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Actor Charlz Williams inflicts black bigotry in 'Throw the Dog a Bone'
February 20, 201512:48 PM MST
[Actor Charlz Williams]
Throw the Dog a Bone
When you think of discrimination -- what pops into your head? I’m guessing it’s not the black on black variety. This lesser known bigotry is real and on full display in the new dramatic short film Throw the Dog a Bone, which recently screened at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Actor Charlz Williams stars in the film and I recently had a chance to interview him about his experience on the project.
Give us an overview of “Throw the Dog a Bone” and your role in it.
CHARLZ: Directed by William Bright, THROW THE DOG A BONE shares the story of Mercury Rene Adams (Tish Wright), a brilliant girl from a disadvantaged background who has a chance to live her dream of attending a very prestigious university, but quickly discovers the moral price she’s expected to pay. I join in the tale as Professor Colburn, a bias faculty advisor who believes Mercury isn't the right caliber’ to attend such an Ivy League institution.
I have been assigned as the faculty adviser to a young African-American coed (Tish Wright) who is being accused of cheating to gain admission into the university. It becomes clear from the start that I am opinionated and do not like her because I angrily refer to her as, "You people". I then go about trying to make life on campus difficult for her because I want her to "Quit and go home". I even pull the race card on her in a closed-door office meeting.
How did you prepare for the role?
CHARLZ: I started my preparation for the role by having in-depth conversations with Director William Bright about how he foresaw the character's personality and short comings. I talked to the writer, Jocelyn Stewart. I read the script numerous times in an effort to allow the numerous circumstances in the story involving my character and his interactions with the young coed, Mercury, to become clear to me. I goggle searched words and synonyms in an effort to find different ways to say what the professor was saying in the script. I tried it while applying different moods. I worked on finding the right facial nonverbal demeanor, speech pattern, you name it. Eventually, I came up with what I felt was a good fit for his personality and what I thought motivated this black man to show so much contempt toward a young black woman.
Did you realize that your character would be disliked by audiences?
CHARLZ: Oh, absolutely. I knew that Professor Colburn was going to be strongly disliked and especially by African-Americans. In part, because Mercury, (Tish Wright) is such a beautiful young black woman and her character is so sweet. But, the professor is hating on her. American society in general doesn't accept a lack of fair play. Especially when it is the "system" vs. the weak or innocent. Hate is bitter enough as it is. But, when you have one of your own trying to hold you back, somebody is going to dislike you. And, of course, viewers haven't been shy about telling me how they feel about my character.
What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
CHARLZ: As sad as it is, sometimes the one holding you back may look just like you. But, ultimately, righteousness will win out in the end. Whether it is due to the rule of law or because people are basically good.
If we could wave a magic wand and go back -- is there anything you would change about your performance?
CHARLZ: I can't say that I would change anything about my performance. I put a lot of effort into bringing Professor Colburn to life and would play him pretty much the same a second time around.
Do you prefer comedy over drama?
CHARLZ: I love intense drama. Especially the kind that makes the viewer have to think about what they are viewing. Although, I have to admit that I have a natural funny bone in me and it doesn't take much for me to ham it up. I am about to produce and direct a short comedy that I wrote and everyone who reads it laughs out loud and tells me that its funny. I am fortunate enough to get to live my life as a story teller. So, I am not turning down any work.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
CHARLZ: Well, I am going to scoop the readers on something and I hope that it is okay to say this. But, this film may not be the last that anyone sees of Professor Colburn. You may have to sit four times longer the next time. Wink. Wink.
Thanks, Charlz – we can’t wait to ‘dislike’ you even more! Wink. Wink.
Actor Charlz Williams Discriminates in "Throw the Dog a Bone" at AFFNews by HollyWoodBigFan
posted 7 months ago Charlz Williams
Actor Charlz Williams helps shed some light on black on black discrimination in the new dramatic short “Throw the Dog a Bone.” The film is screening on February 14th & 16 as part of the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and I recently caught up with Charlz to find out more.
Tell us about your role in “Throw the Dog a Bone.”
CHARLZ: I play the role of a college professor at an Ivy League institution who has been assigned as the faculty adviser to a your African-American coed who is being accused of cheating to gain admission into the college. It becomes clear from the start that I am opinionated and do not like her
because I angrily refer to her as, "You people". I then go about trying to make life on campus difficult for her because I want her to "Quit and go home".
What would you consider your characters ‘best’ quality? And their ‘worst’?
CHARLZ: My character best quality is that he is committed to something even through his thinking is not in alignment with those around him. His worth quality is that he is full of anger, resentment, and self-hate and he wants to project that anger into the lives of others. In this case a beautiful young girls (Tish Wright) who is simply trying to better herself by attending
Did you realize your character would be so disliked – what’s that been like?
CHARLZ: Yes, I had a strong clue that my character would be disliked because no one approves of having to tolerate mean people. And this character is a mean person. When we were preparing to film the movie Director, William Bright told me to prepare to have movie goers tell me how much they hated my character. As a human being I can tell you that it feels really strange to have total strangers walk up to me and the first thing out of their mouths is, "I hate you". As an actor, I am extremely pleased that my performance is believable and that viewers can escape reality and believe what they are seeing.
Any interesting stories from the set you can share with us?
CHARLZ: Yes, there is a funny story that happen during filming and it involved some of the other actors. If you look at my face on the movie poster, you can see that I have a definite scowl on my face. During filming, other actors walked around the set trying to imitate my look and asking me to tell them how I was able to keep that look on my face for so long. That made me laugh and I had to concentrate really hard so that I could look mean again.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned from working on this project?
CHARLZ: Working on this film taught me that I have the capacity to take on deeply disturbing character roles. Roles that deeply impact audiences and causes a conversation to start. Another important lesson was that character counts. In the end, it is the quality of a person's character that pulls them through hardship.
And, now just for fun: What’s your favorite food?
CHARLZ: My favorite food is Caribbean food. I love plantains, jerk chicken, red beans and rice. Now, you did it. We have to stop this interview so that I can go fine so juicy plantains.
Cats or dogs?
CHARLZ: I like how cats are so playful and loving but love how dogs go absolutely wild when they see you coming. I love how they jump all over me begging to play. They are so much fun!
Favorite movie from your childhood.
CHARLZ: My favorite movie from childhood was Tarzan because I wanted to run free in the jungle and swing from the trees and have a pet Chimpanzee. My favorite television show was Batman. I always wanted to be Batman.
Tell us one thing that would surprise our readers to learn about you.
CHARLZ: I look tough, but I run from snakes
How can fans keep up with you?
CHARLZ: I love fans. So, my website www.charlzwilliams.com is a wonderful way for fans to keep up with me and to see what I am doing next.