Boris Kodjoe (left) and Tyson Beckford pose with a poster for their new film, “Addicted.”
In most films about sex addiction or marital infidelity, it’s the man portrayed as the cheater. But in “Addicted,” the new film based on a bestselling novel by Zane, it’s Sharon Leal’s character who leads a double life.
The film, like the book, delves into the dangers of indiscretion as the temptations of Zoe Reynard, played by Leal, threaten to destroy her marriage, her successful career and the family life she’s created for her husband and their two children.
Recently her co-stars Boris Kodjoe (who plays Leal’s husband) and Tyson Beckford (who portrays one of her extramarital love interests) were in Chicago to promote the movie, opening Friday.
Explaining how he got involved with the project, Beckford, who first found fame as one of the world’s top male models, said he got a call “out of the blue” from director Billie Woodruff, who wasted no time getting right to the point.
” ‘What do you look like right now? Send me a picture,’ ” Beckford said. “He wanted to see if I was in shape, since my character in this film had to show a lot of skin.
“I don’t know why I had to send him a picture.He follows me on Instagram. There’s plenty of current shots of me shirtless there! … But he explained that no, he had to show photos of me to the studio to approve me getting the part, so that was cool.”
The shoot got off to an interesting start forBeckford. “It was like I jumped right off the plane in Atlanta [where they filmed] and they said, ‘Here you go! Get into bed!’ ” he recalled with a laugh. “I had never met Sharon, before so that was kind of funny.
“By the way, we didn’t jump into bed. It was scene about having sex on the desk in her office!”
As Kodjoe added, “That’s the kind of thing in our business that happens all the time. Because of people’s schedules, you frequently don’t have the time to get to meet someone you’re going to act with until the day you start filming. It’s just the way it is.”
Though Zane has developed a strong following for her erotic fiction,Kodjoe admitted he was not “really aware of the Zane phenomenon” and the huge popularity of her novels.
“I really had no idea what she was about, but I read the script and I was intrigued by the way the story unfolded,” said Kodjoe. “However, whenever you have a script that has erotic aspects to it, I always want to make sure it was going to be done right. But after I met with Billie to check out his vision, I saw that we were both going to be on the same page.”
The actorsloved the idea that the movie was all about a woman being the cheater, as opposed to the man.
“Billie always held up ‘Unfaithful’ [the 2002 film starring Diane Lane, Richard Gere and Olivier Martinez] as being the kind of film he wanted ‘Addicted’ to be. He referenced that a lot, because it was one of the first films in recent memory that was like that,” said Kodjoe.
Theydidn’t meet the author until a special screening was arranged in New York, after the movie was completed.
“She was really cool. She’s very down-to-earth and doesn’t talk a lot,” said Kodjoe. “She’s very typical of a lot of writers — kind of introverted. All the passion and excitement goes down on the page.
“But you could tell she was very excited to see her ‘baby’ come alive on the screen. This film was in the works for a long time. The book came out like eight years ago. So this was a big moment for her.”
Kodjoe is excited about a couple of other projects coming up. He just recently finished shooting the pilot for a proposed ABC series, “Members Only.”
“It’s about a country club, the employees and the members and all the drama and craziness that goes on there. John Stamos plays the head of the country club — the general manager — who tries to get me to join, because I’m a big pro football star.”
But Kodjoe there’s a twist to all that. “It turns out, I find out that the only reason they want me to join is because they need some ‘color’ — so to speak. They need to get some non-white members in order to get some financial benefits for the club.
“It’s smart social commentary. The writer is Susannah Grant, who wrote ‘Erin Brockovich.’ ”
Kodjoe’s face lit up at the mention of another project, his series on BET, “We have ‘Real Husbands of Hollywood’ season three coming up. There will be more insanity. It’s just hilarious being part of that with Kevin Hart and the gang. It’s so much fun to be part of a show that is all about making fun of reality TV shows. That’s what’s great about it. We take it to the next level. All of us, of course, are playing a hyper-version of ourselves. That’s so much fun.”
As for Beckford, he’s recently completed an independent film, “No Black Girls, Please.” As the veteran supermodel explained it, “The movie deals very directly with the issue of diversity — and the lack of diversity which still exists in the fashion world. I play an agent who finds the next ‘big’ girl.
“There’s no question — that was a role and a film I could totally understand. I know that world backwards and forward. While we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go.”