Chocolate City, a film written and directed by Jean Claude La Marre, chronicles the life of a young man named Michael who goes from being a struggling college student to a successful male stripper. Michael meets the owner of a male strip club who persuades him to perform in amateur night at the club. Michael is portrayed by Robert Ri’chard who although new to stripping is no stranger to Hollywood.
Ri’chard has been working in Hollywood since 1993 and has acted alongside Jamie Foxx, Samuel L Jackson, and Vivica A. Fox. Although this is the most adult role Ri’chard has played he believes the character of Michael is not very different from any he’s previously portrayed.
“All of the characters I play all have one thing in common and that’s that they’re average people going through an extraordinary experience. Even though I’m transitioning from being a child star to an adult star there’s still the same theme through all of the characters,” said Ri’chard in an interview with the AFRO. Ri’chard was on the UPN sitcom One on One for many years. “When I come across fans in the airport, or anywhere else, they all come up to me and comment that they love my characters, it’s actually been a blessing growing from all the characters I’ve played through the years,” he added.
Although Ri’chard has been acting for 22 years he still deals with a bit of stage fright from time to time. During the shooting of Chocolate City he definitely had some bouts of nervousness. “The pressure of getting out on stage is really difficult, all of the other stuff, the movie and the acting stuff that’s something I’m used to doing, that’s my profession. I love that but getting on stage in front of all those women was probably the biggest challenge but the ironic thing was as nervous as I was when I actually went onstage every single fear went away,” said Ri’chard.
Some may categorize Chocolate City as simply a black Magic Mike but Ri’chard insists that that is not the case. “The movie is surprisingly hilarious, we have complications, thrills, fights, and every girl gets to have her dessert and get a treat,” he said. “The movie as a whole is a great film and so entertaining and it’s for everyone, guys, girls, everybody can enjoy it.”
On the set Ri’chard got to work with experienced actors and actresses such as Michael Jai White and Vivica A. Fox and believed it to be a learning experience. “I take what I do very seriously and they’re all very professional, I’ve been acting for about 20 years so it felt good walking onto a set knowing everyone was professional as well, it felt good knowing I could play mental chess with someone with all of that experience and have that healthy competition going on,” said Ri’chard.
“It’s a great movie with a great storyline,”said Ri’chard. “Everyone who I’ve spoken to that has seen it loves it we’ve gotten great feedback.”
Chocolate City can be purchased through Video on Demand and will be released on Blue Ray and DVD on August 4th.