How did you get involved with “Baggage Claim”?
Affion: Literally, I was involved with a table read that David had done when we first finished the screenplay after the book and I loved it then, so when it came back around, Dave and I were cool and he called me up and said “Affion, please come down and do this,” and I was like, “Dude, I should be calling you for this. Thanks for reaching out. I’ll be there.” He told me who the cast was and it was really a no brainer actually.
Your character’s a lot of fun. Tell me about him.
Affion: He’s just a guy that’s at every TSA stop, every airport security line that you’ve ever been in, there’s always at least three people in there, two guys and a woman who always overdo their jobs and they want to harass people, yell at people – he’s that guy.
Do you have any fun travel stories?
Affion: Not really because I’ve learned that system so well that I know to travel light. I do have stories laughing at other people, like people who don’t want to go into those microwave scanner things. And literally one dude who thought he had to get naked – he took off his shirt, took off his pants, and he was in the microwave thing with his underwear on and the TSA people didn’t say anything to him because that was their little moment of humor. They’re like, “You know what? Let’s just go with it and watch this dude in his drawers.” And they watched him walk through and get dressed again and it was the highlight of my trip.
Tell me about your favorite places to travel.
Affion: I love Europe, I grew up in Europe, and I’m an army brat. Of course, I love the islands because my family’s from Trinidad & Tobago. And then in the United States, I love New York and Chicago and Florida.
Did you have a fun fan encounter at the airport?
Affion: There was this guy that literally was some kind of kung fu master. He saw me and said, “Yo, what’s happening man? Love your stuff. Let me show you something.” He goes into his tiger claws in the airport at baggage claim and he’s doing full out king fu in front of everybody. And they’re looking at me like, “Did I piss him off? Is he going to hit me now?” But he was just totally demonstrating his art.
Tell me about working with Paula Patton where you’re rushing her through security.
Affion: Paula and I had the chance to work on a comedy short like four or five years ago and we hit it off then and then I met Robin Thicke and as you know, she’s a very down to earth person, and that’s when I learned she can do comedy. So a lot of people didn’t know that about her, so when you see her and I rushing through the line, that’s really just us playing off each other and me snatching her by the arm.
Tell me about collaborating with the director, Mr. Talbert.
Affion: David Talbert is one of the greatest directors and he’s one of the few directors that when he says something, I actually believe him and he knows how to dial the character back. He didn’t just let me go totally comedic, he said we had to bring it down a little to keep it grounded, so he’s very insightful and almost spiritual when it comes to directing. He has a real sense of the movie at all times and he knows how to hone every character.
This is such a great ensemble. Can you tell me what it’s like to be part of this dope ensemble?
Affion: It’s like “Boomerang.” That was one of my favorite movies. You had Eddie Murphy, John Witherspoon, Halle Berry, Robin Givens, David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock – be a part of that, and hopefully this goes down in history like that, that’s what you want to sign up for.
You’re well known for your impersonation of rappers. Tell me about a new rapper you’d like to impersonate?
Affion: I kind of put that on the shelf for a second in doing other things, but I like all these guys. I recently did J. Cole on a comedy album I put out called “Watch the Clones,” so pick that up, it’s on iTunes. I did 2 Chainz, so I’ve done a couple of the new guys already. So check it out.
Also, Nick Cannon brought back “Wild ‘n Out.” Is there any chance you might be coming back?
Affion: I don’t know, maybe season two. I’m not on this first season , the timing was off, but I’m proud of what Nick is doing and couple of my younger friends are on there as new cast members, so it’s a good deal.
You’re also working with Nick Cannon’s directorial debut “School Dance.” Can you tell me about that project?
Affion: It’s another great ensemble. It’s me, Kevin Hart, Amber Rose of course, Nick…we all just got in this movie and acted the fool.
What can you tell us about the “National Lampoon Surf Party”?
Affion: That was a movie I did a while back with some friends of mine. I haven’t even seen it. I’m not sure what the final product is like, it went though some changes, but I’m not sure what the release date it. It’s a funny surf movie.
Can you tell me about how hip hop influences you?
Affion: I’m a hip hop baby, so I grew up rapping, break dancing – all that kind of stuff so the improvisation I got from there – from dancing in a circle – or from freestyle rapping, is the same kind of improv skill that I put into my comedy. The stuff that people like when they see me improvise and do certain lines, it comes from that raw instinctive comedy that I just did on the spot.
What upcoming projects do you want to share with our readers?
Affion: The biggest coming right now is “A Haunted House Part 2,” with Marlon Wayans. It did very well at the box office, so we’re gearing up to shoot part two of that and then Russell Simmons and I are pairing up on this kung fu comedy that I wrote and I’ll be starring in that too and another ensemble cast.