Story by Portia King
Actor, Larenz Tate returned to television earlier this week in the highly-anticipated premiere of NBC’s Game of Silence. Tate's character, Shawn Cook, is one of four friends that committed a juvenile crime in their childhood. The story line begins 25 years preceding the incident as their secrets and disturbing memories resurface and each of them are forced to come face-to-face with the concealed truths from their past. The intense opener certainly set the tone for an exciting season, which is sure to gain a loyal following.
REVOLT had the chance to join Tate at an intimate dinner, where he disclosed that he was offered a variety of scripts from NBC in which he would have had the lead role. However, "the reason I'm responding to this [Game of Silence], is because it was an ensemble. In the other [scripts] I was like 'the star'… I'm not impressed with that. As long as the deal is right, my bread is right, we cool."
In the opening episode, Tate's character was modestly introduced as the mediated loyal comrade who is devoted to seeking justice for himself and his friends.
"We have a great deal of new faces," he explained. "This was not about stunt casting a bunch of names for the sake of getting viewership as much as to stay true to the material that is written."
Tate is well known for his lead roles in films such as "Menace II Society" and "Love Jones," which a majority of fans would agree both deserves sequels. With the 20th anniversary of "Love Jones" approaching, it would surely be a treat to have a "Love Jones 2" in the making, right?
"It's one of those things that we talk about all the time. There's been a major call of action and I feel like the studio should really take a good listen to it," stated Tate.
"When the movie originally came out…this was something that was totally new territory for them (New Line). The numbers did not reflect a box office success, [but] the movie has become colossal in terms of people love that movie … because it was honest … It almost was like a foreign film, how Black folks were talking to each other … A brother was gonna play some Miles Davis and some Coltrane for a sister and just talk in these sort of rhymes and this poetic way but it was just regular conversation."
Tate mentioned that surprisingly, there may be an even higher demand for a sequel to "Menace II Society". This response may be due to the fact that many of the issues depicted in the 1993 film, such as poverty, gang violence, police brutality and inequality and injustice to Blacks are still relevant and frequent today. It would be interesting to see how O Dog’s life turned out 23 years later.
Tate added, "The [film] company would have to understand the business … so when I go in there and talk to them, which I have, I'm like 'Just do it, to give folk what they want.'"
Game of Silence returns to its scheduled time slot on Thursday, April 14 on NBC.