What are your favorite movies and why?
There’s definitely two that stand out for me. The first is Field of Dreams. That is because it has two of my greatest loves and interests; one of which is baseball and the innocence of what baseball used to be: The innocence of a young boy playing catch with his Dad, that innocent part of the game of baseball and secondly, that our time here on Earth isn’t everything and that there’s more out there than just us. So it kind of captured me with the kind of sentimentality that I really respond to, one example being Doc Graham, who was torn in having to make a choice between his love of wanting to be a baseball player and his love of what it meant to be a doctor. That’s one film that I really love.

And the second?
The Shawshank Redemption, and although that is a very violent film in some aspects, which is not necessarily the first thing I respond to, the message of the film is one of hope and overcoming obstacles. I strongly respond to that and I think it was incredibly well written and it is driven by my favorite actor, Morgan Freeman.

To me, when it comes to black actors, Morgan Freeman ranks second, beneath Sidney Poitier. Freeman sure can do a lot in his films.
He can do anything, like in “Street Smart,” where he was believable in being bone-chillingly violent and then you take a movie like “Driving Miss Daisy” where he can tug at your heart and be believable in a more docile character. He’s believable in all those things. When I’m watching Morgan Freeman, I don’t necessarily see him, but the character he’s playing. In Shawshank, he’s kind of the do-it-all in the prison system and a respected man, yet you absolutely see his vulnerability in the film, in his need for friendship and hope. But to survive in a prison system for 40 years, there has to be some toughness to him. He gives a wonderful speech at the end about how important hope is and that to me is so well rounded and it’s so well textured and layered.

Now that The Stand-In is on DVD, what’s next for you?
I got hired to write an urban comedy called “The Royal Taster” and I’m in development on a psychological thriller tentatively titled “Chatroom,” which is sort of an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery.

Posted on April 22, 2003 in Interviews by


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