Ser’Darius Blain isn’t a man you’d easily forget. His towering frame stands at nearly six feet, five inches tall, so you probably remember him from Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse as Jupitor Blackmon. If not, you’ll certainly recognize him from the massive action adventure comedy, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle where he starred opposite Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The thunderous sequel to the beloved 1995 classic starring the late Robin Williams caught critics and audiences by surprise and sat at the top of the box office as the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2017. For Blain, it has been a whirlwind. “When you’re in this business long enough, you don’t expect anything,” he explained to me as we chatted just ahead of Jumanji’s DVD release. “I was honestly just on pins and needles praying that it would at least get like $300 million. Now, we’re on our way to a billion. You go into this just hoping and praying that people like it because sometimes audiences can be hot and cold about certain projects especially when you’re touching on something that was a cult classic the way that Jumanji was. I’m relieved more than anything.”
In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Blain stars as Anthony “Fridge” Johnson, a high school student who while serving detention with some of his classmates, gets teleported into a ’90s video game called Jumanji. Once he’s in the game, Fridge becomes Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, a zoologist (portrayed by Hart) who is essentially around to act as a minion for the hunky explorer Dr. Smolder Bravestone (portrayed by Johnson). Blain and Hart collaborated to make sure Fridge was cohesive throughout the film. “I was able to talk to (Kevin) and game plan about how we were going to tackle this character,” Blain revealed. “Ultimately, I found that Kevin just had this huge personality. He’s got bravado. He does it in an internal kind of way, but I am physically large. So, we decided to play off of that. When Fridge gets sucked into the video game, his personality showed, and when I’m out in the real world, my physical appearance was larger than life. We also had some similar body movements and some similar vocal cues. Kevin’s favorite phrase to say is, ‘What the hell,’ so there’s a lot of those in there. I think it worked.”
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