Actor Orlando Joneshas made a lucrative career out of actin’ the fool. Whether it was on “MADtv” spoofing Andre 3000 and OJ Simpson, in commercials telling people to “make 7Up yours” or getting aliens pulled out of his ass in “Evolution” the Alabama native knows a thing or three about getting a laugh.
So it was surprising to him when an April Fool’s blog that he wrote for The Huffington Post became the talk of Hollywood. Dressed in white-face as an old woman, Jones wrote a ‘story’ that he would be replacing Tyler Perry as his popular character Madea in an up-coming film. Timed on April 1st in the Huffington Post Comedy section, it was a pretty obvious prank. However, a lot of people weren’t laughing. In fact, they were hopping mad.
“We put up an old picture from this movie we were going to do like ten years ago with me as a white woman,” Jones tells TheUrbanDaily.com. “I decided not to do the movie for a lot of different reasons. We sent it out and people don’t read. I was dressed as a white woman. I tagged it April Fool’s. But people was heated!”
Almost two weeks after it ran, even a statement from Mr. Perry declaring that the prank was “not true and not funny” failed to quell the chatter.
Watch the video for his full reaction to the April Fool’s Joke drama.
If nothing else the controversy thrust Jones back into the public eye at the most opportune of times. Despite being quite active on television, Jones hasn’t been seen on the big screen in some time, leading some to ask where he’s been. However, he has recently launched a digital graphic novel “Tainted Love” and it was just announced that he would be starring in a new Fox series, “Sleepy Hollow.”
“The entertainment business has changed so much,” he says of his absence from movie screens. “Distribution changed. What sort of movies they were pushing changed. It became about tent pole movies like ‘Avatar,’ ‘Avengers’ etc. And traditionally there have been very few African-Americans to occupy a space in those movies. Somebody who I have a tremendous amount of respect for like Jamie Foxx, up until ‘Django Unchained’ he hadn’t done a studio movie in five years–and he has an Oscar. That’s how much the business has shifted on so many levels. And if you care about the things you put out in the world as a Black man there’s certain things you’re not gonna do.”
After making his mark on “MADtv” and in films like “Drumline” Jones began to ponder his next move and what kind of legacy he was leaving behind.