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Craig Robinson

jessica-pare-37_SFW

 

Larry Greenberg says: I’m just crazy about films with time travel. Where there any special issues or tricky scenes when you played Nick in Hot Tub Time Machine?

Craig Robinson: Yes, there was a special issue. Her name was Jessica Paré. She was topless with me in the hot tub. So, yes, that was a very special moment, and I watch the movie every night because of that scene.”

http://aalbc.com/reviews/craig-robinson.html

Daniel Craig

“Larry Greenberg asks: What is the coolest gadget we will get to see you use in the film?

Daniel Craig: I can’t tell you that, Larry. [Chuckles, then pauses to think] The DB5! [The Aston Martin first driven by 007 in Goldfinger] It’s still there and it’s still one of the best gadgets there ever was.”

Daniel Craig “Skyfall” Interview with Kam Williams

 

DB5 Image

Deborah Twiss

 

Deborah Twiss talks to zombies, Dead Wrong (Lawrence R. Greenberg) and Dead Serious (Tiffany Clementi) about films like “Kick-Ass”, “A Gun for Jennifer”, and “Choose”.  We talk about the difference between film and television and her recent work in France.

Deval Patrick

Larry Greenberg says: I read that, when you were younger, you received some attention from an organization called A Better Chance. What would you encourage Americans to do to help other at-risk children realize their potential?

Deval Patrick: Well, I think that’s all about investing time in them. I believe children are hungry for the company of adults. At the time I was growing up on the South Side of Chicago, many families were broken, but it was still a community because back then every child was under the jurisdiction of every single adult on the block. If you messed up in front of Mrs. Jones, she would straighten you out, and then call your mother before you arrived home. What I think those adults were trying to get across to us, Kam, was that they had a stake in us. They were trying to teach us that being a member of community involves recognizing the stake that each of us has not only in our own dreams, but in our neighbors’ as well. I’m so grateful to A Better Chance that it will receive a portion of the proceeds of this book.

Deval Patrick

The “A Reason to Believe” Interview

with Kam Williams

 

Headline: Reflections on Going from the Ghetto to Governor’s Office

Deval Laurdine Patrick was born on July 31, 1956 in Chicago where he and his elder sister, Rhonda, were raised by their mother, Emily “Mae” Wintersmith, in the home of their maternal grandparents after she was abandoned by her husband. Their absentee father, the late Pat Patrick, was a legendary jazz saxophonist who recorded and performed with everybody from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis to Thelonious Monk to Sun Ra.

Deval exhibited enough promise in junior high to land a scholarship to Milton Academy, a prestigious boarding school located in Massachusetts outside Boston. From there, he went on to earn both undergraduate and law degrees at Harvard University.

He subsequently worked with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and then as an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President Clinton. He also enjoyed stints as general counsel at Texaco and Coca-Cola before deciding to run for Governor of Massachusetts, a position he has held since 2007. Last fall, he made history by becoming the first African-American in the United States ever to be re-elected as a governor.

Deval and his wife Diane, who is also a lawyer, have a couple of college-age daughters, Sarah and Katherine. Here, he talks about his autobiography, “A Reason to Believe.”

 

Kam Williams: Hi Governor Patrick, thanks for the interview.

Deval Patrick: You bet. Thank you.

 

KW: I really enjoyed your autobiography on several different levels. But I should tell you right off the bat that I played in a group with your dad back in the day during my very brief jazz career.

DV: Come on?

 

KW: It’s true. And I even got to record on an album with him once with the Sound Awareness Ensemble led by Robert Northern, aka Brother Ahh. Your father was a very positive influence on my life.

DP:  Oh, wow! I might have guessed that, because he paid a lot of attention to younger musicians.

 

KW: Absolutely! And not just in terms of music, but as far as diet and nutrition, too. And that was also a pivotal period in my personal development when I took my African name, Kamau.

DP: I remember how my dad was so into herbal solutions and health food well before that stuff became popular.

 

KW: I hesitated to bring this up, because in your memoir you reflect upon the pain you felt because of being neglected by him for so many years.

DP: I remember once when I was about six, after my parents had split, an occasion when my father was passing through town because he was playing with Count Basie at the Regal Theater on the South Side of Chicago, a famous destination. He picked me up and promised to take me for ice cream after the show. But he had me waiting in the wings, and I just remember being knocked over by the sound which was too much for the ears of a little kid. And I was bored and kept asking, “Is it over yet? Can we go now?” Another time, I was in a smoky club where he was playing with Thelonious Monk, who was probably his favorite person to play with. Even though, back then, I was frequently frustrated as a youngster who just wanted to spend time with his father, I can now appreciate that he was in the company of all these jazz legends and that he was completely dedicated to his art, albeit to the exclusion of everything else.

 

KW: I was in Boston much of the same time that you were in school there, the late Seventies, a period of virulent racism. I was run out of Fenway Park on Opening Day one year just for being black. I was so scarred by the incredible intolerance I encountered in the city that I left town as soon I got my degree and never looked back. So, it’s amazing to me that you could remain there and think they’d vote for a black man as their Governor?

DP: I was indeed here then, and had an experience sitting in the bleachers at Fenway Park which affected my appreciation of baseball for a long time. And a white friend with me was just as rattled. He didn’t know what to say. But Dr. King was right when he said that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.

 

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier, who is French-Canadian, says: When I woke up this morning, I thought about how great is your country and that Dr. Martin Luther King didn’t die in vain. Then, I discover that I have this amazing opportunity to send you questions for Governor Patrick. This is really special. I think that being a teacher is one of the most beautiful professions.  Can you tell us how a teacher enriched your life?

DP: I had a sixth-grade teacher, this incredibly self-confident young woman who took the entire class to see the first opera I’d ever seen. She also took us to see “The Sound of Music” and used it as an opportunity to instruct us about the rise of the Nazis. She taught us how to count in German from a phrasebook. She was the first person who stoked my imagination in a way which made me feel like I could be a citizen of the big, broader world. So, I invited her when I graduated from prep school and from Harvard. A great teacher who is full of excitement and love for her students can make all the difference in their lives.

 

KW: Patricia observes that you became a partner at a Boston law firm when you were 34. She asks: What advice do you have for jurists from visible minorities to break the glass ceiling by becoming partners?
DP: That’s not an easy question. I think it’s absolutely obvious that you have to be prepared to sacrifice and to give it 100%, and then make it clear to everyone around you that you are not indifferent about the outcome of your efforts.

 

KW: Patricia also asks: Is it part of your administration’s plan to apply Geoffrey Canada’s model for the Harlem Children’s Zone in your state?
DP: I haven’t gone to visit his schools, but the man is obviously a genius who is doing the most interesting things in education. A lot of the innovations we’re trying to implement would look very familiar to him.

 

KW: Leon Marquis asks: Will you run for the presidency in 2016?

DP: [LOL] No, this is my last gig in elected office, as far as I can project ahead. Governor is the only office I’ve ever run for, and I did so in the first place because I felt that there was a contribution I could make right now in governing for the long term and by leading by values. I ran for a second term to finish the work we started. I’ll finish this out and return to the private sector, which I enjoy and miss in some ways.

 

KW: Cameron Williams, a recent graduate of the Williston Northampton School in Western, Massachusetts asks: How was your experience as a young African-American male in prep school?

DP: It was like landing on a new planet. Everything from the dress code to the way people spoke to what their home lives were like.

 

KW: Bostonian Irene Smalls asks: What achievement are you proudest of in your career to date?

DP: I’m proudest of my two daughters, and the handful of other children my wife and I have helped to raise in the sense of living by your values and passing on your values.

 

KW: Irene asks: To what do you attribute your election and re-election in a state with such a small minority population?

DP: I very much believe in values-based leadership, and that the values that I believe in and try to govern by are transcendent values. They have nothing to do with race or even with political parties. Secondly, I think nothing substitutes for the power of the grassroots by showing them the courtesy of going to them where they are and inviting them to take part in the political process.

 

KW: Larry Greenberg says: I read that, when you were younger, you received some attention from an organization called A Better Chance. What would you encourage Americans to do to help other at-risk children realize their potential?

DP: Well, I think that’s all about investing time in them. I believe children are hungry for the company of adults. At the time I was growing up on the South Side of Chicago, many families were broken, but it was still a community because back then every child was under the jurisdiction of every single adult on the block. If you messed up in front of Mrs. Jones, she would straighten you out, and then call your mother before you arrived home. What I think those adults were trying to get across to us, Kam, was that they had a stake in us. They were trying to teach us that being a member of community involves recognizing the stake that each of us has not only in our own dreams, but in our neighbors’ as well. I’m so grateful to A Better Chance that it will receive a portion of the proceeds of this book.

Jacket

KW: Harriet Pakula Teweles asks: What has been your most important achievement as governor and what’s still on your agenda that you feel most needs to be addressed before you leave office?

DP: Improving the quality of the schools and their ability to reach all the children who were being left behind, kids with special needs… poor kids… kids who speak English as a second language. That’s both my biggest achievement and my unfinished work, because I know both as a governor and from my own life just how transformative a great education can be.

 

KW: Harriet says: Your father refused to sign your application to the Milton Academy. Does one lose his or her African-American “identity” by attending an exclusive, predominantly-white prep school?

DP: My father’s biggest worry was that I would lose my black identity at a place like Milton Academy. But I’ve learned over the years that identity has a whole lot less to do with location or other people’s expectations than with your own sense of self and self-confidence.

 

KW: Harriet also asks: Did you and your dad ever reconcile?

DP: Fortunately, yes, and I discuss it at length in the book.

 

KW: Tracy Ertl asks: What do you think of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ ex-girlfriend Judge Lillian McEwen’s new autobiography which belatedly vindicates Anita Hill?

DP: I’m ashamed to have to admit that I haven’t read it yet. But I’ve known Anita for years, from even before the Supreme Court confirmation hearings. She’s a person of total integrity.

 

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

DP: [Laughs] No. You know what Kam? I feel sort of questioned out.

 

KW: What was the hardest subject to talk about in the book, your estrangement from your father, your wife’s battle with depression, or something else?

DP: I think it was writing about Diane, which of course I wouldn’t have done without her permission. The beauty of Diane’s triumph over depression is that in going public about it, she saved a lot of lives. She gets mailing confirming that daily.

 

KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?

DP: Oh yeah.

 

KW: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?

DP: I am joyful, every day.

 

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

DP: [Chuckles] This afternoon at lunch. It was great.

 

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

DP: Dark chocolate, around this time, late in the afternoon.

 

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?

DP: I am reading “The Warmth of Other Suns.” It’s gorgeous. It discusses all my old neighbors in Chicago. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0679444327/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

 

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What are you listening to on your iPod?

DP: You have to forgive me. It’s mostly jazz classics. And also a lot of John Legend.

 

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

DP: I like it all. It depends on the season.

 

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

DP: I can’t help you with that. I’m not much of a clothes horse.

 

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

DP: you know who I’m looking for? My grandfather Poppy, who was one of the most dignified and kind people I’ve ever known.

 

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

DP: Can I have two. I always want to be fifteen pounds lighter. And I’d also like enough money and time to guarantee that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be stronger for another generation.

 

KW: Do you ever wish you could have your anonymity back?

DP: Sure, but one great thing about being a black man is that if you put on a hat, you can move around unnoticed.

 

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

DP: Sitting at the kitchen table at the age of three when my father poured a glass of milk on my sister’s head.

 

KW: What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

DP: My own impatience.

 

KW: The Flex Alexander question: How do you get through the tough times?

DP: Through prayer, taking time to reflect, and by staying busy.

 

KW: The Rudy Lewis question: Who’s at the top of your hero list?

DP: Nelson Mandela tied with Martin Luther King.

 

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

DP: Persevere! Never, ever, ever give up!

 

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

DP: It’s way too soon for that. I’ve got another fifty years in me, I hope.

 

KW: Thanks again for the time, Governor, and best of luck with the book and the balance of your second term in office.

DP: Thank you, Kam. This has been great.

 

To order a copy of A Reason to Believe, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0767931122/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Live from Maui…
 
Larry Greenberg asks: What kind of direction did Amma Asante give you about Dido Belle’s relationship with Lady Elizabeth Murray?
 
Gugu Mbatha-Raw: This is something that Amma was very passionate about. Even though they were only cousins biologically, they were nevertheless very much a sisterhood. I know that Amma herself has a sister she’s very close to, and the intensity of sisterhood was something she very much wanted to explore in the film, not only because the starting point was the painting where they are depicted in such an intimate way with a feeling of affection, but also because of a desire to create a Jane Austen “Sense and Sensibility” dynamic in exploring the depth of that bond. Consider the scene where they have a fierce argument and are saying the most horrible things to each other. I think you can only really explore in that fashion with intimate family. So, yes, Amma was constantly nurturing us to create a sisterhood bond, and Sarah Gadon is such a fun and lovely actress to work with that it was pretty easy to achieve. And we’re the best of friends now.
 
 

Isaiah Mustafa

Larry Greenberg says: My son and I use Old Spice mainly because you are so funny. I have kind of a personal question. What deodorant do you use?” 

Isaiah Mustafa: “Old Spice After Hours.”

The whole interview…

 

Isaiah Mustafa

The “Madea’s Big Happy Family” Interview

with Kam Williams

 

Headline: Old Spice Pitchman on Breakout Role in Tyler Perry Picture

NFL player-turned-actor Isaiah Mustafa became famous almost overnight in 2010 as the result of starring in a series of Emmy-winning Old Spice TV commercials. Serving as pitchman for the phenomenally-successful “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign also transformed Isaiah into an internet sensation when the ads and several spinoffs subsequently went viral, enjoying hundreds of millions of hits on Youtube.

Soon thereafter, he was named one of People Magazine’s “Most Beautiful People of 2010,” and Tyler Perry announced on Oprah that Isaiah would be playing a lead role in “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” Additionally, he will be seen in July in “Horrible Bosses” opposite Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and Kevin Spacey.

He currently resides in Los Angeles and when not acting enjoys sports, fitness, gaming, comic books and his two Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Here, Isaiah reflects upon his meteoric rise and his performance as Calvin in the latest Tyler Perry morality play.

 

Kam Williams: Hi Isaiah, thanks for the interview. 

Isaiah MustafaHi, how are ya? 

KW: Very well, thanks. What interested you in Madea’s Big Happy Family? 

IM: Other than the fact that I’m in it? [LOL] Everything! What wouldn’t interest me about it? People really love Madea movies and get a kick out of them.   They’re phenomenally successful. People get excited when a new one’s coming out. So, for me to be in that also, can you imagine? 

KW: Tell me a little about your character, Calvin?

IM: He’s just a genuinely good guy. If it needs to be done, ask Calvin. 

 

KW: How was it like being directed by Tyler Perry? 

IM: For me, it was probably the best possible intro into playing a lead in a movie. The process was very educational for me, and he made it flow naturally. He was both easy to work with and to get along with. So, it was awesome for him to be so patient with me. All in all, it was a really great experience.

 

KW: And how did you like working with such a big-name cast?

IM: It was an honor. I was like, “Wow!” and just grateful to have the opportunity to play with so many people whose work I’ve admired for so long.

 

KW: Harriet Pakula Teweles says: The Old Spice commercials are pretty fast paced and upbeat. How many takes to get it perfectly done and how is it possible for you and the crew to not crack up laughing during the shoots?

IM: In terms of the takes, we normally rehearse several times over the course of 4 or 5 days so that by the last day it’s like a well-oiled machine. And as far as cracking up, if I laugh halfway through, it would ruin the take and everybody would have to reset. And that reset is about 15 to 25 minutes. So, there’s a lot of pressure to nail it. You don’t want to mess up. 

 

KW: Harriet also asks: Where did you take harder “hits” – on the football field as a wide receiver or on the set shooting those Old Spice ads as an actor?

IM: In acting, the hits you take are in doing the same thing over and over and over again. Football is different, but at some point you’re going to need a hot bath and a massage after any sort of grueling activity. 

 

KW: What’s it like to become famous overnight from a TV commercial?

IM: At some point you just have to give thanks to whatever’s out there controlling the pace, and enjoy the process while it’s happening. 

 

 

KW: Marcia Evans asks: I became an admirer of yours after viewing an Old Spice commercial for the first time! It’s apparent that you are health conscious.

Do you have any aspirations to bring health and fitness to our community, particularly to our youth?

IM: I’m not on a council and I haven’t started a non-profit, but being that I have a child in elementary school, I’m always encouraging kids to stay active. My daughter’s doing gymnastics.  

 

KW: Larry Greenberg says: My son and I use Old Spice mainly because you are so funny. I have kind of a personal question. What deodorant do you use? 

IM: Old Spice After Hours.

isaiah-mustafa-old-spice

 

KW: Judyth Piazza asks: How has smelling like a man changed your life?

IM: [LOL] That’s an interesting question because that implies that I haven’t always been a man. Well, considering that I’ve always been a male, it hasn’t changed all that much. Maybe it’s a little more dynamic. How about that?

 

KW: How has life in general changed for you since Old Spice? Do you get stopped in public a lot?

IM: It’s not that different. Sometimes people come up and talk to me and say they like my work. And I smile back and say, “Thank you.” People are very polite.

 

KW: Did you have any sense when you were shooting the first add how big they were going to be?

IM: No, not at all. I don’t think anybody could predict a phenomenon like that.

 

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: When did you discover that you had an interest and talent for acting?

IM: When I was about 5.

 

 

KW: Patricia has a follow-up: Which actors inspired you when you were a kid?

IM: I really liked Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray. They could entertain me for hours on end. Also Chevy Chase.

 

KW: Finally, Patricia says: There are many kids who want to become celebrities without getting an education first. Can you share with the youth how it was useful for your career to get a solid college education?

IM: That’s a tricky question, because I don’t personally know what it’s like not to have an education. And I’ve also seen plenty of people who never attended college become successful in the arts. I think an education is beneficial, but whether it takes an education to be successful in the arts is a whole other question.

 

KW: Since you have an Arabic name, Tony Noel was wondering whether you’re a Muslim, how that has affected your career choices, and if you’ve been impacted personally by the negative sentiment in the U.S. about Islam?

IM: I don’t answer questions that have religion involved in them, so we can move on to the next one.

 

KW: What was it like to make People Magazine “Most Beautiful People” list last year?

IM: [Chuckles] It was an honor that someone would categorize me as a beautiful person.

 

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

IM: No, because I’m really happy about any question that’s not being asked.

 

KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?

IM: Not about stuff I can’t control.

 

KW: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?

IM: At this particular moment, yes.

 

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

IM: About 10 questions ago when you asked me that crazy question about smelling like a man.

 

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

IM: The TV show iCarly. I watch it with my daughter all the time.

 

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?

IM: “The Answer” by John Assaraf. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002PJ4IQQ/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

 

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What are you listening to on your iPod?

IM: Gnarls Barkley.

 

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

IM: [Laughs heartily] Sorry, I’m not much of a cook. I make a lot of shakes, and eat some fruit, but I generally keep it moving. I don’t sit down and have meal too often, unless I go out for dinner. Right now, I’m on a vegan diet.

 

KW: What type of exercise regimen are you on to stay in such great shape?

IM: It’s really basic. Lots of push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups. But I’m doing something athletic all day long. [Laughs]

 

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

IM: John Varvatos and Vivienne Westwood.

 

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

IM: My reflection through glass that has been pelted with toothpaste, along with a few affirmations that I’ve written on it.

 

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

IM: Come on! That’s such a potentially polarizing question. I’d wish for a bag of extra wishes.

 

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

IM: Wow! I can’t remember.

 

KW: The Rudy Lewis question: Who’s at the top of your hero list?

IM: The comic book character Luke Cage.

 

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

IM: I just want to be remembered.

 

KW: Thanks again for the time, Isaiah, and best of luck with the film and the ads.

IM: Alright, my man.

 

To see Isaiah in Old Spice commercials, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLTIowBF0kE&feature=autoplay&list=SPB9F260CE56D04E73&index=3&playnext=6

 

To see the trailer for “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW5ILfAaIXc

Jada Pinkett Smith

Back to Poni TV

Lawrence R. Greenberg’s Question:

Larry Greenberg says Richmond, Virginia is a beautiful and unique choice for the setting of Hawthorne. Were you involved in that decision? 

Jada Pinkett Smith: We felt like Richmond was an area that’s growing, but hasn’t really been explored on television at all, in the way that New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have. So, we decided it would make a great location.”

The Full Interview

Jada Pinkett Smith

The “HawthoRNe: Season 2” Interview

with Kam Williams

 

Headline: The Many Shades of Jada, from TV Nurse to Karate Kid’s Mom

Besides playing the title character on the TNT seriesHawthoRNe, which is starting its second season, Jada Pinkett Smith executive-produces the show through her production company, 100% Womon. With her husband, Will Smith, she is serving as producer of The Karate Kid, starring their son, Jaden, and also of Fela!, the Broadway musical nominated for 11 Tony Awards. Jada’s recent film credits include Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, as the voice of Gloria, and director Diane English’s remake of The Women.

In the past, she’s teamed up with Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle in Reign Over Me, and enjoyed a pivotal role opposite Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx in Michael Mann’s Collateral. However, she perhaps remains best known as the take-charge Niobe of Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions fame.

Here, Jada reflects on the challenge of balancing career and family when each member is a showbiz celebrity in his or her own right.

 

Kam Williams: Thanks for the time, Jada. It’s nice to have an opportunity to speak with you again.

Jada Pinkett Smith: Oh, thank you!

KW: Well, first of all, let me say congratulations! You’re blossoming on every front. Let’s see, HawthoRNe’s starting its second season, you’re going t be on the cover of the July issue of Essence magazine, your Broadway musical has been nominated for 11 Tonys, and Jaden is starring in The Karate Kid, a picture you and Will produced. How does it feel?

JPS: It feels good. These are the moments that you keep in your back pocket to remember, “All of those were good times!” [Laughs]

KW: I told my readers I’d be interviewing you, and I think they often come up with better questions than I do. So why don’t I start right of with some of them. Lester Chisholm says, “Thank you for the production of Fela,” and asks, “What would suggest as a lifestyle to keep young entertainers focused?”

JPS: Wow… Whew! Man, that’s a hard one, because part of the challenge of being young is finding what to be focused on. It’s a time of exploration when you have to discover who you’re not, in order to know who you are. I would say being deeply involved in the art world would help keep a young artist on track. Doing what you love, so that your focus is your artistry.

KW: Reverend Florine Thompson and filmmaker Hisani Dubose had the same question: What is the key to balancing motherhood, marriage and such a successful career?

JPS: Staying true to yourself, and being able to prioritize. It’s very important to prioritize. I know, for me, my family comes first. That makes every decision very easy.

KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls Are there any arenas left for you to conquer?

JPS: [LOL] Definitely! And I’m always looking for them. But as I’ve gotten older, and now that my kids are starting to do what they do, I am now really focusing on sharing my knowledge and insights with them to help guide them on their journeys.

KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman observes that you and Will come across as down-to-earth and very family-centric. She wants to know, how you keep your family values intact with the children becoming stars themselves? Do they have chores and an allowance?

JPS: [Laughs] They definitely have chores, and they get an allowance from money they make, believe it or not. I think that critical to keeping them balanced is giving them purpose, and part of giving them purpose is allowing them to do things that they love to do, which is being part of this industry. And as wacky as that might seem, it allows them to contribute to the family, and it allows them to develop their own self-worth. And I feel that when a child has self-worth and purpose, that’s what keeps them grounded.

KW: Cinema Professor Mia Mask asks, do you think the roles for women of color — black women in particular — have improved?

JPS: I’d say they’ve improved, but there still aren’t enough. And I’d say that’s the case, not only for African-American women, but for all women in the Hollywood game. It’s just slim pickings, and a very challenging time for us. I think that’s why more of us need to work our way behind the camera in order to create roles that really illuminate who women are. We still have room for growth in that area, without a doubt.

KW: Marcia Evans says that she’s a true fan of yours because she really respects the mature manner in which you approach being a wife and mother. She wants to know whatever happened to your TV sitcom “Good News.”

JPS: I never had a show by that name, but I did have one called “M.I.L.F. and Cookies,” that got picked up and was set to air until the network and I had a disagreement at the last minute. They wanted to change the concept a bit in a way I wasn’t in agreement with, so we had to go our separate ways.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

JPS: I’m sure there is, but I really can’t think of one right now.

KW: Larry Greenberg says Richmond, Virginia is a beautiful and unique choice for the setting of Hawthorne. Were you involved in that decision?

JPS: We felt like Richmond was an area that’s growing, but hasn’t really been explored on television at all, in the way that New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have. So, we decided it would make a great location.

KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?

JPS: Yes.

KW: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?

JPS: I am happy. I have my moments when I’m not, but I am. I’m very happy.

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What are you listening to on your iPod?

JPS: Oh, I’m listening to so much right now. I looooove Alicia Keys’ new song, “Unthinkable.” I’m blasting that all over the place, but I’m also listening to Sade’s new album, and I always have my Heavy Metal, Mastodon. [LOL]

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?

JPS: I’m reading a book right now by John Dewey called “Art as Experience.”

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399531971?ie=UTF8&tag=thslfofire-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0399531971

That has been a very interesting read for me. And I’m also reading one called The Heart of Sufism, which is about a more esoteric approach to Islam.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157062402X?ie=UTF8&tag=thslfofire-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=157062402X

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

JPS: Oh, man, when I look in the mirror, I see about a thousand different Jadas… Yeah…

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

JPS: I don’t really cook much. I’m more of a baker. My favorite things to bake that everybody loves, and I can only keep in the house for about ten minutes, are 7-Up cake and Pineapple Upside-Down cake.

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

JPS: Oh, I laugh hard every day. I mean, my husband is Will Smith! [Shrieks] I’m telling you, that’s one of the joys of being married to him. My life full of laughter. Thank God I have him. My life is full of laughter because of that man.

KW: How do you want to be remembered?

JPS: I don’t know yet. I have no idea.

KW: Well, thanks for another great interview, Jada, and best of luck in all your endeavors.

JPS: Thank you, Kam.

 

To get a sneak peek at HawthoRNe Season 2 which premieres on TNT on June 22nd at 9 PM, visit: http://www.tnt.tv/dramavision/?cid=47834

James Franko

“Larry Greenberg asks: Do you have a favorite movie monster?

James Franko: I’m a big fan of these recent indie-level horror movies. I loved It Follows, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and The Babadook. As far as monsters go, I guess I’m still a huge Dracula fan. My father gave me the book when I was pretty young, so I’ve been a diehard Dracula fan since I was a teenager.”

James Franko

http://baretnewswire.org/franco-and-me-talking-yosemite/

Jamie Foxx

Larry Greenberg asks:  “When do you think I’m going to hear a brass section in a hot, hip-hop single?

Jamie Foxx: You already heard it, Larry, if you listen Jay-Z or The Roots.”

The whole thing…

Jamie Foxx

The “Thunder Soul” Interview

with Kam Williams

Headline: Jamie’s Soulful Thunder

Born Eric Marlon Bishop in Terrell, Texas on December 13, 1967, Jamie Foxx was raised by his grandparents from the age of 7 months, following the failure of his parents’ marriage. He sang in the church choir as a child, and quarterbacked his high school’s football team, before going on to major in classical music and composition in college.

Jamie’s showbiz career began after a dare in 1989 when he went on stage on open mic night to take a shot at doing standup. After paying his dues on the comedy circuit, he was invited to join the ensemble cast of the Wayans Brothers’ TV sketch series “In Living Color” alongside Jim Carrey and Jennifer Lopez.

He subsequently landed his own series, “The Jamie Foxx Show,” which went on to enjoy a five-year run.He not only starred on the series but was also its co-creator and executive producer, and directed several episodes.

He made his big screen in Toys in 1992, followed by appearances in Booty Call and The Players Club. He received rave reviews for his riveting work and in Any Given Sunday and as Bundini Brown in Ali, breakout roles which in turn led to a trio of critically-acclaimed performances in Ray, Collateral and Redemption in 2004.

He won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles as well as an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his work in Collateral. Furthermore, he won an NAACP Image Award for his portrayal of reformed, Death Row inmate Tookie Williams in Redemption. Jamie has since appeared in The Soloist, Horrible Bosses, Due Date, Dreamgirls, Miami Vice, Jarhead, The Kingdom and Law Abiding Citizen.

Here, he talks about producing Thunder Soul, a reverential bio-pic which pays tribute to the late Conrad “Prof” Johnson (1915-2008), the founder and conductor of Houston’s Kashmere High’s legendary stage band.

Kam Williams: Hi Jamie, thanks for the interview.

Jamie Foxx: Hey, man, thank you, brother.

KW: It’s been awhile. The last time we spoke you were filming Law Abiding Citizen in Philly. In fact, we talked on the same day that you had to beat up that intruder who broke into your hotel room.

JF: Well, let’s hope that it doesn’t happen like that again.

KW: I have a lot of questions for you from fans, so why don’t I get right to them? Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: What interested you in producing this film? Is your sponsorship of this type of documentary a direction you plan to continue in? Do you have other projects like this in development?

JF: What interested me was the fact that the story had a huge music component, since I have my own fond memories of playing in a stage band when I was a kid. And then I also liked the movie’s eloquent and touching storyline which flowed as if it had been scripted, even though it’s a documentary. You have the band getting back together for the first time in 30 years for a reunion concert, and then Prof’s ending up transitioning right after the event. It’s a beautiful film, and I just wanted to make sure that everybody was aware of it.

KW: This movie had my eyes welling up all through it, not just at the ending.

JF: Oh, yeah, I was dying, man. And when a story touches you like that, you gotta be a part of it.

KW: Irene also asks: What message do you hope audiences will take away from watching Thunder Soul?

JF: The message is let’s get back to some of that old-time good feeling. This whole world has become so mean and so hateful; and everybody’s hating each other. You know how they say, “No good deed goes unpunished.” Well, I think they’re punishing everything. Thunder Soul is the type of uplifting story you can take the kids to see, and enjoy it, and sort of float away for a minute. Also, in the back of your mind, it’ll have you thinking about what we can do to keep the focus on the arts in schools. Because any time there’s a little trouble in paradise, the first programs they cut are the arts.

KW: Felicia Haney wants to know whether this project struck a personal chord with you, being a musician and also from Texas. She asks: What impact did music education have on you in life, and what do you have to say to schools that cut music programs?

JF: Kam, you know I come from the gospel background, and that my grandmother later had me learn classical music, and that I went on to college on a classical piano scholarship. Then, as an actor, I did Ray and Dreamgirls, movies with musical components. So, I‘ve been heavily impacted by my music education. Music has always been a way in which I expressed myself and supported myself.

KW: Harriet Pakula Teweles says: When you do your musical gigs, you go front and center as Jamie Foxx and don’t get to hide behind a character with make-up and costume the way you would for a film role. How different is that?

JF: It’s a little different. When it’s just me, it’s sort of more of my expression. It’s what I have inside of me that I’ve been wanting to get out and am finally giving people a chance to hear. When you’re on stage, it’s right there. And every night is a different night.  But when you’re making a movie, it’s a process which will have been edited by the time it comes out.

KW: Editor/legist Patricia Turnier asks: Did you ever get to meet Prof?

JF: No, I didn’t, unfortunately.

KW: Patricia also asks: what is your favorite song by the Kashmere Stage Band?

JF: I don’t necessarily have one particular favorite. As you watch the movie, you feel the band’s overall vibe more than you listen to any individual song. That was what made them hot.

KW: Lastly, Patricia says: You are multitalented already, but if you could wake up tomorrow having gained one new ability, what would you want that ability to be and why?

JF: To be multilingual, Patricia, because, think about it, you could communicate and hang out every time you went to a different country.

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: When do you think I’m going to hear a brass section in a hot, hip-hop single?

JF: You already heard it, Larry, if you listen Jay-Z or The Roots.

KW: Judyth Piazza asks: What career goal are you yet to accomplish?

JF: I have way too many ideas to list.

KW: Judy also asks: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?

JF: Hard work and discipline without needing anyone telling them.

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

JF: Me sitting on a chair in my grandmother’s nursery school at the age of 3, watching my then pastor’s wife walk in with her kids on their first day there.

KW: Editor Mike Pittman asks: Who was your best friend as a child and are you still friends today?

JF: Wow! Gilbert Willie was my best friend as a child and, in fact, he’ll be coming to my house in a couple of days and we’re going to throw a huge birthday bash for him.

KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman says: Since you believe so fervently in musical education, having started at the age of 5 due to your grandmother’s insistence, can you envision taking your advocacy of this issue a step further by joining a charity which promotes music education?

JF: Yeah, although I’m already committed to a lot of charities that do great work in the arts. Any chance we get to promote music, we do it.

KW: Bernadette would also like to know whether your daughter sings or plays an instrument.

JF: Not my older one, but my little one does. She plays the drums and the piano, and she’s only 2½.

KW: Erik Daniels asks: Will you use your radio show as a way of getting minorities out to register and to vote in the next presidential election?

JF: Oh, most definitely! We did it last time when Barack Obama was 30 points down and nobody knew who he was. We not only educated people about Obama, but about politics in general. And we plan to do it again.

KW: Dante Lee, author of “Black Business Secrets,” asks: What was the best business decision you ever made, and what was the worst?

JF: Oh man, I’m making a couple of big business decisions right now, so I have a feeling we’re going to find out soon.

KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you?

JF: Fun! Just fun, no matter what it is. A great concert… playing softball with the family… Fun!

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

JF: I see a blessed man.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Jamie, and best of luck with Thunder Soul.

JF: Thank you, Kam.

To see the trailer for Thunder Soul, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-bSBqgJbTQ

Janet Jackson

Back to Poni TV

Lawrence R. Greenberg’s Question:

Larry Greenberg says, he loved your video for “Miss You Much” which was directed by Dominic Sena. He’s wondering, if there’s any chance of you doing something new with him?

Janet Jackson: I haven’t spoken with Dominic in a while, but I would love to. I actually wanted him to work on another video of mine, but he was shooting a movie at the time. Once in a blue moon, we wind up speaking to one another. I think Dominic is incredibly talented and, hopefully, we will work together again. ”

The Full Interview

Janet Jackson

The “Why Did I Get Married Too” Interview

with Kam Williams

 

Headline: Janet in Control 

Born in Gary, Indiana on May 16, 1966, Janet Damita JoJackson entered show business at the tender age of 7 when she appeared onstage with her already famous elder siblings at the MGM in Las Vegas. This debut, was followed by appearances at 9 on her family’s variety show “The Jacksons” which, in turn, led to starring and recurring roles on such hit sitcoms as “Good Times,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” and “Fame.”

At 14, Janet signed her first recording deal. Placing acting on the back burner to focus on her first love, music, she went on to enjoy extraordinary success upon the release of her breakthrough album,Control in 1986. Over the course of her ensuing musical career, she has thus far accumulated five Grammys, multiple MTV Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and Soul Train Music Awards, to name a few. As an artist, Janetexcites, enlightens, leads, and embraces her fans with insights into life’s meaning while touching their deepest feelings.

The film Poetic Justice marked this very versatile talent’s first foray into acting in feature films, and that was soon followed by a co-starring role in Nutty Professor II. Janet later received the NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category for her work in Why Did I Get Married. Furthermore, like all of her movies, Why Did I Get Married opened up #1 at the box office.

Privately, Janet continues to focus on speaking out and giving back, raising money for charities such as the Cities in Schools and America’s Promise. She has also supported the Watts Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club of America, the Starlight Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, A Place Called Home in South Central LA, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, S.O.S. Children’s Villages in South Africa, Cartier’s Love Bracelet Program benefiting OCNA and she sponsored an Airlift of Food and Medical supplies to famine-stricken Rwanda. In addition,Janet established the Rhythm Nation Scholarship with the UNCF and has assisted numerous students striving to meet their educational goals.

Most recently, Janet honored her brother Michael’s legacy and supported the people of Haiti by joining over 80 artists who collaborated to record “We Are the World 25 for Haiti,” the classic 1985 charity anthem re-imagined by Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones to support the earthquake relief efforts. Not surprisingly, Janet has been honored with countless humanitarian awards in response to her dedication to helping others.

Later this year, Janet plans to publish her autobiography, providing an intimate look at her life.  Here, she talks about reprising the role of Pat in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too, one of those rare sequels which is actually better than the original. T

 

Kam Williams: Thanks so much for the time, Janet. I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak with you.

Janet Jackson: It’s my pleasure.

KW: First of all, please allow me to express my condolences on the loss of your brother, Michael.

JJ: Thank you.

KW: Watching Why Did I Get Married Too, the first thing I noticed was that it afforded you an opportunity to display a much greater range of emotions. How did you enjoy that?

JJ: I loved it! I absolutely loved it. I was so thankful that Tyler had written such an amazing piece for me to explore. So, I was really excited about it. When he first gave me the script, he warned me, “When you read this, you’re really going to flip out. I think it’s going to be exciting for you.” And it was.

KW: It’s very rare that an entire ensemble cast comes back for a sequel. How was it being reunited with everybody again?

JJ: I loved being with them again. It truly is a family. There’s closeness and connection. After filming the original, when we went our separate ways, I felt like I had a new group of friends. We stayed in touch and tried to see each other whenever we were in town or in between projects. So, the minute we heard there was going to be a sequel, all of us were immediately on board, knowing we would be able to get back together again. And then, for half of it to be shot in The Bahamas made going to work feel like being on vacation with your friends. The crew members were sweethearts, too.

KW:  What a refreshing difference from those nightmare shoots you sometimes hear about that sound like a clash of egos.

JJ: I credit Tyler. It’s Tyler’s vision. He’s created a true family.

KW: What is it about Tyler that makes him special?

JJ: He’s an amazing man. One of the things that I love most about him is that he has this spirituality abut him, and it’s a really big part of who he is. I adore Tyler, and I love that about him.

KW: All your previous films have opened up in the #1 spot at the box office. Do you feel any pressure to keep up the string?

JJ: I don’t feel any pressure at all. You know what? I honestly wouldn’t even have thought about it, if another journalist hadn’t brought it to my attention. Would it be great if it did? Of course. If it doesn’t open at #1, am I going to be bummed out? No, I’ve been so blessed and I’m just thankful to be a part of the project and grateful to Tyler for giving me another opportunity to explore this character.

KW: What do you think the experience will be like for the audience?

JJ: I think more so than anything people are going to enjoy the film and they’ll also walk away learning a lot from it.

KW: By the way, I love “Nothing,” the film’s theme which you sing on the soundtrack. I hope it lands you another Oscar nomination like the song “Again” did for you wit h Poetic Justice.

JJ: Thank you very much. That would be really nice.

KW: I told my readers I’d be interviewing you, and they sent me a lot of questions, so let’s see how many we can get through.

JJ: Okay.

KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman says, “My favorite album of yours is Control which spoke to me because at the time I was working in Paris and I had such a lack of control over so many things in my life. Have you ever related to a song by someone else which intimately spoke to you at a point in your life?”

JJ: Definitely! There are two things that really move me: music and acting. And I’m not talking about my music or watching myself as an actor, but listening to other people’s music and watching other actors. There are so many different songs that have moved me. It all depends upon the mood that I’m in at that moment. Plus, I was raised with a ton of brothers and sisters where, obviously, the music running in and out of the house was very eclectic. So, I had a lot under my belt by the time I grew up. It all depends upon the mood that I’m in, the space that I’m in and what I’m feeling at that moment. But definitely!

KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks which do you enjoy doing more, acting or singing?

JJ: I enjoy them both a great deal. I have a passion for both. Maybe acting just a little bit more because it’s more of a challenge for me, while music comes so easily.

KW: Marcia Evans asks, have you ever considered doing an album of duets?

JJ: No, I have not, but that’s a very good idea. Maybe someday that’ll actually happen.

KW: Documentary filmmaker Hisani Dubose asks if you plan to produce movies.

JJ: I would love to. A dream of mine is to produce films, as well as to produce content for television.

KW: Hisani also wants to know what movie you’ll be making next.

JJ: For Colored Girls, an adaptation of the play, which I’m sure she’s familiar with. We’ll start shooting that not to long from now.

KW: Laz Lyles wants to know, what’s the biggest way you’ve grown as an actress since Poetic Justice, and whether you find that with each role you discover something new about yourself?

JJ: I always knew that I could go deep. How deep? I don’t know. But it always seems that with each character I take on, I’m challenged to go deeper than the last time, and then again deeper than the last time. This is the deepest I’ve ever been asked to dive. And to see how deep I actually went for this, and that I wasn’t afraid to go there in order to give Tyler exactly what he envisioned for the character, which was pretty deep, that’s what I discovered about myself.

KW: Larry Greenberg says, he loved your video for “Miss You Much” which was directed by Dominic Sena. He’s wondering, if there’s any chance of you doing something new with him?

JJ: I haven’t spoken with Dominic in a while, but I would love to. I actually wanted him to work on another video of mine, but he was shooting a movie at the time. Once in a blue moon, we wind up speaking to one another. I think Dominic is incredibly talented and, hopefully, we will work together again.

KW: Reverend Florine Thompson asks what gives the greatest meaning to your life?

JJ: It would have to be God.

KW: Varise Cooper asks, what are you doing to make a long-lasting, positive impact on the world?

JJ: I work with a lot of different charities, and by that I don’t mean merely by giving money, but by really getting involved hands-on. I’ve always said that one of the reasons why I was put on this Earth was to help people. That’s something I’ve always enjoyed both here in America and if I have the opportunity when I’m traveling out of the country. For example, I like to visit orphanages to spend time with the children. That’s very important to me.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

JJ: That’s the question right there! [Laughs] That’s a good question.

KW: Well, on that note, let me thank you again for the interview, Janet.

JJ: Thank you very much.

To hear Janet sing “Nothing,” the theme song of Why Did I Get Married Too, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpAIHjJh_Gs

 

To see a trailer for Why Did I Get Married Too, visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSONVGYiIHo