Timon Kyle Durrett on how the ‘Cheaper By the Dozen,’ reboot takes on racism

The reboot of the popular 2003 film is now on Disney+ starring Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff as a mixed-race married couple with 12 children

Cheaper By the Dozen, the latest reboot from Disney has finally hit Disney+. theGrio caught up with actor Timon Kyle Durrett who broke down what drew him to the new iteration of the story and how the script was able to address racism in such a nuanced way.

As theGrio previously reported, the new Cheaper by the Dozen movie has been highly anticipated for some time now. The reboot stars Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff, mirroring the 2005 remake based on the autobiography by Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey from 1948.

The current version is described as, “a funny and heartwarming story of the raucous exploits of a blended family of 12, the Bakers, as they navigate a hectic home life while simultaneously managing their family business,” with a script penned by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.

48th NAACP Image Awards -  Red Carpet
PASADENA, CA – FEBRUARY 11: Actor Timon Kyle Durrett attends the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

Durrett, also of OWN’s hit series Queen Suagr, plays Dominic “Dom” Clayton, the ex-husband of Zoey, Union’s character. He says he knew from his first reading of the script that he wanted the role.

“It was very well-written and it was very funny, and it had a lot of levels, a lot of good, touching moments,” Durrett said. “When I read it, I told my agent, ‘Oh, I can knock this one out, I’m going in for this one.

It [tocuches] on several social issues, in some ways in a very comical way, and in other very heartfelt ways.”

He added, “I was very excited about doing this.”

Unlike the previous iterations of Cheaper By the Dozen, this one is significantly Blacker. Union and Braff’s characters represent the kind of blended families that weren’t shown in the movie’s original versions. That the film doesn’t just skim over the racial aspects and actually takes time to address them is something Durrett is proud of.

World Premiere Of "Cheaper By The Dozen"
Caylee Blosenski, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Aryan Simhadri, Leo Abelo Perry, Journee Brown, Gabrielle Union, Luke Prael, Zach Braff, Erika Christensen, Sebastian Cote, Andre Robinson, Timon Kyle Durrett, Christian Cote, Simeon Othello Daise and June Diane Raphael attend the World Premiere of “Cheaper By the Dozen” on March 16, 2022. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

“What I think they got right, for one, is having it be a part of the story,” Durrett explained. “There are too many variables to the equation of race relations when it comes to interracial marriages, raising children outside of your race, communication…there are so many different levels to several scenes.”

Watch the full interview with Durrett above.

Cheaper By the Dozen is available to stream now on Disney+.

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