In an interview with Indiewire, Omari tells us about his role as a closeted husband:
Shadow and Act: In Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls,” you played Carl. He was the closeted husband to Janet Jackson’s character. How did you develop that role?
OH: Well, I can’t relate to being gay. It was a challenging role.
Shadow and Act: How was it a challenge?
OH: It was a challenging role for me because I am a black guy. And white guys like Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal can play those types of roles and their audiences will say that the roles are artistic.
Shadow and Act: So you feel that the role was challenging because the black community does not support roles like Carl?
OH: The black culture perceives roles like that one in a negative light.
Shadow and Act: How did you prepare for that role?
OH: I focused on being a deviant person. I focused on doing something wrong. I was lying to my wife. I was lying to these men. I prepared for the role by closing my eyes and thinking of times when I had lied.
Shadow and Act: You did not focus on the sexual orientation of Carl to get into character?
OH: No, because it’s like how could I do that really well? I focused on being deviant.
Shadow and Act: Did you tap into your own sexuality to build the role?
OH: You want me to explain how I used my heterosexuality to build this role?
Shadow and Act: Yes, I do.
OH: Okay, let me know if this is what you mean. There was this one time while we were filming in New York, where I was testing myself. l challenged myself to run through Central Park and behave like Carl. I wanted to see how I would run and live differently as my character.
Shadow and Act: And what did you find out about your character during this run?
OH: I did not get through the run without checking out women. It’s a natural instinct. So, that’s why I solely focused on being deviant. But you know what? Some of the greatest actors have played gay men. Anthony has played a gay man. Jeffrey has played gay. When it’s all said and done, I am secure enough with my manhood to say to the world, “I am a male actor, and its okay for me to play a gay man.”