Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Casting “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night” — The Movie

Coming to a dollar theater or barbershop bootlegger near you

So, after (half)jokingly mentioning that the upcoming “Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Man” movie means that the “Your Degrees…” flick can’t be far off, a few people ran with that idea in the comments section and on Twitter; having their own “auditions” where they named which actors and actresses should play Liz, Panama, and I. They each also took it a step further and (of course) put themselves in the movie and cast that role as well.

Hmm. Sounds like a great idea for a Friday.

If I were casting the VSB movie…

Casting The Champ

To cast a convincing me, I’d need an actor who can pull off the dry (and occasionally inappropriate) deadpan humor thing; a guy who’s laidback and may seem shy at first but is surprisingly (and completely) arrogant. He’d also need a smart-aleck/sarcastic streak, and he’d need to look like he was capable of being a college basketball player at one point in his life. Having an accent no one has ever heard before would help, too.

I saw that Isiah Washington was mentioned on Twitter, but although we definitely know he’s available, he’s like 20 years older than me. I thought of Donald Glover because he could definitely pull off the deadpan/dry humor thing and the laidback thing, but I might be a foot taller than him and I probably outweigh him by 100 pounds.

This leaves us with two actors. Anthony Mackie Rob Brown (just off of the strength of his role/performance in Finding Forrester) and Craig Robinson. Who I’d end of choosing between the two depends on the director (more on that later)

***Also thought about putting Jay Pharoah here, but I need to see if he can act outside of SNL***

Casting Panama Jackson

For P, you’d need a guy with an oversized personality who doesn’t hold his tongue. An extrovert, life of the party type who’s also a bit more thoughtful and sensitive (and smarter) than he wants people to believe. Basically, while The Champ is the “nice guy” who’s secretly kind of an asshole, the Panama character would have to be the opposite. He’d also need to be a guy who you can see shifting from the corporate/conservative office setting to Chucks and Levi’s with ease, and it would definitely help if this actor had some “southern-ness” to him as well.

Honestly, the first name that came to mind was Vince Vaughn, but he doesn’t work for obvious reasons. Terrance Howard has the secretly sensitive asshole thing down pact, but I don’t want Mr. Wet Wipes anywhere near this project. I thought of J. D. Williams too, but I just can’t see Bodie Broadus ever being a responsible dad and holding down a “square” 9 to 5.

Again, who I decide on depends on the director, but right now the two best candidates seem to be Donald Faizon (Who I think would be perfect) and Ice Cube Mos Def.

***I know P’s biracial, but aside from The Rock and Vin Diesel, there aint all that many biracial actors running around to choose from***

Casting Liz

Liz is the easiest casting decision. You’d need an actress who could be a professional devil’s advocate/hater with a secretly vicious sense of humor, but a true heart of gold. You’d also need to hire a woman who could realistically be an M.I.T. grad (sorry LisaRaye), who thinks she has hoodrat tendencies but really doesn’t. Lastly, she definitely needs to have some “Valley Girl” in her.

Jennifer Hudson, Maya Rudolph, and Tracee Ellis Ross all came to mine, but for this role, regardless of the director, I’d go with a newcomer, Issa Rae — a woman who many of you know as The Awkward Black Girl.

***Mindy Kaling and Angela Nissel could both definitely work here too***

The Director

If we’re going straight comedy, it has to be Judd Apatow. If we’re going for more of a dark comedy/drama feel, I’d like Stephen Frears, Ted Witcher or (as a wildcard) the Coen brothers. (Wanted to put Tarantino here, but I just don’t think he’d fit with the material)

If we’re going all black everything, I’d pull Robert Townsend’s ass out of retirement and let him and the entire Wayans crew take a stab at it.

Anyway, budding VSB producers and casting agents, who would you cast in the VSB movie? Also, don’t limit it to Liz, Panama, and I. Please put yourself in the movie, and if you’d like, your favorite VSB regulars as well. Who would play you?

The red carpet is yours.

—The Champ

Filed Under: , ,
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • Lurk No More

    I’m on one….FIRST!

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      Aw…

      (hands you a “No One Cares” cookie)

      • CurlyTop

        LMBO @ TheAnti-Cool
        I REALLY want a bag of “No one Cares” cookies to pass out to everyday folk.

        • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          And wash it down with “No F**ks To Give Kool-Aid.”

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          One dozen or two?

          (gets poised to put in several orders)

          • MsEvahoney

            I will laugh at this all day long. thank you.

            • rnic

              WSS

              • MsEvahoney

                well played

      • naturalista88

        Does it come w/a tall glass of “So?” milk?

        • keisha brown

          Does it come w/a tall glass of “So?” milk?
          THIS. i want on a tshirt.

          I hope lurk no more decides to stay lurker-free doe…

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            I hope so too…I feel like Yoles evil twin now.

            • Yoles

              not evil twin e-sis… your the ying to my yang… i e-love ya baby!!
              you are magnetic… if it wasn’t e-sis-tery it would have been e-lesbian lite lovers ;)

      • Yaadgyrl

        O how I missed u!

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          Who? Me?

          (gives you an e-hug)

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      You’re lucky I am too lazy to log in to VSB to move this post to 404am.

      • naturalista88

        Aww, but that would’ve made this comment so awesome. Dang *kicks some kids blocks over*.

  • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    I’s cast Nephew Tommy as Panama. 1st of all, this is a Black movie, 2nd, he’s a 3

    • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      edit: *I’d*

    • tgtaggie

      No homo but Nephew Tommy really is like a -2.5. http://hiphop.popcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/steve1.jpg

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

        I have been advised not to click your link kind sir.

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        I actually hollered in pain.

      • naturalista88

        You are now my least favorite for that link *lmao*.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        he must have lost a bet or something. that’s the only way i can explain him taking that picture

      • Juli B!!

        I just don’t think -2.5 accurately captures Nephew Tommy…factor in his very large amount of corniness and the agony this pictures has caused me…..I’d easily go with -9.998!!!
        Wow, that was AWFUL!!! I had to cover my mouth to keep from screaming and waking up my husband! When I tried to hit the back button, my computer got stuck for a few seconds and I had to cover my eyes!!!!!! Those were the longest seconds of my life!!

        Oh yeah before I go back to lurking: I think The Champ should be played by Derek Luke!!! No particular reason, I just think it fits!

      • Yaadgyrl

        Ewww

      • http://www.magnetforfoolishness.wordpress.com Magnet for Foolishness

        I don’t even know you, but I hate you for that picture.

      • http://www.twitter.com/IntnseRndmnss Alana

        I wanna see this so bad, I’m logging in from my phone!

      • http://www.twitter.com/IntnseRndmnss Alana

        And actually SNORTED upon seeing this pic!

    • http://twitter.com/queennaima Naima

      *dead* With Nephew Tommy in the movie, might as well cast all the people from N-Secure.

      • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

        NOOOOOOOOOOO! @ that pic though

  • tgtaggie

    I can’t imagine Vince Vaughn playing Panama. lol. Vince would have to be like Kirk Lazurus (Robert Downy Jr.) from Tropic Thunder.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      I can’t imagine Vince Vaughn playing Panama. lol. Vince would have to be like Kirk Lazurus (Robert Downy Jr.) from Tropic Thunder.

      that actually might not be a bad idea

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    Tarantino*

    Pharrell acted once before. So I’ll cast him as me.

    • CurlyTop

      I want Erykah Badu to play me. I don’t remember seeing her an any movies but people say I remind them of her *shrugs*

      • Corey

        Your face or *ahem* other regions???

        • CurlyTop

          “Other regions” does this include my personality, amazingly huge afro, and the African spirits that illuminate the path upon which I walk? Or my bum? Alls I can say is I had to stop wearing shorts one summer because the attention was ridic. Even an Asian dude on campus told me “Damn, you mom gave you a good one.”

          • Corey

            Well damn!! *Guccimane voice*
            I was actually referring to your afro but the additional info is greatly appreciated. (even moreso with pictorial verification)

            • CurlyTop

              About twice a month I think about putting up an avi but it just hasn’t happened yet. I’m internet shy.

              • Corey

                Don’t be scurred! We all fam here.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            Alls I can say is I had to stop wearing shorts one summer because the attention was ridic. Even an Asian dude on campus told me “Damn, you mom gave you a good one

            this statement is useless without pics

        • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          LMFAO @ Corey. A. mess.

          • http://www.theleftsidepoets.wordpress.com MicTheMessenger

            Who’s gonna play ^^^^this ^^^^lady?

            That would be #interesting.

            And ima just put it out there. The Anti-Cool should be played by either Tischina Arnold (maybe too ghetto) or Regina King. I think the latter would be a great cynic, just assholish enough around the edges to play TAC.

            No shots fired, TAC. I actually think you’re kinda e-fly.

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

              I love Regina King. And I agree. Even about assholish edges.

              (makes “I’m So e-Fly ” my new theme music)

            • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

              @Mic, downthread it seems to be a mix of BOTH (or either) Mowry sisters, Raven Symone, and Taraji P. Henson. lol

      • Around the Way Girl

        She was in Blues Brothers 2000. Don’t laugh, that movie was doooooope. One of the rare occasions where the sequel is as good as the original.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/legitimate_soul legitimate_soul

          She (Badu) was in Cider House Rules too.

    • DQ

      I don’t see Pharrell. I see a Slim Fast Adebisi from Oz (aka Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Am I wrong here?

      • http:/enterknight.blogspot.com/ Misty Knight

        A “Slim Fast Adebisi”?..Yeah you wrong for that one, dead ace wrong.lol

        • DQ

          You don’t see a little Adebisi in Malik? Would it help if you pictured him rocking a tilted baby skull cap held to in place with double sided tape?

  • http://www.twitter.com/drrdb TWIsM

    Lord, thank you for giving me tomorrow off so that I may partake in the ratchetness that will ensue today. This is going to be a fun one.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      I know right. I’m already having fun. :)

    • keisha brown

      can i say ONLY vsb could do a post like this on friday??
      reason 4,223,645.7 why VSB (Nation) rocks!

      *continues to scroll.
      work betta not get in the way of me and VSB today!

  • xLadyTx

    Definitely Donald Faison as Panama!

    • CaribbeanQueen

      oh shoot i JUST remembered who he was. why was I thinking he Mya’s husband from Girlfriends? but yes.. he is definitely perfect for P

    • Around the Way Girl

      I agree. That’s the only one I feel confident about. I’d vote for Maya Rudolph as Liz, though. And Isaiah Washington or Don Cheadle as Champ. Sadly, I’m not really up on my black actors.

      I’ll grant myself a little cameo, maybe a few lines. I know my presence isn’t that strong here…but I’d have to be played by someone who can pull off that laid-back girl from around the way who’s really nice but holds her own. My first thought was Zoe Saldana or Joy Bryant. Or, if she were to have features more like mine, maybe Tatyana Ali or Maia Campbell b.c. (before crack).

    • http://www.twitter.com/IntnseRndmnss Alana

      OMG! yes, Yes, YES!!

  • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    Lauren London as Liz (DON’T HATE ME!!!!!)

    Baratunde Thurston as The Champ

    Tia and/or Tamera Mowry as Cheekie

    KeKe Palmer as Panamette

    Tocorra as Yoles

    • http://www.anythingbutstyle.com Shaynanigans

      lol @ Tia/and or Tamara…either or both will do

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        LOL, I love how I have two people playing me. Michelle Tanner swag.

        And I’m too pleased! I’ve always LOVED me some Tia/Tamera (pssst, Tia is my favorite).

        • http://www.anythingbutstyle.com Shaynanigans

          or you could get on your Parent Trap steeze and have one of them play twin versions of you. Double cheeks!

          • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            #mindblown

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            Gotta have two Cheeks or somethings gonna look lopsided.

      • CurlyTop

        The “and/or” made me choke on my late dinner. Good times

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      Liz doesn’t hate anybody but she might hate you for that. I know I do. But I still love you too.

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        LOL! Aww i think LL is purdy. She just has bad baby daddy choices. And she can’t really act….

        • naturalista88

          Damn, 1/3 doesn’t sound too good *lol*.

    • Medium Meech

      Poor Liz

    • CurlyTop

      I think Lauren London would make a better SmartFoxGirl.

      • http://www.twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

        I aint neva had Weezy’s baby. Free my ovaries! :)

        • CurlyTop

          Lol, my bad then.

        • keisha brown

          LMFAOOOOO

        • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

          LMAO!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      KeKe Palmer as Panamette

      lol, so you’re saying that panama had his daughter when he was 13?

      • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

        Yes No

    • http://kcfiction.tumblr.com NubianEmpress

      BARATUNDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

      hahhahahahahhahahahejjlkdsajf;alkdsjf;lkdsajfa;lksdfkdsafjdas;lkjfalkdsjf;lkdsajflkdsajf;kdsafjlkdsajf;lkdsajfa;lkdsflkdsajf;lkdsjflkdsajfas;lkdjf;alkdsjf;adsf

      [/fin]

    • Yoles

      Tocorra is perfect for me… full figured, fine & fabulous thx IAYP

  • CaribbeanQueen

    hmm for some reason the light skinned guy from House Party came to mind for P lmao
    omar epps could work for you champ.. maybe
    and anika noni rose for Liz

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      “hmm for some reason the light skinned guy from House Party came to mind for P lmao”

      LMFAO… SEE?! SEE!! *dies laughing*

      • CaribbeanQueen

        lmao i knew i wasnt the only one!

        • Around the Way Girl

          Lol yeah, I change my mind…I like him better for PJ.

    • Aisha

      Lmao!! I totally agree…my 1st thought when I met him at VSB lounge was “wow he looks just like Kid”…that would be he Larry us!

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        *slaps knee in hysterics* The beat goes on…

    • keisha brown

      LMFAO.
      Cheekie TOTALLY called that on le twitter.

  • naturalista88

    I’m just gonna sit and watch/read for the impending hilarity/f*ckery that is about to ensue…

    • http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com Marie Denee

      I am already in tears, and I havent even made it down the page…. literal tears down my cheeks with laughter

    • StillSuga

      LOL! Right…work is pretty much a wrap for the day….

  • http://www.anythingbutstyle.com Shaynanigans

    Now I’ve never met Panama in person, but judging from his half face avi, I would chose this guy – from Disney channel and other random movie fame:

    http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l7mcael0YA1qcqqpjo1_500.jpg>

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      yeah, ms shaynanigans, gonna need you to try again

      • http://www.anythingbutstyle.com Shaynanigans

        It’s Mark Taylor from oe of those Tia/Tamara movies. Disney probably blocked that lik since they own your soul after you’ve done a movie for them.

        Hopefully this link works:
        http://i2.listal.com/image/1430484/600full-mark-taylor.jpg

        • keisha brown

          FLASHPOINT!
          STUDENT BODIES!!!!

          *sorry. my inner Canadian just came out. lol.

          • http://www.anythingbutstyle.com Shaynanigans

            You Canadians do produce some lookers tho, KB. And by lookers, I mean tall light skinned drinks of maple syrup.

            I was thinking that maybe you could round up some for my Tdot visit next weekend? please? Many thank yous

            • keisha brown

              LMFAO @ tall light skinned drinks of maple syrup.

              I am SO FAR GONE. (badoom-ping!).

              And um.. I’ll have to work pretty hard on that one.. you shoulda just come to visit for Caribana.

              • http://www.anythingbutstyle.com Shaynanigans

                I am coming! I wanna meet up with you and Miss Patterson and Cheekie and the rest of the crew at some point. E-lives unite!

                • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                  if you are who i think you are, i’m pretty sure you’ve met miss patterson before

                  • http://www.anythingbutstyle.com Shaynanigans

                    Lol I am and I have…we’ve been talking about this Tdot meet up for awhile. It’s the other e-life ladies I haven’t met.

                    Hi Champ!

                • keisha brown

                  i JUST checked ya vsb name. DUH. of COURSE you are.
                  SMH @ me.

                  DM me your email addy. Let me know if you want to join us for dinner on friday. I’ll need to increase the resos! :)