A bad new beginning 

Although Cole Hauser has starred in action movies — “2 Fast, 2 Furious” and “Paparazzi” — and the canceled TV show “K-Ville,” the 33-year-old actor says playing a low-down, conniving businessman in Tyler Perry’s new movie was an exciting departure.

“I never really played a bad guy before, and I essentially don’t look at this guy as a bad guy per sé,” Hauser says of his role in “Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys,” which opens Friday.

“But the general public would definitely say that my character is a scum bag because of his greed and lascivious conduct,” he says. “This guy definitely knows what he wants and how to get it at all costs.”

“The Family that Preys” also stars Perry, Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Lathan, Robin Givens, Taraji P. Henson, KaDee Strickland and Rockmond Dunbar. It’s the first major movie that the wildly successful Perry has made with white actors.

Hauser says he hopes it won’t be his last.

“I jumped on the Tyler Perry bandwagon a bit late,” he says. “But I’m aboard now. He’s one of the best directors that I’ve worked with. Both Tyler and [producer] Reuben Cannon would come up to me while filming and say, ‘Man, we didn’t write this guy necessarily this way, but we’re loving your creation of him. You’re really on.’ They just let me play him. That’s the sign of a great director and producer.”

Not only did Hauser enjoy working with a diverse cast and crew, he says another perk of the job was wearing the fine, expensive suits.

“I begged them to just let me have one of them after the movie,” he says, laughing. “They politely smiled and told me no. You know it’s so different when you put on a suit as an actor. It changes your gait, it changes your way of looking at people and talking to people. As soon as I put on one of those suits I became 10 feet tall. Soon as Tyler would say ‘action,’ I’d change. I would walk around looking down at people. Clothes do make the man.”

Hauser also is playing the lead, co-starring with Laurence Fishburne and James Cromwell,  in the upcoming action thriller “Torture.”

“I’m the guy who was in the military and came back and was drafted into the FBI,” he says.
“Then I go undercover for them into an organization that’s run by Laurence Fishburne. And there’s this cat-and-mouse game that goes on with them.”

The actor also hopes to change gears. “I always felt like I could do a romantic comedy and I don’t mean like a goofy one, but a real love story like a ‘Far and Away,’” he says. “I wonder if Tyler has any interest. I’m convinced more than ever that he can do anything.”

If you go

Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys

Starring: Tyler Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Sanaa Lathan, Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, Rockmond Dunbar, Taraji P. Henson, RobinGivens, Cole Hauser

Written and directed by  Tyler Perry

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 1 hour 51 minutes

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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