Bill Bellamy opens up about the ‘How to Be a Player’ backlash received from female viewers and reveals an alternative ending

The 1990s served as a playground for actors Bill Bellamy who rose to fame as the host of Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam. The stand-up comedian has also starred in a variety of films, including ‘Love Jones’ and ‘Any Given Sunday’, but he is perhaps best known for his role as the A&R playboy in the classic ‘How to be a Player’ from 1997.

During a recent appearance on Angela Yee’s Lip Service podcast, the 57-year-old reflected on the popular sex comedy – which also starred Lark Voorhies, the late Natalie Desselle-Reid and Bernie Mac – and how she was perceived by her female audience reacted prompting film executives to change the ending.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 22: Bill Bellamy attends the TJ Martell Foundation’s Annual Spirit of Excellence Dinner at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on October 22, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

“So I did it in a colorful, fun way for people to digest, but guys liked the fact that I had so many, women were like, ‘You know what, but he needs to get caught,'” the actor recalled his approach to the role of notorious womanizer Drayton “Dray” Jackson.

“Because we had two endings for this movie,” he revealed. “One ending was that I got away with it all and the film failed. Women were like, hot! You know they do the little focus group thing? [They said] ‘F-ck that!’ They were mad and when he got caught they said, ‘Okay, fine; Thanks.’ ”

Elsewhere in the interview, the comedian revealed that starring in the film also affected his personal relationships. “I was cool with the boys but I couldn’t pull a chick for a minute,” he shared. “I was stuck for about a year because chicks were like, ‘Oh my god, No Bill, stop it. You won’t make me like this I saw your film.’ ”

The star added, “I knew the character was going to be tough to play because I thought this is a character that’s going to be tough for women to digest. I said I can only do this if I’m not arrogant. He continued, “So I had to make it funny, so it wasn’t like, ‘Yo, I’m that guy.’ I said, “I gotta be kidding, so I don’t know I’m a bad boy, I’m just a bad boy.” ” Bill Bellamy opens up about the ‘How to Be a Player’ backlash received from female viewers and reveals an alternative ending

James Brien

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