Morris Chestnut on being racially profiled and 'Boyz n the Hood' 25 years later

Actor Morris Chestnut recalls being cast in 'Boyz n the Hood' 25-years-ago, and opens up about his past experiences with racial profiling...

Morris Chestnut is busier than ever, taking on his first leading TV role and starring alongside Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy in the highly anticipated psychological thriller The Perfect Guy.

In an interview with theGrio, the 46-year-old actor reminisced about landing his first film role as Ricky Baker in Boyz n the Hood, exactly 25-years-ago.

“It was great because I had just started school. I was in college and going back to my car and I got the call. I was just happy to be in a movie. At the time, I hadn’t really done much, and they called and told me I was gonna be in the movie.”

Boyz n the Hood was filmed in South Central Los Angeles in 1990, and much like 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, it depicted the hard realities that many African-Americans in urban communities face.

Chestnut, whose 18-year-old son just began his first year of college, opened up about the fatherly advice he’s given his son to avoid negative encounters with law enforcement.

“I’ve always tried to impress upon him just to be aware of everything… the movie Straight Outta Compton… some of the same issues that [N.W.A.] had back then when they were first starting out is still relevant today obviously. I still feel that that is an issue and it’s definitely very concerning to me raising my son and hopefully having a grandson as well.”

“I always just try to make him aware of who he is and where he is,” Chestnut said. “We live in the suburbs and he has a lot of friends… black friends and white friends. I always say ‘listen, when you are somewhere with your friends who aren’t black… I always make sure he conducts himself in a very well-behaved manor. I try to make sure he’s very well-behaved and he’s respectful to authorities. I told him ‘whenever you’re stopped by the police you say ‘yes sir, no sir;’ make sure that’s first and foremost.’ I feel like that’s the first layer of defense.”

Chestnut recalled his own past instances of racial profiling as a teenager and young adult.

“When I grew up, I was always racially profiled. I got stopped quite a bit. I graduated high school at 18 years old, and one of the neighbors down the street… a young well-to-do person, he had an old Porsche. He let my mother buy the Porsche for me. It was very inexpensive. I would drive the Porsche around, and because I was a young black male driving a Porsche, I was getting pulled over all the time. For nothing. I definitely have those experiences.”

You can catch Chestnut in The Perfect Guy when it hits theaters nationwide September 11.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Chestnut’s interview with theGrio where he talks about his upcoming role on Fox’s “Rosewood,” where he plays a private pathologist who’s highly in demand with law enforcement. 

Follow’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.