Harvard Law, Netflix, Madame Cj Walker discussed on Strong Black Legends
Do where I'm going to end up is based on this. I believe this already preordained. So have to listen to that. Inner Voice and not give that power over to somebody. Who's getting a paycheck to produce a product? But that's not easily done all the time I I recognize that. Yeah speaking of college. You went to visit Harvard Law. I think prepping for your role on La Law and a little Birdie told me that you met a young man who went on to become the first black president of the United States. How in the world that happen while I was in my first Season Valley Law and my character when he came on the show. He was from Harvard Law School in his backstory and he was editor of the Harvard Law Review in his backstory so the Harvard Law Harvard Law. School invited a couple of producers and myself to come speak to the law school. And I I did not even remember meeting him at the time and we went out to dinner that night. With a group of students and Alan Dershowitz which is Ironic And it wasn't until he ran for president where he did an interview and he mentioned that they would call him my character on campus and the Communists did so. Did you meet Rapporte? All men big ears at tall has the same great as reinforce seen him since then in a saw him was actually campaign for him was at at the White House at their first state dinner and it was just. It was a mind blowing moments. You talk about continuity and evolution Dec- to see this African American family in this this museum I e the White House That slaves enslaved Africans built And to see them as a first family this was like their first two months in the White House so it was just wild and You know Harkening back to when I first met him to see where he is now and he was of course the actual editor of the Harvard law right and the first black president. No salesmen wild. Yeah Wow typically I would I would ask you what Barack Obama smells like Book that That's why I'm just like I don't. I don't know that you know I think he smells like freedom and reparations. Just Awesome Okay. So we must talk about your work in when they I'm just glad that she exists. I'm so glad she's you know a really really am One of the things that I thought when I heard about this project I I was really excited but I was also like you know this is heavy you know and I mean like life is heavy. Sure but like it just seems like we're at a place in society where like everything's on fire and like you know trauma is just like front and center and so many stories. Was it ever like draining for you to like kind of exist inside this movie in this completely unjust case? Oh sure sure You Know I. It's your points. We'll take it when you say it's heavy and so many people have said. I wanted to watch it or haven't I haven't seen all four episodes four hours I started wash. It was just too heavy and you know my retorted that is these guys their lives altered and they did years in prison. You know if you're interested you know maybe we can give them at least four hours of a time but yeah it was but you know it's whenever you create anything of art performing art with its film television stage When it's heavy especially you have to have that release val and I would tell you. This was shooting because of Asia's direction in her spirit. Everybody wanted to really bring their a game But also you know you work hard and you play hard. So there's a lot of laughter on that said we'll leave him that because we knew we felt like we were doing something that was necessary and timely and relevant Tell me about some of the stories and stuff that would happen on that. Do you have a favorite memory from making the movie favorite memory? I think I don't know Bro. Funny member necessarily but just watching. These young cow walked on the set. The first day in and I I was blown away at how young these guys were guys. They were fourteen fifteen. Sixteen so one of the actors was actually fourteen. I think fifteen one was twenty one playing younger but but you forget that they were. They were babies as a parent. Now I look at these babies So I think that's what stuck out with anything but also then watching these kids come there as just professional active slamming Take after take this putting it in getting it in doing the work honest and raw So that's that's that's inspiring to me to watch these. These young kids do that thing. I'm always very taken by the roles that you take and another project that you worked. Last year was dear. White People Another net flicks Netflix series. My last bar products with Netflix. Oh Yeah How's about that? I don't want to spoil it too much. Who Haven't seen it but your character is a professor college. Campus gets swept up in some me too ish type stuff With a student a white student so given our current political landscape like these conversations that people are having right now like the abuse of power of minute who are in charge and the metoo movement and then like matters of race. You know. Black lives matters a thing What was it like to portray someone in the middle of a fictionalized account of something? That's really going on right now. vet'll ballard wasn't executive producer on the show that time just in. Siemian created the show and she was a friend and she had dinner together. our families in she said. Would you come on show as well what will I I? Yeah 'cause he's a friend And she told me what the character was about so to answer your question in terms of the Hashtag metoo movement of it all I asked. I quite like getting in the middle of telling relevant stories. Part of my love of what I do is to entertain. But if you can provoke thought and stimulate thought and change and be a part of that conversation because we haven't had that conversation a lot in our community you know there's there's the bill cosby of it all and in this and that was really kind of the broad stroke template of this character because this character that play. Professor Brown was beloved by all the students and he was a hero to the students. What do we do in our communities? Specifically when our heroes fall that was the impetus of this of the storyline So to to be a part of telling that story from creatives sampling. I love being a part of that and the reason I love it is because it's it's necessary that we have these conversations with the guards specifically specificity of who we are and what that means to us. Why sometimes it's harder for us because we don't have we we don't have as many heroes as we probably should have needed to have someone. One of US falls alike cosby. What do we do with that? What are we put that whom we look to look within ourselves to look to other people look to our parents ourselves as leaders in our community or our homes families So I love being a part of those conversations so to portray you know he would probably now. I mean it's been also veit spoiler. I don't mind playing bad guys officer guy as my body works a lot of good ten years but some people see you always play. The bad guy for is more interesting to play. Because because there's a mystique good guys you know you know what you're gonNA get bad guys. You don't don't always know so I love that so this would be considered a quote unquote bad guys. Let's get under the layers. That's what I enjoy doing. Covert let's mine. What's underneath that find out? Why do people actively that's why I always have to explain to people why I'm so interested in serial killers and they're always like you know what we could have been talking about the whole I'm have a morbid fascination with what goes wrong in a brain right. How how does one? How does one get to the point? Where you've got like body parts in your freezer circular just caused with Sean Connery. And Laurence Fishburne Adheres Scarlett Johansson at ten years old. Wow but but yeah. That exploration was Was was crazy but what. Yeah what what wrong you have. Another upcoming Netflix. Mini series about the life of a one madame CJ Walker Is a period piece. I love period and I feel like there are not enough black wins. I don't know if that's true. That's probably true but it's happening more and more because of Netflix and streaming services What are you most excited for people to see in this? Many call man Octavia Spencer for once. She added C. J. Walker Academy Award Winning Octavius Academy Award winning. Indeed Tiffany Haddish is in it as well. She plays her daughter And Garrett Morris and Bill Bellamy You know what I'm most excited for people to see the story itself It's called self-made. They have newtown now but self made the lifetime or legacy of inspired by Madame. Cj Walker But you know this. This was a woman for those who don't know who was the first self made female millionaire in our country that black about the first female self-made millionaire another what she did not inherited she worked for. She built it and she did that by creating black hair care products for for African American women at the time on this early nineteen hundred. She died in Nineteen Nineteen So this this was extra. She live right next door to John. John Rockfeller so she was balling out of control.