August 2005 Interview
The Diva sat down with Sam and had a nice little chat about his up coming movies. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright Kamal Larsuel , 2005


The Diva:
So I figured I’d just ask you a few questions from the website.

The Man:
Okay

The Diva:
Did you know that your likeness is being used for the character of Nick Fury?

The Man:
Yeah I know. We talked about it. It’s cool.

The Diva:
When your character has a particular skill – like playing an instrument – how do you go about learning that? And What’s the process like for you? People should know that you are a musician by training, anyway.

The Man:
Yeah Somewhat.

The Diva:
Somewhat. You played horns throughout High School, right?

The Man:
Yeah.

The Diva:
Which ones?

The Man:
Trumpet and French Horn – all the brass wind instruments pretty much. And I also played flute.

The Diva:
You played flute?

The Man:
Yeah

The Diva:
I didn’t know that! So does it make it easy for you to pick up a string instrument like The Cello or Violin..

The Man:
It makes my ear better. So that when I’m close to a string or close to a note. I can hear it and look to see if it is a half step or a whole step down. Which allows me to make the fingering a lot easier. Which is working out well for me with this guitar thing I’m doing right now. Because I’m learning to play Blues Guitar. Which is a whole ‘nother interesting story in itself. I’ve actually had to learn – I think this is the third instrument I’ve had to learn how to play. I had to learn piano for “Caveman’s Valentine”. I had a piano tutor so that I could learn how to play the beginnings of each song until they got to complicated so they could go up from my hands to my face. While I was playing and I had to learn Cello for “No Good Deed” and I could actually play the songs on the Cello that were in the movie. Now I’m learning to play guitar. I’m learning specific songs and just general blue’s play. Interestingly enough, when I was doing “Freedomland” I was living in the Waldorf. This is when I first got there – and they were having the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Dinner in there one night and I was walking through the lobby and this woman who works with The O’Jays came and got me because Gerald was trying to find me to talk. So I went in. I never found them, but I was standing off stage a bit and watching U2 perform. I heard this voice come up behind me, “You need to play a bluesman in a movie because I want to teach you how to play guitar”. I turned around and it’s this woman who plays guitar on for Paul Schaffer on the Letterman Show – her name is Felicia Collins. Anyway I said, “Really?” she said, “Yeah no problem, (and on and on)” A week later, I got “Black Snake Moan” and I read it. And I went, “Damn, how weird is this?” So sure enough, when I got back to New York, I called her and she was like, “Sure, I’d be glad to.” So another weird thing is, I had gone to the academy awards. And one of the things in the gift basket was a Gibson Studio Model Guitar. You had to call them, they’d make it and send it to you. And I called them, they made the guitar and I go back to New York and all of the sudden, I’m learning how to play guitar with Felicia. And I get the job.

The Diva:
Amazing.

The Man:
The whole time I’m there, she is teaching me the rudiments of Blues Guitar. The next amazing thing is when I go to Vancouver to start Snakes on a Plane, I’m looking for a guitar teacher while I’m there and I had to visit the prop master and I’m talking about glasses and watches and all this other stuff. And he had a guitar in his office, I wa like “ Oh ww I’m learning to play the guitar right now.” And he was like, “Oh really. I play” I said, “Oh Yeah?” and he said, “sure” and he picked up the guitar and he just started whaling on this guitar. And I said “Daaayum. Can you play the Blues and he said sure” and he started playing all this stuff and from then on out, he became my guitar teacher. Everyday at lunch, he comes to my trailer and we play the blues together. Or I’ll play stuff that they taught me and he’ll show me how to play it easier or be more facile at it. So I’ve had this teacher for the last 2 and 1/ months sort of for free. I’ve been fortunate. It seems like everything is conspiring to get me to the place I need to get to.

The Diva:
It sounds like fate me. You mentioned prop master. Another thing people want to know – as excited as they are to see your next movie, they are just as excited to see what you are going to do with the characters appearance. You fans follow everything you do to the character be it a scare or a different hairstyle . Is this part of your process when you thinking about the role? Do you look at the character as a whole and decide, ”I want him to look like this”

The Man:
Yeah totally. Once I’ve read the script, I start thinking about his relationship to others on the script. I just read. What it means when he walks into a room. How people perceive him. What they see and what that means to him. It definitely speaks to what I think the character should look like. If he’s striking or if he is the guy in “Changing Lanes” – a guy that you would never take a second look at and just blends into the crowd. You know nondescript. Or if there is something outstanding abut him. So if the character had to be described they would have to start with a specific characteristic be it hair style or scars on the face or he had a discolored eye or whatever. So you think about those things all the time and for me, being able to not be me is part of playing the game you play when you are doing this. I can be me everyday.

The Diva:
So Derrick Vann. What was it about him that made you think having scars and skull earring – kinda like a bad boy.

The Man:
I had the skull earring because they wouldn’t let me wear the dice earrings that I had. The said it was too much dangling and it was distracting. Well yeah – the guy is undercover. Sometimes people forget what you look like because you have on something that takes their attention away from your face.. That’s part of the game, but they didn’t buy it so .. I wanted Vann to be this ultimate undercover guy. The last thing you would think of him as is an ATF agent. And I also wanted him to have the kind of look that when Andy (Eugene Levy’s character) that he would be so striking that Andy would freak out. He’s frightening looking. He talks tough. He has this bizarre hairdo that I’ve never seen before and all kind of rings in his ears and tattoos. I wanted him to be something way out of Andy’s world. In Andy’s wildest dreams he would not imagine meeting a guy who looks like that.

The Diva:
And you had the creative freedom to choose all of that.. with the exception of the earrings

The Man:
> Yeah we had to compromise on that.

The Diva:
I understand you have another movie coming ut called “Freedomland” you want to tell me a little about that?

The Man:
Yeah “Freedomland” Is from a Richard Price novel and it is essentially about a white woman who is carjacked in a black housing project. We find out later that her little boy is in the car and we have to find this car and hopefully the kid will still be in it and alive. She is assigned this Black cop named Lorenzo who grew up in the projects where she got jacked and it just so happens that her brother is a white cop in the next city over. That city is predominately white and they just decend upon the the projects. And they start torturing people and beating them down trying to find out who jacked the car. Lorenzo has always been the protector of those projects, but there is nothing he can do because he is off with her. But he is trying to get back to the projects and he can’t and the black people think that he has turned his back on them and he has become just one of the cops because of this white women and the white cops think he is trying to protect the black people because you’re either blue or black, You know? But he really has to solve this crime with this woman, you know “Why were you here at this time of night? Where’s your kid? Did someone really steal your car? Did you do something to your kid and you’re making this story up?” There is that element of it and Lorenzo has his own thing going on with his personal demons – his relationship with his kids. Being able to be a father figure to all this kids, but not being there for his own two kids. One is prison and the other won’t talk to him. It’s a pretty complicated plot.

The Diva:
It sounds character driven

The Man:
Oh totally character driven. Especially between me and Julianne Moore who plays the woman who got carjacked. She’s a pretty tortured soul herself. It’s her and her son and their relationship is part of the crux of what this whole movie is about and how it plays out and where he is and what’s happen.

The Diva:
You also are just wrapping up on “Snakes on a Plane” Tell us a little bit about it.

The Man:
Snakes on a Plane – it’s exactly what it sounds like. They changed the name to “Pacific Flight 121” But there seems to be a clamor for it to go back to “Snakes on a Plane” and I’m part of the “Snakes on a Plane” group that’s one of the reasons I took the job. I either want to see that movie or I don’t. Because that’s what it is. I’m an F.B.I. agent transporting a witness from Hawaii to Los Angeles. Who saw this big mobster who we have been trying to catch for years, murder somebody. And the guy puts a crate load of snakes on the plane that release when we are in the middle of the ocean, so we have to go on and these 3-400 snakes are getting loose on the plane – all over. And they are killing passengers. We’re trying to blockade and keep them in one place and they get through that place.

The Diva:
How many snakes did you say? 400?

The Man:
Yeah 400. a one point the air bags deploy and snakes and the airbags come down and they are biting people in the face. It’s real crazy.

The Diva:
This is another question from the website. It’s from Beatnik, one of the more prolific People on your site and he wants to know if you are ever coming to Idaho to play golf and when you get there, can he have a BBQ with you.

The Man:
[Laughs] There is a course in Idaho that I do want to play, I think it’s called Coeur D'Lene

The Diva:
Oh you mean Coeur D' Lene. That’s the border of Idaho and Washington. But he’s down in lower Idaho somewhere, but he said he’d come up to Coeur D' Lene if he had to.

The Man:
Yeah that’s course that everyone says you have to play. It’s in golf magazines all the time. So if I’m ever in that area or close enough to play it, I’ll definitely roll up in there.

The Diva:
Alright. Okay.

The Man:
But Idaho is not one of those states where a brotha is real welcome.

The Diva:
Right! Right right right. Stick to Coeur D' Lene don’t go further south – trust me on that. No doubt.

The Diva:
They got too many trees down south.

The Man:
Show you right!

 
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