Interview by: Albrean Wordsworth
Albrean: Darrin D. Henson is a three-time NAACP Image-award nominated actor, author and an MTV choreography award winner. Henson currently stars on Carl Weber and BET’s The Family Business as the charismatic son of LC Duncan played by Ernie Hudson. In March, Henson can also be seen as the lead on the UMC new drama series Double Cross, Henson plays a hard-hitting detective Ryan Minter and is also a producer on the series. Henson can also be seen currently in the films Black Bear and Staged Killer on Netflix. Henson won the coveted MTV choreography award for NSYNC’s Bye-Bye-Bye. He is also best known for his role on the hit TV series Soul Food, the longest running drama (74 episodes) with a predominantly black cast in the history of prime-time television in which he played the street-tough Lem Van Adams, Henson was also seen for three seasons on the ABC Family series Lincoln Heights. He has also been seen in such films as: The Express in the role of Jim Brown and feature films Tekken, in the role of martial arts expert Raven and Sony’s Screen Gems hit Stomp the Yard. On stage, he appeared as Carlos Cruz in Ron Link’s Broadway production of standup Tragedy. He starred in David Talbert’s stage play Fabric of a Man. And now, he has co-written, produced, and is starring in Can’t Raise a Man, a stage plays about four brothers who are dealing with sociological growing pains. One of Darrin’s mottos to live by is: “You can come as you are, but you can’t stay as you are.” Darrin is now playing as Derrick in Steppin’ Back to Love, A romantic Drama Set to air on TV One about a once-loving couple connected by dance, who after facing marital struggles, use their passion for Chicago-style step-dancing to reignite the spark in their marriage.
STEPPIN’ BACK TO LOVE chronicles the tumultuous romantic journey of Derrick and his wife April whose undeniable chemistry led to a sultry, storybook romance filled with a number of dance championships. Over time, external factors force them to take to the dancefloor less, when their marriage begins to slide from first position in their lives. Their relationship is put to the test when Derrick’s success photo-graphing a racy internet star names Kiki, breeds jealousy in his wife April. April finds distraction from her marital issues at work in the form of attention from Alonzo a handsome doctor that she spends long hours with at work.
Facing-off with so many challenges, the couple has to decide whether to take a final bow on their relationship or step back into love with one another.\
Interviewer (Albrean): Darrin, discuss your preparation for this role. Have you ever played this type of character before?
Darrin Henson: No, this particular character that I played is different because in this movie, he is a Chicago based man, family man, father, husband and I never done stepping before. It was different to me. We worked with a choreographer who created the dance steps for this because I wanted it to be true, and factual in terms of the artistic style of the dance. So, it was important to me to focus on what the choreographer was giving me and to make sure that it was true to the culture of stepping.
Interviewer (Albrean): Totally, and I am assuming you enjoyed it a lot?
Darrin Henson: Yeah, I enjoyed the process. If you learn to love the process in whatever it is that you’re doing, it become favorable. So, it’s about not judging the process but learning through the process.
Interviewer (Albrean): Yes, I totally agree. What drew you to this project and what was a highlight for you during the making of this film?
Darrin Henson: For years people have been waiting for a stepping movie because of all the music that was in society. There are so many steppers and so many people that love the dance style; people have been waiting for that movie. Of course, we thought that we were going to get it from somebody else but that’s not what the director was focused on. So, I was very happy to be the one to usher in the movie and the genre of dance. It would have been great if we had some of his music in this, but as I said, doing the right thing at the right time makes a huge difference. So, I am glad to be the face of the person who is bringing that culture to film and I feel like I am really blessed that in this timing that happened for me. So, I am very aware of the blessing and I am very aware of the opportunity to tell that story this way. Not only stepping but also to tell a story about a black family who is going through something, and the way to work through it. The idea of a concept of knowing that you have to communicate in order to get past the difficult times.
Interviewer (Albrean): Totally. I definitely agree with you. You’re indeed blessed. I love the whole concept of this movie. I can’t wait to see it. You’re absolutely correct about that. Share your experience working with the film’s stars, creative team, director and TV One on this project.
Darrin Henson: Well again, I am very thankful to work with such professional people. Roger Bob originally called me, and who I worked with before– who is the director on this project. Him and I are very good friends. I look at him like my big brother. I know his rhythm and his style of directing. As an actor it’s your job to develop the character. It’s your job to dive in and bring the character to life because before that they are just words on a paper. It’s just in black and white. It’s your job to bring life into the character. So, as an actor, I take that very seriously. It would be like stepping into someone’s shoes, literally and taking over their life and that is what acting is. It’s breathing life into a character; it’s breathing life and leaving it on film. I was very thankful that TV One wanted to work with me to tell this story. I don’t take it lightly; I think that TV One does a great job with developing stories and bringing them to life. I was very happy to be one of those people to do so with this particular project. I look forward to doing it again on a different compacity. I believe that story telling is literally becoming our history. So, whatever is left behind is what affords us the opportunity to see what someone has done in the past, so we can learn and develop our future.
Interviewer (Albrean): I agree.
Darrin Henson: When you do a movie, it becomes a part of history. A movie is forever because it’s on film. It becomes a part of the database of information.
Interviewer (Albrean): Awesome, I definitely agree with you on that. What other projects are you working on?
Darrin Henson: As you know, on the UMC channel I have a new TV series starting in March which I am very excited about. It is called Double Cross.
Interviewer (Albrean): Congratulation!
Darrin Henson: Thank you! That I am also a producer on, and I play a hard-hitting detective in this one. So, I am really excited about people seeing that one. Also, I’m currently shooting the second season of the Family Business right now, where I play Orlando Dunkin and I am developing a tour which is the Darrin Dance Grooves Tour revisited. It is the 20th year anniversary of the dance I created for NSYNC called Bye Bye Bye. So, I am doing a Tour and the first stop is Houston, Texas. I will be making my way to Chicago and might be in Chicago February 8th, hosting a Premier Party for Steppin’ Back to Love.
Interviewer (Albrean): Oh, that sounds Great! Awesome, okay Darrin, well thank you so much. I just want to congratulate you on all your new projects and your journey, and I really appreciate you for taking the time out of your day to share with us all of your feelings and experiences about this project. Guys make sure you tune into Steppin’ Back to Love, which is set to premier on Saturday February 8. I am excited and can’t wait to watch it! Again, Darrin, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to speak with us today. On behalf of Dr. Kishma George and K.I.S.H. Magazine, we’d like to thank you and appreciate you so much for talking with us today and we are wishing you the best in all that you do. Have a wonderful day!
Darrin Henson: God bless you! Thank you so much! If anybody wants to reach me, they can reach me on Instagram @Iamdarrindhenson and my website is DarrinHenson.com. Get a copy of my new book called Life Teachable Moments. Stay healthy and stay blessed!
Photographer – TV One