Keith David Williams (born June 4, 1956), better known as Keith David, is an American film, television, voice actor, and singer. He is perhaps most known for his live-action roles in such films as Crash, There’s Something About Mary, Barbershop and Men at Work. He has also had memorable roles in numerous cult favorites, including John Carpenter’s films The Thing (as Childs) and They Live (as Armitage), the Riddick films Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick (as the Imam), the General in Armageddon, King in Oliver Stone’s Platoon, and Big Tim in Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE ROLE IN CLOUD ATLAS?
Great Script, I’m always looking for a good story, and then how the character fits into that story. It was an epic piece. It’s an epic book too.
I did wonder how it was going to translate, but it translates wonderfully, and it’s a great adventure.
DO YOU THINK IT TRANSLATES FROM THE BOOK BECAUSE OF THE THREE PARTICULAR DIRECTORS YOU WERE WORKING WITH?Largely because of their vision, yes. They collaborated for quite a while on the movie, and how they were going to do it. They figured it out.They figured it out in a miraculous way, I think, it was not like working with two different teams. It was one very very well-thought out vision that they shared, and when I worked with either team, it was just seamless.
IT WAS THE SECRET SCREENING HERE IN AUSTIN FOR FANTASTIC FEST, AND EVERYONE CAME OUT OF IT BLOWN AWAY. AND THAT’S A TOUGH CROWD OF FILMMKAKERS. DID YOU THINK IT WOULD RECEIVE THIS MUCH CRITICAL ACCLAIM SO EARLY, OR DID YOU KNOW IT FROM THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT?
I Knew it was a wonderful thing to work on, and I knew that in the final edit, if it was anything like the effort put into it, that it was going to be wonderful. It’s like an event, a wonderful theater, a night at the movies you’ll never forget.
You’ll want to go back and see it again, because it has it’s complexities, but the way that it’s made out, those complexities are not confusing.
HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE FOUR PARTS? THE SAME PERSON, BUT FOUR DIFFERENT CHARACTERS?
Well, I never had to do more than one at a time, so that was great (laughs).
I UNDERSTAND YOU’RE GOING TO BE DOING AN ACTING WORKSHOP IN TEXAS EVERY OTHER MONTH?
Yes, that’s the plan.
ARE YOU GOING TO CONCENTRATE IN THE DALLAS AREA? BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF ACTORS DOWN HERE (AUSTIN ) TOO.
I’d love to come down, we can schedule it out and make it happen.
WHAT IS YOUR METHOD OF ACTING?
I don’t know what it would be. I’ve studied for quite a long time, a lot of different methods.
No, I uncomplicate it. It’s not complicated at all. I use a litte bit of Stanislovsky’s “The Method,” but I call it “The Work.” That’s what we concentrate on, different ways of getting to the work.
FOR PEOPLE TO FIND OUT MORE, THEY’VE GOT TO GO TO YOUR WORKSHOP.
The Work Shops are being organized by Al Dias, Actor/ Producer and President of Organized Management/ Film Productions and will be hosted in different venues in different cities with the launch in Dallas/ Ft. Worth at the ScreenFX Acadamy.
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Al Dias, an actor/producer who’s latest project is producing a movie called “The Tailor (OFFICIAL SITE), based on a true story about a mob insider from the old Las Vegas of the late 60s throughout the 70’s, said “This isn’t just a work shop, it’s an experience and to have someone as humble and passionate about acting as Keith David willing to share insight, critique and professional guidance. Our first workshop started coincidentally the day “The Cloud Atlas” premiered last Friday, and it was an absolute success.”
AMFM: Alyssa, what was your favorite experience working with Keith in an actual production?
ALYSSA: “Watching him play Old Deuteronomy and sing, he was cool”
AMFM: Did you feel like you learned much from Keith?
“It was really fun and I was little nervous at first. I like hearing him speak. I really remember him telling us not to be acting in a vacuum, to do you’re best. He said you won’t get every audition you try-out for..just do your best and make that good enough for you. He said learning your roles makes it a part of you, and memorizing it makes you canned.”
1. AL DIAS AND KEITH DAVID