http://www.examiner.com .../actor-charlz-williams-inflicts-black-bigotry-throw-the- dog-a-bone
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CELEBRITY film bigotry
pan african film festival actor
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.