One frantic 911 call and the leak of a very disturbing police photograph was all it took for Chris Brown to kiss his painstakingly cultivated image as America's boo-needing, Doublemint-snapping, #1 teen idol goodbye.
The endorsements were the first things to go—never before had a simple milk mustache given off such foamy-mouthed menace. The next logical thing to fall was the singer's acting career.
Brown was wisely easing himself into Hollywood. First came a recurring role as a band geek on The O.C., followed by small parts in Stomp the Yard and This Christmas. Most recently, he had completed filming on Bone Deep. A mid-budget heist drama with a porny title, Deep boosted Brown's marquee value with a supporting role alongside T.I.—unlike Brown, the rare pop star who can actually act. But the part didn't require Brown to carry the movie, or even be particularly good: Its more experienced stars—Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen—would do the heavy lifting, their combined, unidimensional-actorbot talents sure to render Brown's line-readings relatively nuanced by comparison.
The film's marketers have a bit of dilemma on their hands, as Brown—who, let's face it, was cast to sell tickets to fans—is now weapons-grade box office poison. Hip-hip blog Woooha is floating the logical rumor that distributor Sony Screen Gems is scrambling to "erase" him from all movie poster, trailer and TV ads, though he'll remain in the final cut.
Above, watch a E! News segment highlighting Brown's Bone Deep involvement that aired just days before the Grammy Night of Infamy. Coming at us "guns blazin', gangsta-style," there was little hint that "juggling music, acting, and Rihanna" would soon result in the show-stopping tumbling of all three.