Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker

is an American actor, producer, and director
African-American actor Forest Whitaker got into college on a football scholarship, but upon transferring to the University of Southern California, he majored in music -- winning two more scholarships in that field. Still another scholarship, this one set up by Sir John Gielgud, came Whitaker's way when he entered the drama program at Berkeley. A seasoned stage veteran at 21, the baby-faced Whitaker appeared in his first film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in 1982, coincidentally making his debut in the role of a football player.Four years later, Whitaker attracted critical attention in the role of the hulking young pool player who flummoxes Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) in The Color of Money (1986). He was subsequently selected by director Clint Eastwood for the prize role of jazz great Charlie "Bird" Parker in Bird (1988), which won him the Best Actor award at Cannes. In 1992, Whitaker gained true fame for his role as a captured British soldier whose prior relationship with the mysterious Dil (Jaye Davidson) catalyzes the plot of The Crying Game. The role proved to be Whitaker's true breakthrough, and he went on to work steadily throughout the rest of the decade in films of almost every possible genre. For Robert Altman's galumphing fashion epic Pret-A-Porter (1994), the actor portrayed a fashion designer who has a tryst with fellow designer Richard E. Grant; the sci-fi thriller Species (1995) featured him as an empath on the trail of an alien, while in Smoke (1995), Wayne Wang's fine adaptation of several of Paul Auster stories, Whitaker portrayed an errant father confronted by his long-unseen son. He ended the century by portraying the title character in Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), and began the 21st century by starring, appropriately enough, in the futuristic action film Battleship Earth (2000).In addition to his work in front of the camera, Whitaker has also stepped behind it. In 1995, he made his feature directorial debut with Waiting to Exhale, the popular adaptation of Terry McMillan's novel of the same name. Three years later, he was at the helm of Hope Floats, another melodrama starring Sandra Bullock as a woman who moves back to her Texas hometown after discovering her husband's infidelity. Source: video.barnesandnoble.com
In a lot of films, they're showing more complete, developed characters of diverse ethnic backgrounds. The larger concern is to be able to tastefully explore the stereotypes, and still move past them to see the core of people.More Forest Whitaker quotes [07/19/2011 12:07:42]
Stereotypes do exist, but we have to walk through them.More Forest Whitaker quotes [07/19/2011 12:07:15]
I can play a man who's despicable. But I'll still look inside him to find a point of connection. If I can find that kernel, audiences will relate to me.More Forest Whitaker quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
My parents moved to Los Angeles when I was really young, but I spent every summer with my grandparents, and I'd stay with my grandfather on the farm in Longview. He was retired from the railroad, and he had a small farm with some cows and some pigs. I remember part of my youth was feeding hogs and plowing fields and stuff, so that's a part of me.More Forest Whitaker quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Trying to understand, inside, what it is to be Ugandan was crucial to the character, because there are Ugandan ways of doing things that I was trying to capture. Even if I had made this movie in South Africa, it would not have been the same, because it is so specific to Uganda.More Forest Whitaker quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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