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March 2007
An Interview with Danny Glover

SHOOTER:An Interview with Danny Glover
By Ife Thomas

Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on the silver screen for more then 25 years. His memorable roles in classics like, The Color Purple and the Lethal Weapon movies with Mel Gibson, showcase the actor’s depth and range, and two of his latest films show him broadening his scope into the genres of musical and horror, with Dreamgirls and the cult hit, Saw. In his current release, the political thriller, Shooter, with Mark Wahlberg, Glover goes back to his action roots. He recently sat down with Blackfilm.com to talk about playing the bad guy, why Lethal Weapon 5 will never happen, and some of his upcoming projects.


Were you attracted to the political elements in this script?

Danny Glover: I mean, certainly it was nice to have a script that talked about something that was interesting politically, but it was really just a good script. And I had that chance to work with a director that I admire and actor that I admire as well, so those are the things that attracted me to it initially. We had a meeting, the producers and the director and myself, and we realized that we were on the same page and were thinking about the same things in terms of how we saw the characters and situations. I remember at that breakfast meeting going through my own analysis of how I’ve followed what’s happening in Africa, and the currents of Africa all of my adult life—for 40 years, so it was interesting to have that conversation with them, with the material they had presented to me and the character as well.

How do you feel about playing a character that’s so shady and questionable? We don’t get to see you play the bad guy very often. How do you feel about the character in general?

DG: Well, I think the idea of morality always comes into play, you know? But how we look at morality is important as well…This (character) is a man who gets his job done and protects certain interests. Is he a man who has enormous wealth? I doubt he has enormous wealth, but certainly he’s classy and he likes fine things. He likes cigars and the like, yet he gets the job done. His career has been based upon his ability to get the job done and he’s assured himself of that by whatever means necessary. So, from that stand point I tried to immerse myself in that and feel that kind of power. To have indiscriminate power to call in the troops to do what you wanna do…those are the kind of things that are sincere. So I try to find some sort of space, some sort of place, some sort of physical balance and presence in the position in that situation. At the same time I try to create a caricature of that, be inside it, and just try to be immersed in that space. But, certainly the journey is always the thing that I’m intoxicated by—the journey to get to that place is always the fun and joy of acting.

It’s great to see you again in an action film! Of course we all know you from the Lethal Weapon movies, and I know there were some rumblings for awhile about a Lethal Weapon 5…

DG: No, no, no…I think it’s good, you know, just the four. It’s been nine years now since we started Lethal Weapon and a lot has changed. I think for me, and I’m sure for Mel, it’s good to leave that behind. I don’t have any control over it, but I’m sure if Mel wanted to do one they’d call me and ask me, but I’m not dying to do one. I’m not sitting by my phone waiting. (laughs)

So then you’re not going to parody that role in the upcoming film Be Kind, Rewind starring Jack Black, Mia Farrow and Mos Def?

DG: We finished (the film) and it’s so imaginative and so beautiful, but no it’s not anything close to a parody. Lethal Weapon is not even mentioned in it! It’s about movies and imagination. But, really it’s ultimately a movie that’s a celebration of Fats Waller and about collective imagination and the democratization of imagination.

What’s the progress of your film Toussaint?

DG: Toussaint L’Ouverture is the story of the Haitian revolution, which ended in 1804, and it’s most profound leader. It ended with the establishment of the first independent Black nation in the western hemisphere, the first successful slave revolt in history, and the first victory of Africans against the institution of slavery. Toussaint’s armies defeated the Spanish, the French, the British and ultimately Napoleon. We’re getting closer and it’s a fantastical story, and an amazing story that’s almost unbelievable because you’re dealing with the two worlds: the world that deals with modernity and the clash with the world of tradition…it’s one of the great untold stories.




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