Romany Malco just wrapped one of the best gigs of his career, co-starring with Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Michael Douglas in Last Vegas, a comedy about four sixty-somethings enjoying one last wild weekend in Sin City (think Hangover for the older set). With that much talent and experience on set, Malco says each day he showed up "grateful and ready to be a student."
Malco chatted with ESSENCE.com about working with legends, driving his mom and her girlfriends around in a convertible in a retirement village in Florida, and the craziest thing he's ever done—but can't seem to remember—in Vegas (hint: it involved Kevin Hart).
ESSENCE.com: What's it like working with four Academy Award winners. Like, how do you even prepare for that?
ROMANY MALCO: I basically did what I've always done, which is find out who the character is and just be really grateful.
ESSENCE.com: Who was the funniest out of all of them?
MALCO: Robert DeNiro probably made me laugh the hardest. But Kevin Kline was arguably the funniest dude. But then Morgan Freeman…I don't know man. They're all funny—and I'm not just saying that to be nice. I can tell you a Michael Douglas story that is the the most R-rated thing you've ever heard. Everyone was funny.
ESSENCE.com: They get up to some pretty crazy things in this film and your character is a little resistant to having to host four older men in Vegas. But he eventually comes around. Did you walk away with a better understanding of that age group?
MALCO: My mother is getting up there in age and sometimes I go visit her in Florida. I cook for all of her friends. Sometimes I have to avoid the table because I do not want to hear what they're talking about. I have to rent a convertible and we drive around and see her other friends. So, I'm doing that and I'm hearing all kinds of stories from them. What's interesting is that I'm there all the time and these people's kids aren't. It's almost like they're forgotten because they're older.
ESSENCE.com: What's the craziest thing you've ever done in Vegas
MALCO: I would have to say it's when we were on a party bus and we were with these girls and they had all the guys strip down while were filming a movie and one of the chickens got out of the party bus and we had to chase it down the strip…in our underwear. Kevin Hart fell down...
ESSENCE.com: Were you drunk?
MALCO: What? No. Absolutely not! [Laughs] I don't know what I'm talking about right now…
ESSENCE.com: Was this while filming Think Like a Man 2?
MALCO: I'm not sure.
ESSENCE.com: So what happens in Vegas really stays in Vegas for you.
ESSENCE.com: What can we look forward to with Think Like a Man 2?
MALCO: You can look forward to the evolution of all the characters. The first time around you saw how hard they worked to get their man or their woman. And now you get to see how they are a couple of years into their relationships. In my personal opinion, I think Kevin [Hart] has hit a new plateau in his acting ability. He has a scene or two that I think is really going to be important in his career.
ESSENCE.com: The camaraderie between the men in both Last Vegas and Think Like a Man is so great. Do you have your own tight-knit group of male friends?
MALCO: Yes, absolutely. One of the reasons I moved back to Brooklyn is to get to hang out with the guys I've known since we were 12, 13 years old. Having that sense of community is incredibly important to me.
Last Vegas is out in theaters tomorrow, November 1.