Jacob’s Banter!

 

Jacob Latimore, The “Sleight” Interview, with Kam Williams, young breakout star, promising talents, Collateral Beauty, Ride AlongJacob Latimore

The “Sleight” Interview

with Kam Williams

Jacob’s Banter!

Jacob Latimore has been hailed by Variety, Indiewire and The Wrap as a young breakout star. Having emerged as one of the most promising talents of his generation, his upcoming films are from Academy Award-winning directors and writers where he stars alongside actors of that same caliber.

Jacob was most recently seen among the ensemble of celebrated thespians in the holiday season film Collateral Beauty, directed by Oscar-winner David Frankel. The picture follows the story of a once-successful businessman played by Will Smith, who has slipped into severe depression following a personal tragedy. His friends, played by Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Pena, show concern when he begins writing letters to various objects on themes like time, love, and death which then show up as people played by Latimore, Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren.

Jacob just completed production on a yet-to be named crime drama with another Oscar-winning director, Kathryn Bigelow, and her Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal. That movie chronicles a police raid in Detroit in 1967 which resulted in one of the largest citizen uprisings in United States’ history. Also upcoming is the film Krystal, where Jacob joins William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Kathy Bates and Rosario Dawson in a romantic dramedy directed by Macy.

Earlier in his career, Jacob was featured in a couple of 2014’s biggest box office hits, playing Ramon in Ride Along opposite Ice Cube, Kevin Hart and John Leguizamo, and in the sci-fi thriller The Maze Runner. The year before, he starred as Langston in Black Nativity, working with alongside Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Nas. And prior to that, he made his feature film debut in a lead role in the post-apocalyptic thriller, Vanishing on 7th Street.

Besides acting, triple threat Jacob is a dancer and established R&B singer. After a number of hit singles, his debut album, Connection, was released last December.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jacob currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Here, he talks about his latest movie, Sleight, where he stars as a street magician who starts dealing drugs to support himself and his sister after the death of their single-mom.

Jacob Latimore, The “Sleight” Interview, with Kam Williams, young breakout star, promising talents, Collateral Beauty, Ride Along

Kam Williams: Hi Jacob, thanks for the interview.

Jacob Latimore: Thanks for having me!

KW: What interested you in Sleight?

JL: Sleight is the kind of film you dream about. Sleight balanced the genres of science fiction, romance, family and reality in one story. I was completely drawn into the character and the complex issues he faces. It’s not often you get a script that allows you to stretch your own ability as an actor and I saw the ability to do that with this film.

KW: How would you describe the film in 25 words or less?

JL: It’s a genre-bending superhero origin story. Although it focuses on a street magician, Sleight ultimately is a story about the lengths a person will go to protect his family.

KW: How would you describe your character, Bo?

JL: Bo is a guy who is passionate about magic and in his own way strives to do something with his magic that has never been done before. He’s determined. Due to his parents deaths, he needed to grow up faster than he anticipated because he has to raise his younger sister. And what he learns as a grown-up affects everything he does.

KW: This was your first lead role. Did you feel a little extra pressure on the set knowing you were playing the protagonist.

JL: Not at all. Because I had to perform at a young age onstage and in the film Black Nativity among others, I have never been nervous about the roles I’ve taken, on or off the set. I’ve always been confident in my ability and I hope I bring that confidence to the set and to the characters I portray.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from the movie?

JL: That’s a hard question. I’m not sure. I can tell you that I hope they will take away the importance of family and your individual role in the family unit. And I hope it inspires people to pursue their dreams in spite of adversity.

KW: You’re a triple threat: actor, singer, dancer. Which is your favorite?

JL: Had you asked me that question a year and a half ago, I would have said music. However, after working with Will Smith and Kathryn Bigelow and absorbing all that great experience from people who have done this for years, it’s more of a balance. I love performing and, whether it’s music, acting or dancing, I’m happy. I feel at home.

KW: You recently released your first album, “Connection.” How would you describe yourself, musically?

JL: Musically, R&B music has sort of always been the foundation of who I am as an artist, due to the influence of my dad and my uncles. At the core, that’s who I am, and I definitely wanted my first album to reflect it.

KW: You’re just 20 years-old. What’s been the secret to your success at such an early age?

JL: At the end of the day, it really comes down to your passion and what you are willing to do to pursue your dreams. You Jacob Latimore, The “Sleight” Interview, with Kam Williams, young breakout star, promising talents, Collateral Beauty, Ride Alonghave to be consistent, just like doing homework everyday. It’s practicing your craft to make yourself better. An important part of that is family support, which I’ve always had.

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in?

JL: Miles Morales’ Spider-Man movie. I’d love to do that.

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to?

JL: Migos’ “T-Shirt.”  https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01NAQ6SHR/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

JL: I know how to cook several things. I’m great with breakfast, like some really good eggs with a little garlic seasoning and salt and pepper on lightly-toasted bread.

KW: The Morris Chestnut question: Was there any particular moment in your childhood that inspired you to become the person you are today?

JL: When I was younger, music was an inspiration from Michael Jackson to my family. Although I did love to watch great television like the Cosby Show and actors like Denzel and Will Smith, I always loved great films, and I think that overall inspiration prepped me for what I do today.

KW: Sherry Gillam would like to know what is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far?

JL: Be kind to EVERYONE!

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

JL: Very easy. World peace.

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

JL: Michael Myers [Halloween franchise]

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

JL: Thank you so much, Kam. I really appreciate your taking the time to talk with me.

Source:  GIG News

Ice Cube in a Mellow Mood!

 

Ice Cube   

The “Fist Fight” Interview

with Kam Williams

Ice Cube in a Mellow Mood!

Born O’Shea Jackson in Compton, California on June 15, 1969, Renaissance man Ice Cube is an actor, writer, producer, director, rapper, philanthropist and father. N.W.A., the rap group he co-founded with Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

Cube made his feature film debut in 1991 in Boyz n the Hood, and proceeded to parlay his critically-acclaimed performance into an enviable career. He has become one of the most bankable names in Hollywood as a writer, star and producer.

His production company, Cube Vision, has been making memorable films for over two decades. And his movies have cumulatively grossed over a billion dollars at the box office. Here, he talks about his latest outing in Fist Fight, a comedy co-starring Charlie Day.

Ice Cube, The “Fist Fight” Interview, with Kam Williams, Boyz n the Hood, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Kam Williams: Hey Cube. How you been, brother?

Ice Cube: I’m good, good. How about you, Kam?

KW: Great, thanks. What interested you in Fist Fight?

IC: I thought it was a great concept based on a funny premise. And when they started filling in the pieces with Charlie Day and Tracy Morgan, I just knew we were going to have a great time and hopefully shoot a funny movie.

KW: In this film you play a teacher who is sort of like a bully. Did you ever have a teacher like your character, Mr. Strickland? And were you either bullied or a bully when you were a kid?

IC: In my neighborhood, you were either one or the other. Going back to my memory bank, there were teachers who were no-nonsense and intimidating. Most of them were coaches or gym teachers.But a few were classroom teachers who just didn’t take no mess. I just went over the top with it, because we were having fun with the comedy.

KW: Growing up, was there a spot where kids would settle their differences after school?

IC: There wasn’t just one spot. But it had to be out of sight of teachers, like behind a building, which is where most fights took place. There was never one particular area where we always got down.

Ice Cube, The “Fist Fight” Interview, with Kam Williams, Boyz n the Hood, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

KW: Who came up with the idea of flipping the script by having the after school fight be between two teachers instead of two students?

IC: Well, the script was brought to us by [director] Rich Keen and New Line Cinema. I don’t know exactly who came up with the concept, but that’s what made it funny to me. It’s unusual to have two teachers going at it, instead of two students. That unique premise was one of the things that hooked me.

KW: How did you and Charlie Day go about generating the bully-nerd anti-chemistry that the story called for? How did you know how mean to be without going over the line and ending up looking cruel?

IC: It’s a dance. We had a mutual respect for each other’s skills. And when you have that mutual respect, you’re more giving actors. You’ll make sure he shines where he’s supposed to shine, and vice versa. The key is to not get in the way of the character, and to be honest and true with it. Still, real personalities creep in every now and then. It’s all about knowing the script, and understanding its ebbs and flows. So, we worked well together. I think we’re going to end up doing a few more movies together.

KW: Well, you already set up the sequel to Fist Fight in the closing scene.

IC: Yeah, without a doubt! Without a doubt!

KW: You guys had a terrific supporting cast: Dennis Haysbert, Dean Norris, Christina Hendricks, Kym Whitley, Jillian Bell and Tracy Morgan. Was this Tracy’s first film since the accident? I don’t remember seeing him in anything.

IC: Yeah, this was his first movie back. It was great to have him. I’d worked with him before in a movie called First Sunday. It was cool to see him again, to be able to hang, and to just have him here. That accident he was in was horrible. It was great to have him around again.

Ice Cube, The “Fist Fight” Interview, with Kam Williams, Boyz n the Hood, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

KW: I’ve interviewed him several times, and he’s one of those rare people who’s just naturally funny.

IC: Yeah, he doesn’t have to tell a joke. All he has to do is talk. He’s just a funny dude. God blesses some people with a gift.

KW: Fist Fight was Richard Keen’s first full-length feature film. It’s pretty impressive considering it was a directorial debut.

IC: Without a doubt! He did a great job. And he’s the one who really sold me on the movie. He cut together a trailer showing what the movie would look like by cutting Charlie and me into pieces of other movies. That sold me. I said, “Dude, if you make this movie that you’re showing me, then I’m in.” and he definitely went above and beyond expectations.

KW: He certainly was able to keep it exciting by setting the film in a high school on Senior Prank Day. That way, all sorts of surprises could pop up during lulls in the action.

IC: Yeah, it’s cool, because people think it’s just a fight, but there are a thousand other things going on. [Chuckles] It’s nice to have a lot of surprises in a movie like this.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from Fist Fight?

IC: I think it’s really talking about the school system, and the underlying problems  that the society’s facing when it comes to educating kids. Do we just coddle them or do we really try to hold them accountable for what they learn?

KW: What do you think of the Academy Awards nominating a half-dozen black actors after none the previous two years?

IC: I don’t really know what they’re going through, but I’m pretty sure the nominees deserved it, and that’s all that matters, that our work is recognized. We don’t want any quotas. Just recognize good work.

KW: Last year, it was unfortunate that your biopic, Straight Outta Compton, was only nominated for Best Original Screenplay. And your scriptwriters were all white.

IC: It ain’t no thing. At least I don’t make movies for no Oscars. i make movies for the people.

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

IC: What’s in my wallet? [LOL] Not too much. An I.D. card. That’s it. [Laughs some more]

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

IC: Take it easy, Kam. Catch you later.

Source:  GIG News

High Octane “Vin”-Sanity!

 

Vin Diesel

The “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” Interview

with Kam Williams

High Octane “Vin”-Sanity!

A native of New York City, Vin Diesel is one of Hollywood’s hottest movie stars. In addition to his huge box-office success, Vin is a prominent producer and filmmaker and has been honored with both a Hands and Footprint Ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Vin Diesel, The “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” Interview, with Kam Williams

Furious 7, which he starred in and produced, grossed more than $1.5 billion in worldwide box-office and is the #1 grossing film in China’s history. In 2013, he starred in and produced the box-office smash hit Fast & Furious 6, which grossed almost $800 million worldwide.

He is also set to star in the highly-anticipated The Fate of the Furious which will be in theaters on April 14th and in Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2 which will be released in May. Here, Vin talks about reprising the title role in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Kam Williams: Hey Vin, thanks for the time.

Vin Diesel: Yo, Kam, what’s up?

KW: Not much.

VD: What happened, bro? I thought you were going to be here today?

KW: Couldn’t make it into the city, so I have to do the interview by phone. You know, I was just talking to my brother who mentioned that he taught your nephew Tyler who graduated from Brooklyn Friends School last year. He said he’s a great kid that everybody loved.   

VD: Oh, that’s so dope! Small world, Kam.

KW: He said that they’re all big fans of yours, too. You did sequels to Pitch Black and The Fast and the Furious, but previously declined when it came to the xXx franchise. What made you finally decide to reprise the role of Xander Cage?

VD: The reason I declined in 2002 was sort of a silly reason. The studio had promised me that I was going to be able to direct Hannibal, and they wanted me to do xXx 2 before Hannibal. But the script wasn’t strong enough for me to do that. It had become something other than xXx. It was more like Three Days of the Condor without the fun of xXx. But, in truth, a large part of my decision was based on my feeling that I had been promised that I would be able to direct Hannibal the Conqueror. After I produced the fourth Fast and Furious film, and saw the success of that, I was inspired and challenged by the idea of creating these sagas, these franchises. It took about another seven years to get it right. so, it was about 2009 when I made the decision to do it, and it took from that time ’til now to realize it. 

KW: Well, it was worth the wait, because it really brings you back to the original xXx in terms of the special f/x and the stunts. I also love how the dialogue is laced with all those double entendres reminiscent of 007.

VD: [Laughs] Totally! It is America’s answer to James Bond, for sure.

Vin Diesel, The “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” Interview, with Kam Williams

KW: It even has a bevy of beauties in Deepika Padukone, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Hermione Corfeld and more, xXx’s equivalent of Bond girls.

VD: I remember when we were in production. there were some articles written saying that this was the best cast ever assembled. It’s so eclectic. The women are so strong and formidable and beautiful. They kick ass in their own right. And then it’s novel and cool that this is a multi-cultural, global cast from different film markets from all over the world. It marks the start of Hollywood venturing beyond the confines of Hollywood to recruit talent. We now have a global audience. It is no longer the case that we’re just making movies for America. Now, we’re making movies for the world. So, why not invite celebrated talent from those respective markets into your global film?

KW: And they all mesh seamlessly, here. I’ve seen my share of movies with international casts where there’s no chemistry.

VD: That’s fair to say, Kam.

KW: But you’ve pulled it off successfully.

VD: Yeah, it’s exciting. Thank you.

KW: Vin, what would you say was your biggest challenge in returning to the role of xXx?

VD: Time! these other studios can get very Mafia. Universal never wanted me to make this movie. They would just love to keep the golden goose at Universal, and just keep turning out their billion-dollar franchise, from my being the brainchild of it, to then going on set and producing and acting in it. So, it really was a matter of time where I had one little window of opportunity at the beginning of 2016 where I could go make the movie. And we just went for it! To be 100% honest, that how Hollywood is nowadays. Most people don’t realize that. These studios can be very proprietary.

KW: Really? I had no idea. I thought the studio system ended back in the Forties.

VD: You wouldn’t think it, because Universal would never admit it. I’m not their movie star. I’m their George Lucas. I’m the person creating the saga through many, many pictures. But they’ll never tell you that. They’ll pretend that I’m just coming to the set and driving cars. They’re not going to acknowledge that I’m also the one who’s creating this full, intricate saga, and DMing it over the years. Anybody that’s on the inside would tell you that. Hollywood can get ruthless. I just shared some of the inside scoop, since I’ve known you for a long time. But that’s how Mafia this is. 

Vin Diesel, The “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” Interview, with Kam Williams

KW: Thanks. You know who else was great in this movie? Tony Gonzalez, the former NFL star.

VD: Wasn’t he good? He’d never acted before. This was his first feature film. You’re talking about one of the best football players in history, and he walks onto the set and just kills it! Tony Gonzalez was incredible. He enhanced the picture.

He brought something to the table. His work ethic was dope! And when he wasn’t filming, you’d find him standing around the set trying to learn everything he could.    You could see what a winner he is, and why he was a winner in his field.

KW: I think he was even a star basketball player in college.

VD: He was! When you have that dedication it shows. He did not hold anything back. I’m so proud of what he accomplished.

KW: The rest of the cast was good, too.

VD: I’m proud of all of them. Hey, I’m gonna share this text from my sister [Samantha Vincent] only with you, Kam, since I know you so damn long. She produced this picture, and produces the Fast & Furious franchise. Hold on a second, man…  Here it is. She goes: “Seriously, in all my years working with you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a unified, hard-working cast. It’s literally the most hopeful, open, optimistic, present group of people ever.” That’s from my sister who’s always on the set and producing all these movies. Ain’t that hot?

KW: Absolutely! Thanks for the exclusive, Vin. Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in?

VD: Oh my God! Just hearing you ask that makes me think of a bunch of remakes I’d love to do. It Happened One Night… On the Waterfront’s is one of my all-time favorite films. And there’s something to be said for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I’d love to put a multi-cultural spin on all those movies.

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

VD: Well, the first movie I remember was a picture called The Thief of Baghdad. It was directed by Michael Powell and starred an Indian actor named Sabu. When I was a kid, we couldn’t afford to got to concerts or Broadway plays. That was way out of our price league. But we could go to the movies. we’d go to 42nd Street, and share a $1.50 bowl of chicken lo mein before going to see a movie. Since we lived in Manhattan, we’d walk home afterwards. And while walking home, my father would always break down the movie we just saw. He started doing this when I was just 5 years-old. that gave me the ability to be a producer. As you know, before I did Saving Private Ryan, I directed Multi-Facial and Strays. I would never have gotten Private Ryan if I hadn’t made those movies. And in some ways, I never stopped directing.

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?

VD: Wow! That’s a great question. When I’m at home, I’m just Daddy. I’m at peace, and not self-aware at all. On the red carpet, I’m a commodity. I realize that, for that moment, I belong to the world, in a way. I try to maintain my truth and my individuality, but I’m mindful that anything I do or say could easily be misconstrued. They’re two very different worlds. I don’t even know if I could articulate just how different they are in one conversation. The person I am at home is so at peace. But even my family knows that once I go out those doors I belong to the world. 

KW: I would guess that you have to be even more careful about what you say and protective of your privacy between the 24-hour news cycle and the snarkiness of internet trolls. . 

VD: Yeah! Who the hell knew we were going to have to become governors of our  fan base, and have to manage so much social media, and decide what you’re going to share. A decade ago all this didn’t exist. Now, you’ll find Samuel L. Jackson feeding his social media. 

KW: I’m glad you brought him back for this sequel.

VD: I had to. Sam was just to important to me and to the franchise. After I signed to headline the first xXx, one of the proudest moments of my life was when I heard he was coming aboard to co-star. I felt such a huge sense of validation. And the pride he took in the project gave me the faith and the confidence to keep going in this industry.

KW: This movie has a number of great twists that it would be unfair for us to spoil.

VD: Yeah, the twists are fun. You can go to the movie and have a blast, but there is also a message after the dust settles.

KW: Lastly, as Samuel L. Jackson asks in the commercial, what’s in your wallet?

VD: I don’t even have my wallet with me. I’m not joking! I’m just one of those kids that’s just all creativity. My mind is just focused on creativity.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Vin, and best of luck with this film .

VD: Always good to talk to you, Kam.

KW: I look forward to chatting with you about Fast & Furious 8 in the spring.

VD: Next time, come over here, man, and let’s do a face-to-face.

                                                                                                                                                                               

Source:  GIG News