Juice, where he and Tupac played teenagers caught up in a tragic web of violence. The New York native later portrayed heartthrob Darnell Wilkes on the hit UPN sitcom, Girlfriends. But Kain is pretty much over the typical “nice guy” roles L.A. has offered him. Next up: his new role as Scag in a remake of the classic 1970s Negro Ensemble Company play, The Great MacDaddy. Kain chats with EBONY.com as he explains the importance of Black actors finding dynamic work and the lack of “culture” in young African-American life. EBONY: Congratulations on your new role in The GreatMacDaddy.
Khalil Kain: Thanks so much. I actually love doing live theater. Part of the reason why I moved back to New York is so I can be on stage more often. When talking about the difference from doing a play from a movie or TV show, we’re talking about three separate disciplines. I think theater is the base, the root. If you don’t have that, then you’re not going to be as strong as you could be.
EBONY: Do you find theater a little more challenging?
KK: It depends on the play. Honestly, that’s a part of why I chose to do that, because I needed to be challenged. The things that are required of me as an actor out in L.A., for big film and television, is pretty limited in scope. A lot of the things I was being asked to do were simple. Imagine being asked: “So how did you prepare for the role of Darnell on Girlfriends?” Like, really?
EBONY: But Darnell was a very dynamic character in his own way. Especially toward the end, when Darnell and Maya were breaking up, because it showed a completely different aspect of African-American men that we didn’t see a lot of: vulnerability.