Not Easily Broken

Meet the Cast

Dr. Phil sits down with renowned pastor, author and producer Bishop T.D. Jakes. The pastor's new movie, Not Easily Broken, is based on his novel of the same name. 

 

"What is this film about?" Dr. Phil asks Bishop Jakes.

"It's a love story told from a male perspective. That alone is amazing, because generally we hear women talk about love, but not men," Bishop Jakes explains. "It's a family, a couple, who is struggling to hold their lives together. Things keep changing: finances are challenged, infidelity almost breaks out in their lives, and they fight to get their lives back together and to bring their faith into their family."

Pointing out that Not Easily Broken features a predominantly black cast, Dr. Phil says, "I don't want people to typecast this movie as being only relevant to the African-American community, because this movie talks about the pressures of marriage from the inside out, the outside in, that are true in so many families."

"This is not a black thing; it's not a white thing," the pastor agrees. "It's something that all Americans are going through right now."

Actor Morris Chestnut, who starred in The Perfect Holiday and Boyz in the Hood, joins the discussion.

"You had too many scenes with your shirt off," Dr. Phil jokes, and a few audience members cheer appreciatively.

"That was my body double," Morris says with a laugh. He describes the character he plays in the movie, Dave Johnson. "He loves his wife, and he's a loving husband, but they just have differences in philosophy about how they should go about their marriage."

"You're married," Dr. Phil points out.

"Yes. Eleven years," Morris replies.

"Was this at all an extension, a reflection, of your marriage, or was this something that you had to totally get out of character?"

"I was able to draw from my own experiences in my marriage. When you're married for 11 years, you don't always have ups, you don't always have downs."

"You actually did a scene with the Bishop here," Dr. Phil says. "So how did he do?"

"I think he did a phenomenal job," Morris says. "A lot of times actors feel that if they're not talking, they're not acting. He did it all in his facial expressions, and he did a great job."

"Were you nervous?" Dr. Phil asks Bishop Jakes.

"When you work with great people like Morris Chestnut and Taraji Henson " and then we had the incomparable Bill Duke directing us " I just got in a flow," Bishop Jakes answers.

Actress Jenifer Lewis and comedian/actor Kevin Hart, who also star in the film, reflect on their roles.

"How much of this was out of character for you?" Dr. Phil asks Jenifer.


"Researching this character was not difficult for me, because I work with abused women right here in Los Angeles at different shelters and different facilities. [My character] Mama Clark, I felt, she's damaged, coming from a dysfunctional family herself," Jenifer replies. "With that fear and insecurity in herself, she imposes it on her daughter."

"Kevin, did you relate to your character in your movie?" Dr. Phil inquires.

"I play a character named Tree, and I've got to honestly say that I did. Tree is a henpecked, married man. I'm very close to being henpecked," Kevin replies with a laugh. "I'm the guy in the movie who's trying to tell Morris and Eddie [Cibrian's] character in the movie " he plays Brock " I'm trying to tell them they're not living right. You guys are out there doing all the wrong things in your marriage, and if you want your marriage to be right, you should just shut up and agree with your woman."

"You've been married for seven years," Dr. Phil points out.

"I've been married for several years, happily married for ... three hours," Kevin quips. "Seven happy years and two beautiful kids."

Actresses Maeve Quinlan and Niecy Nash join the discussion.

Maeve describes her character, Julie Sawyer, who has an emotional affair with Morris Chestnut's character, Dave. "She's a single mom who's a physical therapist and really struggling to make her daily life work, be everything she can be to her son," she explains. "She comes into Dave and [his wife] Clarice's life, I think, with all good intentions, certainly. A friendship, a very strong bond, happens between herself and David."

Dr. Phil addresses Niecy. "Tell us about your character, Michelle."

"Michelle is somebody who has had challenges in her own marriage, but she's really good friends with Taraji, who plays Morris' wife in this movie," she says.

"You say that you think emotional affairs can be more devastating than physical affairs," Dr. Phil notes.

"I absolutely believe that," she responds. "If someone you're dealing with encounters another person, and they're in their life and they're gone, that's one thing " a one night stand. But when you start talking about emotional affairs, that's a soul tie."


Speaking of relationships, Jenifer wants to use Dr. Phil's platform to land a date. "I'd just started seeing a man, and I just want to announce here, since we're on television, that I'm no longer with him, and I would like to "" she looks at Dr. Phil knowingly.

"Did you want to walk the runway?" Dr. Phil asks, gesturing to the stage.

Jenifer strolls to the end of the stage and twirls around.

Dr. Phil praises the film's director, Bill Duke, who says the movie is timely, given the economic downturn and the havoc a financial crisis can wreak on relationships. 

 

"One thing I've heard from everybody associated with this movie is, ‘Oh, my God. We got to work with Bill Duke,'" Dr. Phil says. "This [film] is so real, and it's so gritty, but it couldn't have hit at a better time, don't you think?"

"I agree," Bill says. "The book and the film were instructional manuals for me. I think the film is " we call it 'edu-tainment' " it entertains, but I think it also informs, in terms of what people are going through."

Dr. Phil turns to Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, the national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. "Did you get a chance to see the movie?" Dr. Phil asks her.

"Yes, I did," she replies. "As the president of Delta Sigma Theta and launching our new initiative Project ART through our Delta Red Carpet, there was no doubt in my mind the minute I saw the movie, teary-eyed and all, I immediately knew it was going to be our premiere movie for our activity, and we are so excited."

Taraji P. Henson, who plays Clarice in Not Easily Broken, couldn't be on the show. Click the links below to see backstage interviews with the actress.

Click here to see exclusive footage of actress Taraji P. Henson talking about the film's universal appeal.

 

Click here to hear Taraji's thoughts on married couples having emotional affairs.