Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall had to learn more than lines for their newest movie. The actors also had to memorize a few song lyrics as they took on the roles of Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs and First Lady Trinitee Childs in the satirical comedy Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.
In one of many scenes that call the servitude of these self-professed servants of the Lord into question, the couple drives home from church after an argument and passionately — and passive-aggressively –raps the first and second versus of Crime Mob’s “Knuck if You Buck” to let out their anger. As it turns out, neither Hall nor Brown knew of the hood classic before diving into the script.
“We were like, ‘When did this song come out?,’ Brown admits to ESSENCE.
“We didn’t know the song, let alone the lyrics,” Hall adds. Sensing our shock, she continues, “I know. It’s sacrilegious to most people.”
Those people included the production team for the film, Brown says. “The crew was like, ‘You don’t know ‘Knuck if You Buck?’ and then we learned it real good. Real good.”
While the film from sisters Adamma and Adanne Ebo is hilarious at its core, it’s also grounded in real truths about the human condition. Throughout the entire movie, the pastor and first lady are building up to what they believe will be an epic comeback after a scandal causes them to lose their flock. And while the odds don’t appear to be in their favor, neither seems to really consider what they’ll do if they never regain what was lost.
“I feel like for Lee-Curtis he has this need to hold on to the idea that he will necessarily return to his place of prominence because if he does not get there, I don’t know if he knows who he is. Or if he knows who he is, is he comfortable with who that person is,” Brown says.
As for her character, Hall says, “I think for Trinitee things won’t be the same. She won’t leave. She’s resolved in this union and that union,” she adds referencing the character’s relationship with God. “But I think she knows things won’t be the same.
Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul is in theaters now.