ss_blog_claim=17cc6e1d8cd65fdbdc8a677d66b74513 ss_blog_claim=17cc6e1d8cd65fdbdc8a677d66b74513

Thursday, February 22, 2007

IndieSeen Favorite: Jeffrey Wright

I LOVE this man.

The first time I saw Jeffrey Wright was in this indie film called Basquiat. I thought it was one of the most accurate and real portrayals of a non-fictional character. He WAS Jean Michel Basquiat. I think what amazed me the most is he depicted him with such subtlety. It wasn’t over the top or rigid. It was seamless and flawless and I knew he was someone I needed to focus my attention towards.

Like it is stated on IMDB, Jeffrey Wright is by far one of the most underrated and underexposed actors in Hollywood. Perhaps exposure for Jeffrey himself, is not his intentions, which is why the bulk of his work in predominantly has been films in the independent circuit. However, he is considered to be A-list talent, and if you’re an indie filmmaker, you better have a damn good resume and an impressive body of work to even CONSIDER having him cast in your next film. He’s a forced to be reckoned with.

Born and raised in Washington DC, Wright graduated from the prestigious Amherst college in 1987. Although he studied Political Science while at Amherst, Wright left the school with something that would prove to be more valuable: a love for acting. Shortly after graduating he won an acting scholarship to NYU, but dropped out after only two months to pursue acting full time.

Good thing he did, because then we wouldn’t have this great talent to model after in cinema. He went onto star in several films including
Shaft as the unforgettable Peoples Hernandez (I really thought he was Hispanic when I saw that), and he played Martin Luther King Jr. in HBO made for TV movie Boycott. Another unforgettable made for TV movie by HBO he starred in was the multi-award winning film Lackawanna Blues. In 2005, he starred in the independent film Broken Flowers with Bill Murray. His ego is not too big to still go indie, which we love. However, because he such a phenomenal star, he’s in big budget films like Syriana, Casino Royale, and the upcoming Live Free or Die Hard movie.

It seems like he becomes a chameleon in every role he’s in. He truly becomes vulnerable and falls deep into the characters he plays. My favorite performance of his by far was as the flamboyant Belize who provides medical assistance to a dying AIDS patient played by Al Pacino in the HBO film
Angels In America. Even playing beside Al Pacino, Wright somehow manages to steal the scene. I never knew it was possible to upstage (and I mean that in a good way) Al Pacino. However, Wright certainly does in Angels. If you have not seen Angels In America you MUST rent that and it is available on Netflix.

No comments: