Don Cheadle Down with
The ”Brooklyn’s Finest”
Donald Cheadle might be the best actor around yet to win
an Oscar. His only Academy Award nomination came in 2005
for his powerful performance as Paul Rusesbagina in
Hotel Rwanda. But he’s been delivering an
abundance of critically-acclaimed work both before and
since in such films as
Devil in a Blue Dress,
Talk to Me,
Mission to Mars,
Rush Hour 2,
Reign over Me.
In this spirited tete-a-tete, Don talks about his latest
outing as NYPD Detective Tango Butler in Brooklyn’s
Finest, a gritty cop saga directed by Antoine Fuqua
and co-starring Wesley Snipes, Richard Gere, Ellen
Barkin and Ethan Hawke.
Hi, Don, thanks for
author Irene Smalls asks, how did you prepare for this
role as an undercover detective?
I spent some time with
several police officers who are actually doing the same
type of work in Brooklyn.
Citing the maxim
”Great actors do not act, they show their true selves to
the camera,” Irene asks whether there are any parts of
your psyche you have not yet explored on camera?
40-something films, if there’s anything I haven’t
revealed yet, it’s probably best kept under wraps.
Laz Lyles was
wondering whether the energy on the set of Brooklyn’s
Finest was similar to working with the large
ensemble of talented actors in Ocean's Eleven?
No, this was a very
Beekman says she appreciates all your humanitarian
efforts as much as she does your acting. And she
suspects that your choice of charities has been
influenced by the locations where you’ve shot movies,
given all you’ve done for Darfur and Rwanda. So, she was
hoping you might be interested in supporting her charity
in East New York, Brooklyn which is dedicated to early
educational opportunities for young African-American
males under the age of 5.
There are only 24 hours
in the day, but I’d love to get involved, my schedule
Nick Antoine wants
to know if there’s any truth to the rumor that you’re
planning to do a Miles Davis bio-pic.
Yep, I’m working on it
Is it true that
you’ve done standup comedy?
Yes, but not anymore.
Is it true that you
play the saxophone?
Yes, but I’m playing the
The music maven
Heather Covington question: What are you listening to on
I know who your
favorite trumpeter is. How about saxophonist?
The bookworm Troy
Johnson question: What was the last book you read?
Miles Davis’ autobiography collaborated on with
When you look in the
mirror, what do you see?
The same guy I see every
The Zane question:
Do you have any regrets?
In life? Of course!
“Realtor to the
Stars” Jimmy Bayan’s question: Where in L.A. do you
I’d rather not say.
What is your
favorite dish to cook?
Whatever my kids want to
What are you’re
favorite foods to eat?
Comfort foods… macaroni
and cheese, and meat loaf.
The Mike Pittman
question: Who was your best friend as a child?
My siblings and my
The Uduak Oduak
question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?
What advice do you
have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
If you could have
one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?
That the world would
take the issue of global warming seriously.
Thanks again for the
interview, Don, and best of luck with the film.
To see a trailer for
Brooklyn’s Finest, visit:
* * *
Donald Frank "Don"
(born November 29, 1964) is an American actor, film
producer, philanthropist, and author. Cheadle rose to
prominence in the late 1990s and the early 2000s for his
supporting roles in the Steven Soderbergh-directed films
Out of Sight,
In 2004, his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul
Rusesabagina in the genocide drama film
earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
He also campaigns for the end of genocide in Darfur,
Sudan, and co-authored a book concerning the issue
titled Not On Our Watch: The Mission To End Genocide
In Darfur And Beyond. . . .
2007 World Series of Poker, Cheadle and poker player
organized a charity poker tournament, "Ante Up for
Africa". Many Hollywood actors were expected to play in
the tournament, which had a
$5,000 buy-in. Money finishers were encouraged to
donate part of their winnings to
The International Rescue Committee or the
Cheadle was awarded the BET Humanitarian award of the
year for his numerous humanitarian services he rendered
for the cause of the people of Darfur and Rwanda.
13, 2007, Cheadle and fellow actor
George Clooney were
presented with the Summit Peace Award by the Nobel Peace
Prize Laureates in Rome for their work to stop the
genocide and relieve the suffering of the people of
Darfur. The award was presented by the World Summit of
Nobel Laureates, Mikhail Gorbachev, and TheCommunity.com.
Cheadle's family history was profiled on the PBS series
African American Lives 2. A DNA test shows that he may
have ancestry in present day
In early 2009,
Cheadle embarked on a new endeavor in automotive retail;
He announced that he plans to open Don Cheadle
Chevrolet. He will co-manage the dealership, which will
specialize in hybrid and alternative energy vehicles,
with a childhood friend.
* * *
An action film rich with politics,
espionage, and complicated characters,
Traitor is an engrossing film in
which the lines between right and wrong are
anything but clear and the threats of
terrorism and conspiracy across the globe
seem startlingly real. Sadim Horn (Don
Cheadle) is a devout Muslim, once trained
and employed in engineering and explosives
by American Special Forces, who has chosen
to settle in Afghanistan. FBI agents Clayton
(Guy Pearce) and Archer (Neal McDonough)
begin investigating an uncooperative Sadim
in an Afghanistan prison because of his
connections with terrorist Omar (Saїd
Taghmaoui) and, as events unfold, uncover
ties between Sadim and several international
bombing incidents. As agents Clayton and
Archer follow Sadim around the world,
Sadim's dedication to his faith becomes
abundantly clear, as does his involvement in
an international bombing conspiracy. What's
less than clear in all the contradictory
evidence is the nature of Sadim's role in
which side he's really fighting for. . .
* * *