Although this is his first as a movie lead, Craig Robinson is far from an unrecognizable face in the comedy world. As the star of the recently released Tyler Perry-backed & Tina Gordon Chism-directed film Peeples, which also stars Kerry Washington, Robinson has already made his name appearing on popular gut-busters such as Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, Hot Tub Time Machine, and NBC’s The Office, where he always seemed to be casted as “the Black guy”. Welcome to the next level Mr. Robinson. The Chicago-reared funny man attributes much of his confidence in his craft to his godfather, whose encouragement he received early on is what drives still him to this day. “A long time ago, when I first wanted to be a comedian, I asked him, ‘Do you think I’ll be a good comedian?’ and he said, ‘You’ll be good at anything you do,” Robinson remembers. “You’re going to be successful at anything you do because you’re a good person.’ And that always kind of stayed with me.”
Always a really funny guy, Robinson feels that comedy chose him. Still, he realized that he needed an outlet to express his inner jokester. After discovering his talent, he joined the Second City Theatre in Chicago, where he started doing stand-up comedy. “My silliness was out of control,” the comedian said. “It was like all the time. So then I realized, ‘Oh, there’s a business for that. People get paid to do that. Okay, let’s see how to do that.’ And then I became serious for the first time trying to figure out what comedy was.” His talent continues to open doors for him. He’s now rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood’s elite. Robinson stars in Peeples alongside Hollywood’s current darling Kerry Washington, who stars on ABC’s prime time hit drama Scandal. Portraying Washington’s soon-to-be fiancée brought the two closer together both on and off screen.
“Kerry and I went on a couple of dates, and I would send her flowers and stuff to get in the groove of being her boyfriend,” he said. “To fall in love with Kerry Washington is an easy thing, so our chemistry didn’t have to be worked on as hard.” Aside from play dates with Kerry Washington, Robinson has ambitions for projects outside of the realm of comedy, and exploring other types of roles is only the tip of the iceberg. Robinson is also an accomplished pianist, and his passion for music tugs at his heartstrings. He has a band called Nasty Delicious and he has been in the studio with musical heavyweights. “I recently recorded a song with Snoop Lion,” Robinson said “It’s based on a song that I do in my act. It was a lot of fun and it was a little terrifying. I mean, this is Snoop putting his verse to something that I’m doing! So it was amazing, you know, surreal and all of that. This is something that’s going to be on a soundtrack for the movie This Is The End.”
But for all of his accomplishments, the fame hasn’t gone to his head. He remains grounded. “I definitely feel like I have to pinch myself sometimes,” he said. “And, you know, I look at the probabilities…coming up in Chicago and rising to this level. So yeah, I think it’s a special place to be. Absolutely.”