[EXCLUSIVE] ‘Sons 2 The Grave’: An Interview With Darrin Dewitt Henson

Actor Darrin Henson (as Detective David Reynolds) on the set of "Sons 2 The Grave."

Actor Darrin Henson (as Detective David Reynolds) on the set of “Sons 2 The Grave.”

You may know him as Soul Food’s Lem Van Adams, or maybe as Stomp the Yard’s Grant. You might also know him as a legendary choreographer working with artists including the late, great Michael Jackson, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez and the list continues. However, this year he’s adding more films, works of art and characters to his impressive repertoire. Coming soon, the one and only Darrin Dewitt Henson will be featured in a film written and produced by Lynne Stoltz of Have Faith Productions.

Entitled Sons 2 The Grave, (@sons2thegrave on Twitter), this film follows the journey of a NBA-bound teenager by the name of Marcus Jennings who is growing up in an urban neighborhood that has the power to change his entire life. Little did he know that fear would have the power to end such an innocent life that would affect not only a single mother, but also an entire community. STACKS Magazine Intern, Deja Pearson, sat down with Mr. Darrin Dewitt Henson to gain a little more insight into this story, his role, as well as his future endeavors.

In the film, what character do you play? Why did you choose this role?

I play Detective David Reynolds and I chose the role. I mean…I accepted the role rather because of what the story is. It’s a very, very powerful story about present-day happenings and my character is…it has been affected by death, and he has been affected by a family member. He is the type of detective who wants to see older ladies, women, children and families be able to walk the streets without being in danger and wants to make sure that the community is able to thrive and grow and he feels that daily. That’s his mission in life, to assist in helping people to have better lives.

After reading the synopsis to the film, the story seems like a real life story. Were there any personal incidents in your life that helped you prepare for the role?

Well, I mean, most of what’s happening, it’s really important to dive into the character and it’s really important to find the back story, it’s really important to speak from the character’s need. And I think there’s enough happening in the real world that we can actually see how art imitates life, and then life imitates art. Life’s reciprocal, everything that we see is activated and then because we see it, we respond to react to it, so it’s reciprocal which is why I love this character so much because it shows how much he’s affected by what has already happened. He’s decided to make a difference in his way, you know, he steps up to the plate daily, no matter how difficult it is and it is difficult. It is very difficult at times, so the preparation of that is just very, very similar to paying attention to what’s really going on in life and telling the truth.

Have you played this character before in another film project?

I have not. I mean, even if you say that I have played a detective role, which I have played a detective before and you will see on a television series that I am on in March that I play another detective. They’re two different detectives. They’re two different people. Two different scenarios in two different cities. So they’re never the same. Right? They’re like fingerprints. Everybody has a fingerprint. Not one is the same.

Are there any cast members you’ve never worked with before? If yes, what is it like working with them?

I had an opportunity to work with Justin Martin before, but I’ve never worked with Trevor Jackson before. This is my first time working with Director Mykelti Williamson who is amazing. Um… And my second time working with Demetria McKinney. So two of the actors that I was on screen with, actually three of them because I worked with Josh Ventura in black coffee. So three of the actors I had already previously worked with.

What life lesson will your character learn in the end? What life lesson should the public learn after seeing this film?

I think along with the character as well as everybody viewing it is that nothing stays the same. Everything is always evolving, everything is always changing and we must be open at a variable to working with those changes.

You’ve done Stomp the Yard and Soul Food and some theater projects. Which do you prefer? Films or plays?

I don’t have to choose because all of them deal with the medium of acting and if you are a true actor it doesn’t matter because you are thinking in working on the character. You’re working on the specifics of the piece. It doesn’t matter which medium it is because even when you’re filming, the camera doesn’t exist. The camera doesn’t exist, not to a real actor.

How has your journey been as an actor? What are some difficulties, if any, that you face?

I enjoy the process and when it’s difficult, I welcome that too because it means I’m growing. If something is easy, nothing’s changing. If you’re comfortable, nothing’s changing. Because levels of difficulty include opportunities to grow, to elevate, to find a new way, to find a new nuance. And you know what’s in the diaspora of what we do, it affords us an opportunity to search and find, to seek and find new levels to work with, which is how you grow as an actor so I welcome those challenges.

Do you think there’s a lack of opportunities for black actors in Hollywood?

I think there could be more but… yes, I think there are people who are…now when you say Hollywood, are we just focusing on what’s on…you know, big screens? Or are we focusing on television? Are we focusing on plays? Focusing on shorts? I mean, there’s a plethora of work. I think you get what you focus on.

Could there be more? Absolutely, there can always be more. But, I think that when we focus properly on creating, if you focus on Hollywood also being part of the DVD world cause that is Hollywood, then yeah, there’s tons of work out there. Now whether the work is good or not good, that’s a different story, but there’s a lot of work out there.

What’s next for Darrin? Any upcoming film or theater projects?

Yes, Sons 2 The Grave, clearly. Another film called Chocolate City is coming out which is the black version of Magic Mike. Also “Single Ladies,” I’m on that (fourth season which starts March 18th) and Carl Weber’s best-selling book was turned into a movie which is called The Choir Director and I play the choir director. So quite a few films are coming out and television series in the next few weeks.

How can fans stay updated? Twitter, Facebook, etc?

Visit my website which is darrinhenson.com. I’m always on my site answering questions for my fans. I’m also traveling throughout the states lecturing on my book which is called “Ain’t that the Truth”. So I wrote my second book and that’s on my site as well. And my social networks, on my Instagram @DarrinDewittHenson. My twitter is @MrDHen and my Facebook is Darrin Dewitt Henson. So they can reach me on any of those social networks and I do answer my fans back which is wonderful and fun and sometimes not always fun, but it’s important to answer those questions and answer them honestly.


This film is reminiscent of many of the current situations that are prominent in America today, which is why this is a must-see film of 2015.  For more information on this film’s release date or its cast, visit the film’s Twitter @sons2thegrave. Also if you would like to keep up with Mr. Darrin Henson, follow him on his social networks or go to his website which can be found in the above interview.