Michael Ealy And Sanaa Lathan Star In “The Perfect Guy” In Theaters Sept. 11
Ealy plays charming, yet sociopathic Carter Duncan, a seemingly perfect man who sweeps Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) off her feet as she rebounds from her long-term relationship with Dave (Morris Chestnut). But Carter soon shows signs that he’s far from perfect, and when Leah tries to leave him, he becomes hell-bent on destroying her life.
Ealy, who, along with Lathan were executive producers on the movie, said he spent more than a year researching sociopaths to accurately play Carter.
“What I had to do was not judge Carter,” Ealy said Thursday at a press luncheon at the 40/40 Club in Manhattan. “I had to embrace him and embrace his justification, which is the narcissism of a sociopath.”
“It’s not about getting the girl,” he continued. “It’s seducing her into falling in love with you, and then controlling her. And that’s sick.”
In the movie, Ealy veers from romantic and likable to wild-eyed and frightening. Ealy said that was all part of the plan, and he dove deep to bring those emotions out.
“There’s an imbalance, a fight within myself, and that’s really all that is,” the actor said. “Its mostly just turmoil, frustration and demons that you see.”
Ealy’s character, Carter, marked the first time the actor has played the villain. Ealy said he was overdue in stepping out of his comfort zone.
“It was time,” he said. “Having done a series of characters that have been the moral compass of the piece, or that were nice and identifiable, it was time to step outside myself and change it up a little bit. And it felt so good.”
Lathan, who is rumored to be dating French Montana, said she was so creeped out by Ealy when he was in character that she stayed away from him in between takes. The “Love and Basketball” actress revealed that she too was victimized by a stalker, and said she thinks viewers will be able to identify with her character’s struggle.
“I think both men and women can relate,” she said. “Just wanting something so badly that you miss what’s right in front of you…I think it takes time to know people. And time does reveal.”