Friday, January 8, 2016

SAMUEL L. JACKSON & WILL SMITH At THE ACTOR ROUNDTABLE On THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER!!!


Just before the end of 2015,  Leading Actors SAMUEL L. JACKSON and WILL SMITH were joined by fellow A-Listers BENICIO Del TORO, JOEL EDGERTON,  MARK RUFFALO, and MICHAEL CAINE for THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: THE ACTORS - THE ACTOR ROUNDTABLE!!!

What's the difference between racism and prejudice? What do you do to reboot your career when you’ve lost your fire? And why do you need to learn how to pee in a sink (or poop, for that matter)? 

These were just some of the topics that were covered during their session.

Here are some interview interludes:

Has prejudice affected your careers? 
DEL TORO All you’ve got to do is read the history. If you read the history of the United States, you know that there’s prejudice, and it’s evolving. But I have definitely felt it. One of the first things that they said to me when I came here was, “Change your name.”
CAINE I changed mine. But mine was Maurice Micklewhite, which was awkward.
DEL TORO Maybe that’s one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever done, not changing my name.
RUFFALO No, you’ve got a great name, man.
CAINE When they say your name, they think you speak like a Mexican or Spanish.
DEL TORO Which I do. (Laughter.) 
SMITH My wife and I were just having this conversation, and we were going to the dictionary for “prejudice” versus “racism.” Everybody is prejudiced. Everybody has their life experiences that make them prefer one thing over another — it makes them prefer blond hair over a brunette; if you see somebody with dark skin walking down the street, you have a different reaction than you have [with] someone who is 5-foot-1 and white. But there is a connotation with racism of superiority: You feel that your race generally is superior. And I have to say, I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare — someone who thinks their race is superior. I don’t want to work for them. I don’t want to work at that company. And the times I have come in contact with it, you get away from those people.
Have you come in contact with it? 
SMITH Oh, God, yes. Yeah, absolutely.
EDGERTON When you’re faced with it, too, with social media, like what happened recently with Michael B. Jordan in Fantastic Four [who played a character who is white in the comic] — people actively being racist, making those sort of comments about Star Wars [casting a black star]. Some of it is very, very alarming.
JACKSON It’s quite alarming. Some of the stuff I read yesterday — I actually posted a thing, “praying for Paris.” People went berserk. I couldn’t believe what some of those people were saying. Just hateful stuff about “the Parisians deserved it.” It’s just horrid.
What would you have done if you had not been an actor?
CAINE I would probably have tried to be an architect. I loved architecture, and my heroes are architects. I would have been some kind of dumbass in the back room at some great architect’s office or something just to be close to my idols.
DEL TORO One thing I was doing right before I turned to acting was painting.
CAINE Real painting or walls?
DEL TORO Well, I did some of that, too. (Laughter.) Painting on canvas. Imagery. But I wasn’t that good. If you liked mud, I was your man. But I would have tried hard to be good.
EDGERTON I was almost going to go to art school. I still paint, and I do it as a personal thing. The thing with me was, my father had started very much working class when I was growing up. I came from a very poor family, but by the time I graduated high school, they were quite well off. He had become a lawyer. He had been on his way to become a sheep farmer, and some guy said, “Oh, we’re going to go and enroll in law,” and he just did that on a whim. So by the time I finished high school, he was quite wealthy. And I felt this debt to him to make out like I was going to do something responsible with my life, something that would guarantee an income. I was terrified to tell him that what I really wanted to do was either paint pictures or become an actor. And he found out, and he took me aside and said, “Look, I think you should follow your dreams, and money and all that other stuff, it comes as a byproduct.” I found out that, deep down, he had wanted to be an actor.
RUFFALO I was well on my way to being a bartender.
JACKSON A mixologist?
RUFFALO I don’t know if you know this, but me and Benicio started acting school together — Stella Adler, here in Los Angeles — and I could see the talent flying off of him, and I said to myself, “I’ll never be able to do what that guy can do.”
DEL TORO You’ve done pretty damn good, brother. He was traveling two hours every day, back and forth, to go to school, and I went, “This kid is strong.”
RUFFALO You were my hero.
EDGERTON We can all leave, if you want. (Laughter.)
JACKSON Get a room.
DEL TORO We already did.
Was there ever a point where you fell out of love with acting?
CAINE Oh no, never.
SMITH I had a brief period, four years ago. In retrospect, I realize I had hit a ceiling in my talent. I had a great run that I thought was fantastic, and I realized that I had done everything that I could do with the “me” that I had. And I didn’t work for about two years, and I [went through] marriage counseling, 50 parenting books, all of that stuff. And I really dived into me, and then all of a sudden it was like, “Oh!” And I found the connection. Your work can never really be better than you are, you know? Your work can’t be deeper than you are.
JACKSON You know what you needed for that?
SMITH What did I need?
JACKSON A play.
SMITH I’ve always been really product-oriented. I want to win. When I do something, I want to be number one, and I want to smash it. And I have a 15-year-old daughter, and she got me and shifted my focus from product to people. It took a couple of years, but as soon as I got knocked off of product and started shifting to people, the whole world opened up for me again, and acting opened up in a whole new way — to not go into day one of a movie trying to figure out what everybody has to do so we win versus opening up and every person is a whole new world. [Before that,] when I went into a meeting with a director, my focus was: Can this guy win, can this girl win? And it was a pathology that broke for me a couple of years ago, and I fell in love and then I couldn’t imagine what else I could do that could add so much to my life other than acting.
JACKSON I’m constantly evolving. I’ve grown as an actor. I’m getting older, I’m a little less patient with people. I speak my mind a lot more than I used to ’cause I used to think I’d get fired, and now I know I’m not.
-CCG






No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome to CRAZY COOL GROOVY!!! Please Be RESPECTFUL, Stay On TOPIC, and Keep It CLEAN. THANK YOU.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...