Theodorus Melville, Hill Harper's character in Loving Jezebel, has spent his whole life looking for love in all the wrong places-that is, with another man's woman. "There are people you're destined to go through life with, but most of us never end up with that person," says actor and single guy Harper ( Beloved, Hav Plenty, He Got Game). He sounds much like the lovelorn Theo, whose string of relationship failures lies at the center of Jezebel, Lancaster Productions' romantic comedy, which opens Friday, October 27.
It's not that Theo can't find a good woman, 27-year-old Harper explains, it's just that they're all "Jezebels," or, in this case, women who are already attached. Harper, a Harvard alum with roots in theater, also now plays a hot doc on CBS' City of Angels and stars in the upcoming independent films The Visit and Box Marley (which he also produced). As for his real-life love jones, the sensual star says settling down is a matter of time-and timing.
Have you ever fallen for another man's lady?
About four or five years ago. But I didn't know. She was crying and said 'Well when we first went out, I wasn't expecting to fall for you. There's this other guy I've been seeing, and I want to continue to see you both.' I was like, Umm mmm [sternly shaking his head no] I'm not the one.
In Jezebel, Theo dates an ethnic potpourri of girls. Are you an equal-opportunity lover?
I don't ask White women out on dates. Period. I dig Black women. Okay? The African-American woman is the most sexy, beautiful, fantastic woman in the world. So as far as I'm concerned, that's who I plan to end up with because I want the best.
But were you bummed that Theo's soulmate ends up being a White woman?
My problem is, a lot of brothers who date White women, that's all they date. Sisters aren't even on their radar. But this film is about love. If I see two people who are genuinely in love, of any racial combination, I'll celebrate it.
Are you unlucky in love?
I've been super blessed in love. I've met the most fantastic women. It's about timing. Relationships are all about timing. I met a lot of women too early. The woman I was seriously in love with five years ago, if I met her now, I'm sure I'd marry her.
Who would be the perfect woman for you?
A woman who is intelligent, funny, creative, athletic, spiritual, adventuresome, passionate, fly, independent, beautiful, sexy. She's got secrets. She's got a little freak in her.
Credit: © CBS