I have been a long time fan of Forest Whitaker. Did you know he has over 120 acting credits to his name? His first movie role was Fast Times at Ridgemont High where he played Charles Jefferson. When I knew I was going on the Black Panther Event, I knew this was the one interview I would be the most excited for. His role on Criminal Minds Suspicious Behavior while the most current in my mind was also one of my favorites.
I think what draws me to most of Mr. Whitaker’s roles is the quietness that he has. If you think about his characters most are quiet but command attention. We asked about this exact quietness and the fact that Mr. Whitaker masters this better than any other actor.
“I think it’s just trying to have the right thoughts and internal life when all of that’s going on. Hopefully, an audience will be able to feel what I’m thinking, and what’s going on inside. That’s kind of what I do, just to figure out what I feel, what I think.” -Forest Whitaker
While Mr. Whitaker has worked on some other amazing films including Star Wars: Rogue One, this was his first Marvel movie. He described it as overwhelming and I can totally see that. There is a scene where he is in front of the Wakanda Falls and its so visually stunning. I can’t even imagine how that would be as an actor in the scene. Mr. Whitaker also stated that this was more complete than many other experiences, even though Mr. Whitaker was not allowed to read the complete script until filming. (SHH I can’t tell you why since that would be a spoiler!!)
The question that had the most impact on me was when he was asked if there was a superstition or ritual before going into character. I have heard of actors that do research for their roles but Mr. Whitaker explained it all to us in detail.
” I’m always trying to do all the research. I do the research and I start to study the different people and the things that they do and meet different people and get different voices worked on. And then slowly it just comes together. At some point, I just surrender. I just say, okay, this is your space, and let’s make it happen and do it.” -Forest Whitaker
You can see Mr. Whitaker in other films being released soon including Burden where he portrays a Reverend (Yes he researched this role and studied being a preacher.), A Fall From Grace and Finding Steve McQueen.
When is it time to stop acting?
“If I can’t feel a little fear about it, and I don’t feel like I’m going to change or grow from it, then it’s something wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing it.”-Forest Whitaker
Did you know that Forest Whitaker also does comedy? He talked with us about his role on Empire where he actually has some comedic lines. All of us were shocked because we always look at him as a strong serious character. But we aren’t the only ones. Those on set of Empire also found it interesting that he did comedy.
Make sure you take note of Forest Whitaker as Zuri in Black Panther. He is his typical strong serious role but he is pivotal!
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER opens in theaters everywhere on February 16th!
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