*Bokeem Woodbine is in a good mood. He’s sporting a deliciously sly smile as he talks about his latest film, ‘Devil,’ out in theaters nationwide Sept. 17.
He’s very coy when answering questions, ever careful not to divulge any of the film’s secrets.
“My lips are sealed,” says Woodbine. “I think I’ve said too much already.”
Of course, since he literally hasn’t said a word about the film, he’s clearly joking.
In the M. Night Shyamalan thriller, shot last fall, Woodbine plays a security guard stuck in an elevator with several other people, one of whom is not who they say they are.
One of them is the ‘Devil.’
This is Woodbine’s first thriller. But, by the look of his credits, it’s easy to see that he likes to mix it up. He’s starred in “Black Dynamite,” “Ray,” “3000 Miles to Graceland,” “Soul Food,” “Life,” “The Rock,” “Dead Presidents” “Jason’s Lyric,” “Crooklyn” and more.
I caught up with the Harlem native to talk about his latest movie and what else he has up his creative sleeve.
Darlene Donloe: Tell me about Devil. You’re playing a security guard.
Bokeem Woodbine: Yeah, that’s about all I can say. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement. It’s an international thriller involving five people who under normal circumstances would never interact with each other. They are forced to try to survive the harrowing experience of being trapped in an elevator when they realize one of them is not who they are supposed to be.
DD: How did you come to be involved in this project?
BW: I auditioned for it. Initially, I blew it off after the audition. I mean so many people were going for it that are more well known. I mean, a lot of rappers were going for it. And, we’re in the era where a more popular rapper can grab a role just because he’s moving units. I put it out my mind. I was working on another picture, “Little Murder,” and my agent called and was like, “you got ‘Devil.'” I was like, ‘wow.’
DD: Is this the kind of genre you like?
BW: I’ve never done anything in this genre before. This is the first time I’ve worked in that genre. It’s very interesting because you’re not necessarily doing things that are steeped in reality. It’s its own challenge. Hopefully we pulled it off. Everybody seemed to have brought their A game.
DD: Are you an M. Night fan?
DD: What’s your favorite M. Night Shyamalan movie?
BW: I would have to say, “Unbreakable.”
DD: When is “Little Murder” coming out?
BW: Don’t know. But, it stars Josh Lucas, Terrence Howard, Lake Bell. It takes place in New Orleans, post-Katrina. A cop uses a house to stake out someone he thinks is guilty of a crime. The house is haunted with the ghost of a woman who has been murdered and she wants him to help her solve the case.
DD: You seem to be the man of the hour.
BW: Well, you know, (laughter) I’m having a good little run right now. Lets hope the momentum keeps going and builds and everything gets bigger and brighter for Bokeem Woodbine.
DD: I understand you’re also in a band. What’s the name?
BW: 13 Purple Dragons.
DD: What kind of music?
BW: It’s a rock n roll band. It’s a three-piece rock n roll band.
DD: Are you any good?
BW: We tear it up. It’s real rock n roll and I’m proud of it. It’s something I’ve been working on for a while. I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years. It’s another expression.
DD: I hear you can sing.
BW: Yeah, yeah, I’m the lead singer too. I play lead guitar and sing and there is a bass player and drummer. It’s like you know Band of Gypsies and Nirvana as far as the stripped down to the bear elements of rock n roll set up. Hopefully, people will give us a chance. They can check us out at 13PurpleDragons.net or YouTube us under 13 Purple Dragons or check out headdownhopesuphigh on YouTube. There might be more info on bokeemwoodbine.net
DD: What else are you doing?
BW: That’s it. Hitting the ground running. The last film I wrapped out of three months ago was The Exodus of Charlie Wright, starring Aidan Quinn, Andy Garcia, Gina Gershon, Mario Van Peebles and me. It should be out early next year. We’ll see what happens next.
Watch the trailer for ‘Devil’ Here: