Total Film

Forest Whitaker

The Oscar winner on Marvel, meditating, and Robin Williams…

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Ever since making his big-screen debut in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Forest Whitaker has proved himself to be one of Hollywood’s most wildly eclectic actors. Whether it’s starring in independen­t films (The Crying Game, Ghost Dog) or epic blockbuste­rs (Rogue One, Black Panther), the Oscar winner is a quietly commanding presence. Next up is Respect, a musical biopic about the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

What appealed to you about playing C.L. Franklin, Aretha Franklin’s father?

He’s a complicate­d guy; overbearin­g, charismati­c and intolerant. Loving of his daughter, but controllin­g of her as well. He went on a journey of allowing people to be who they really are. I was excited about the opportunit­y.

What research did you do for the role?

I read books about him. I learned his sermons. I listened to his style of preaching. I talked to preachers about delivery. Then I stored myself up with all the emotional stories the character needed in order to be portrayed properly.

The Crying Game

was one of the most talked-about films of the ’90s. Do you still look back on it fondly?

I do! Neil Jordan is a really talented filmmaker. It was a great experience. It also let people know a little bit more about my craft, that I could play this character. People thought I was British at that time. They were like: “God, this guy has a great American accent!”

What did you enjoy the most about starring in

Ghost Dog?

I meditated a lot when I was working on that part. That was something I enjoyed.

‘I’M A BIG FAN OF SCI-FI. SO SEEING THESE CHARACTERS COME TO LIFE, IT’S FUN’

 ??  ?? Forest Whitaker will star as father C.L. in the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect.
Forest Whitaker will star as father C.L. in the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect.

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