A recent article in the New York Times cites popular shows like “HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire” as those that attract the commander-in-chief, in addition to AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and “Homeland” on Showtime.
*Despite all of the clamor surrounding the first “Hunger Games” film and book series, Jeffrey Wright said he had no idea of its popularity when he joined the cast for the sequel…just like a certain co-star in the film with the last name Kravitz.
“Like Lenny, I was maybe in a jungle in West Africa somewhere, or in Sierra Leone, so I missed out on a lot of the fanfare around the first one,” admitted Wright at a recent press conference for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” opening Friday.
The 47-year-old DC native plays Beetee, a former winner of the Hunger Games with a talent for using electronic equipment. He assists Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) through the competition against a host of past victors.
“One of the things aside from the thematics of the storytelling that attracted me to this was that there had already been this extraordinary work done by many of the folks who are assembled here,” said Wright, seated alongside his co-stars. “So I had an opportunity then to kind of piggyback on their efforts.”
When he finally got hip to the underlying themes of class and power present in the Hunger Games stories, and the strength of main character Katniss, Wright says he was impressed.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” opens Friday, Nov 22. Watch the trailer below.
The series brought out our inner mobster and has us glued to the screen every Sunday on HBO. Actor MichaelK. Williams is one of our favorite characters.
The actor first made headlines when he starred in The Wire but he traded his Baltimore swag for a time warp back to the 1920s as Chalky. Similar roles put in different eras, Williams easily transforms into this role well.
Recently,media partner, theJasmineBRAND.com chatted with him about being intimidated on the HBO series, if he’d consider talking his talents back on ‘The Wire’, along with hints that a man is in love.
Jasmine BRAND: Do you relate to that character the most or do you relate to another character on the show?
Michael K. Williams: I relate to all my characters. That’s how I bring truth and reality to them. It’s I have to find something within their characteristics and demeanor which I can relate to and I feel in myself, of whatever it may be. So yeah, there’s definitely qualities of Chalky that I relate to.
Yeah I’m always intimidated. I’m still a baby in this business I consider myself. You know when they told me they were bringing Jeffrey Wright to go through the toll with me, I was extremely intimidated. Steve Buscemi, another veteran that I was intimidated by. They really make me step my game up. They welcome me and I feed off of them, I learn from them, just in little things I watch them, I watch them work and fix; and learn and apply it to myself so, you know – I always wanted to be around people that were better than me, that’s how I get better. And I’m constantly surrounded by people who I think, are better than me.
You know, everybody asks all the time – would you consider doing ‘The Wire’ again, like if it came back? The show, that we all fell in love with?
If the script is right, you know, David Simon of course would have to give his blessing but if the script is right, the project felt right, of course, why not?
Visit theJasmineBRAND.com for the full interview.
*Remember the woman in Atlanta who read “A Purpose Driven Life” and talked about God to her kidnapper and calmed him down enough to let her go? Well that story is being turned into a feature film.
“Boardwalk Empire” star Michael K. Williams and “The Butler’s” David Oyelowo are set for the upcoming “Captive,” directed by Jerry Jameson and written by Brian Bird and Reinhard Denke.
The film is a fictionalized version of the well-known true story, according to Deadline.com. While Ashley Smith, a single mom, struggles to overcome her drug addiction to regain custody of her daughter, she’s taken hostage by an escaped, quadruple murderer. Her only defenses: faith in God, a love for her daughter, and the book A Purpose Driven Life, parts of which she reads aloud to her captor during the harrowing ordeal. This leads to a surprising epiphany for both Ashley and the convict.
Williams plays a lead detective in the film that begins shooting this weekend in North Carolina. Oyelowo is likely the Brian Nichols character who in real life overpowered an Atlanta courthouse deputy as he was being escorted to court for a rape trial on March 11, 2005. He then shot and killed the presiding judge and a court reporter before killing another deputy as he left the courthouse. Later he killed a federal agent in an attempt to flee authorities.
HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” has been a hit television series for the better part of three years and is gearing up to bring its African American characters away from the show’s peripheral and into the limelight as the character Chalky White begins his possible ascension with the acquisition of the Onyx Club on the Boardwalk.
Though he still is not considered Nucky Thompson’s equal, White (played by actor Michael Kenneth Williams) has the potential to become more than an also ran on the show. However, Season four of “Boardwalk Empire” also witnesses the introduction of two new characters who are pivotal to the story arc: Dr. Narcisse, played by actor Jeffrey Wright, and lounge singer Daughter Maitland, played by actress Margot Bingham.
I had the chance to speak with each of these performers regarding their respective characters while covering the red carpet at the 17th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival. The footage is below.
Watch “Boardwalk Empire” Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO
*As HBO’s critically acclaimed drama “Boardwalk Empire” ventures across 110th street, opportunities to enrich the storyline have developed, as well as the introduction of more diverse cast members.
Of the new faces this season, the great Jeffrey Wright has been introduced as Dr. Valentin Narcisse and a newcomer to television made her debut as Daughter Maitland, Margot Bingham. Bingham, or Margot B as she’s also known, is a multi-talented singer/actress that brings an added dimension to the show as a singer in Chalky White’s Onyx Club.
While she still may be pinching herself for landing the role, Margot understands that nothing is promised even though she’s now part of one of television’s top shows. You can attribute that to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, which teaches its residents about the grit and grind of life and not taking anything for granted. That grit showed itself to be true as she endured eight callbacks during the audition process and found herself in a stiff competition with a few great actresses she’d grown fond of through the process. However, she landed the role and on the first day of taping found herself opposite of Wright and Michael K. Williams — she was really there.
Trained in musical theatre and fresh off a role in the off-Broadway revival of “Rent,” Margot B. splits her time these days on the set of ‘Boardwalk’, while performing around New York City and constantly writing material for an upcoming album. The goals don’t change as dreams are achieved; the motivation intensifies as she continues to grow in and out of the studio and creates music that reflects the growth. The beauty of her role as Daughter Maitland is that her on-screen songs will score the drama of the season and traverse her own story arc as she finds herself in a few scandalous situations. Two of those songs, “I’m Going South” and “Somebody Loves Me” can be found on the show’s soundtrack alongside the likes of Elvis Costello, Liza Minnelli and Patti Smith. The opportunity to warp into a time when the music was so rich with possibilities is a delight to Margot as is the chance to wear the costumes and adorn the glamour of her character. But it’s what lies beneath the makeup that truly makes up Daughter Maitland … and Margot B.
As an independent artist trying to carve out a niche in the crowded streets of New York City, Bingham relates to Daughter Maitland in ways the camera could never capture; she’s been doubted, marginalized and overlooked as a woman or just another pretty face, but she’s kept her feet planted firmly and has seen a change in the tide since she landed the role in “Rent.” She’s appeared in a string of commercials for Revlon, Nikon and Reebok and was also a season 2 star of the webseries “In Between Men.” Her plate remains full, but it’s behind a microphone, as she will be at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on September 28th where Margot is most comfortable. The live show at BAM on Saturday is the opportunity to share new material and new arrangements to show off the progress she’s made as a performer over the years. Her jazzy sound is punctuated with a gritty soul edge as she fronts a live band and performs songs from her catalog and a few covers.
For many, landing a role on a show with the prestige of “Boardwalk Empire” would be the cherry on top, but for Margot B. it’s just the beginning. She’s poised to build off this season and introduce her music to new fans, as she continues to grow into the woman she wants to be. Yes, the task seems tall, but she’s already proven to have what it takes to make it. Just give her a little time and we’ll all be waiting to see what Margot B. does next.
Stay current with Margot Bingham at www.MargotB.com and via Facebook (Margot B.). If you’re in the New York City area, drop by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for her free show on Saturday, September 28th (details can be found here).