they’re beneath the soil. I’m more of a monotone. Yes, I’m excited: I love watching the game, I love the strategy of the game — it’s how I relax. But my emotions don’t fluctuate that drastically when I’m watching sports. Yeah, I love when my team wins. But when they lose, I can deal with it. One of my friends just recently, his team lost. We couldn’t reach him for eight days!
I know you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, but you’re from the West Coast.
I was playing running back and [the Eagles] used to have these mesh cutoff shirts … and I liked them at the time. And they have one of my favorite black quarterbacks, Randall Cunningham. They had him for a number of years, and then soon after that they got Donovan McNabb. I’ve always been a fan. I’d love to have the Eagles against the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and have the Eagles beat the Patriots. Not like the last time we were there.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I love to eat sweets!
What’s one sport that you play right now in real life?
Are you an NBA fan?
I’m a huge Lakers fan. We haven’t had too much to be excited about, but I just love watching teams grow and build.
Do you think the Cleveland Cavaliers can repeat?
I most definitely think the Cavs can repeat, and I think it’s going to be an all-out brawl with them and Golden State. But I definitely think the Cavs can repeat. Now, will they? I’m inclined at this moment to say that they will repeat, but you never know.
What’s the last stamp in your passport?
Prague. I did a part for a television show there called Legends. That was the last stamp in my passport.
What do you predict for 2017?
I’m keeping it very light and I’m going to keep it sports, because I have a few opinions about politics, but I don’t really want to get into that! I’m going to predict that the Cavs will win the Finals this year!
Why do you love sports so much?
I’ve played sports ever since I was a child. I love the competition, the camaraderie. It’s been a huge part of my life ever since I can remember, actually. I love to play them and I love to spectate. I love everything about them.