It is not uncommon for actors well-versed in comedy to branch out and try their chops at the more serious roles in an attempt to gain recognition for something outside of their comfort zone.
What isn’t as common is for a comedian to take this road twice, after failing the first time.
Cedric the Entertainer is back at it a second time after his first shot at Cedric the Actor failed miserably in 2008. Cedric’s first attempt to recast himself in the eyes of Hollywood was through a Broadway play co-starring Haley Joel Osment and John Leguizamo. Despite the high-profile cast and being head up by writer David Mamet, the production of “American Buffalo” was a bomb and Cedric’s attempt to reinvent himself was dead on arrival.
Not one to give up, Cedric is back with a serious role in the film “First Reformed”, playing the role of a head pastor guiding a junior colleague played by the venerable Ethan Hawke. Opening in limited release on May 18, “First Reformed” is a big departure from Cedric’s roles in recent years which have focused solely on comedic performances.
Early reviews bode well for the success of “First Reformed” as well as Cedric’s performance. An early leading candidate for one of the year’s best pictures will certainly boost Cedric’s stock and catapult him from the pigeon-holed comedic roles of his past to being considered for more thoughtful and serious roles.
In addition to the new opportunity in film, Cedric is reinventing himself through a variety of mediums including his new sitcom, “Welcome to the Neighborhood”. The new show on CBS will enable Cedric to push the boundary of his creative license and subsequently open even more doors.