forest whitaker*Forest Whitaker does his thug-thizzle in new movie, “Zulu,” a controversial film portraying the violent side of South African gang culture.

Playing the role of a cop in search of a murderer of a white teenager, Whitaker shared with the Associated Press the type of preparation he did for the role.

“I met the actual gang members from the different communities: the Zulu gang leaders, and the different members out of the prisons… I find that it helps to find the source of the character,” the actor said.

He continued, “I was dealing with officers, and people in the community were saying: “They’re not listening to us. They’re not helping us. They’re allowing people to do these horrible things in our neighborhood. We have to take charge. We are the elders of this community, and we are not going to allow certain things to happen.”

The film has been criticized for its highly graphic scenes, including mutilation and rape.

“The violent crimes unit took me around quite a bit … which helped me understand what it was like to be around the townships,” he said, adding that he also learned Zulu and Afrikaans in the weeks that led up up to filming.

“There were a number of “necklacings” in Khayelitsha, even while we were there,” said Whitaker, referring to the shocking method of summary execution and torture carried out by forcing a rubber tire, filled with petrol, around a victim’s chest and arms, and setting it on fire.

Check out the full storyat theGrio.