Sometimes the one thing you need to make all of your dreams come true is someone who believes in you. For so many of Black Hollywood’s big names that person was John Singleton. Morris Chestnut credits his career and success to his very first film role as Ricky, in John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood. He says looking at the film in the beginning, he wouldn’t have guessed that it’s be as huge a hit as it was and still is.
In that moment, while he was excited about the opportunity, what he saw was “a movie directed by a kid who hadn’t directed anything before.” And a movie starring himself, who no one knew, Cuba Gooding Jr., who was known by few, and “Ice Cube who was a rapper that had never acted before.” But, as we all know Boyz N The Hood did extremely well and it’s considered a classic.
Singleton, unfortunately passed away on April 29 after suffering a stroke about two weeks prior. Chestnut visited him in the hospital the Sunday before he passed and says that at that point “people still had hope.” Thinking back over their working relationship and friendship, he is grateful to him for taking a chance on a kid who “just wanted to be an actor.”