Walking With The Stars: Actor David Harewood MBE
Good or Evil? What is your favourite role you have played?
I think I had the most fun creating the character of Captain Poison in the film Blood Diamond. Originally he was only in two scenes in the film but as I read the script it occurred to me that he should be a presence throughout the movie especially as there were so many scenes in the ‘rebel camp’ at the diamond mines. I mentioned it to Ed Zwick the Director at an early meeting but he thought I was just trying to make my part bigger! Come my first day of filming and I see Ed is doing this huge sweeping shot of the mines, with all the workers and men digging in trenches, yet I only had four lines of dialogue, so I started to improvise! “R.U.F is fighting for the people! R.U.F is fighting for Sierra Leone!!” The white man wants to crush you!” and on and on. After about an hour Ed Zwick walks up to me and says, “Where are you getting all that dialogue?” I told him what I was doing and he said: “Keep going - don’t stop!” 10 hours later after filming, I was getting changed and Ed Zwick knocked on my door. The first thing he said to me was, “About your character... you’re absolutely right about what you said!” That night he re-wrote the structure of the film to make my character the defacto ‘bad guy’ of the movie! I had a blast and Ed gave me a lot of freedom. So basically the answer to your question is EVIL!
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Superpower would be Super strength and Flight! That way I could not only get around really easily but I could also kick butt when I got there.
What is your favourite moment of the season so far?
Favourite moment of the season has been having the opportunity to work with Carl Lumby who is playing my father. It’s nice to play something with an emotional anchor and not just abstract space dilemmas. Working with Carl has been really enjoyable.
What’s in store for J’onn J’onnz this season?
I wish I knew! We have a general idea where things are heading but as actors we really don’t know how things in the writing room are playing out. We have a lovely cast and we get along really well so whatever they come up with we’ll find a way to enjoy ourselves.
How do you see your relationship evolving with Alex and Kara after starting as a paternal figure and inheriting the title ‘Space Dad? Can you hint at any changes in dynamic?
I think the characters have moved on from the first season, they’ve been exploring their own lives, Alex with Maggie and Kara with Mon El but I would love to see more of that personal interplay we had in season 1. I love being Space Dad! And I really enjoy working with Chyler and Melissa so hopefully we get some of that again.
Any plans for a Martian Manhunter series spin off?
I’d love to do a spin off! I’m not sure how possible it would be though but I do have some ideas. Every now and again I’ll pick up one of my many Martian Manhunter comics and scan them for inspiration… One of these days I might actually sit down and put something on paper.
What is it like working on a female driven show?
It’s a great atmosphere on set and much of that is down to our lead Melissa Benoist who works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen. Personally I love having so many strong female characters around, it’s definitely different from the Alpha
norm but I rather like it! I’ve been lucky to work on sets with strong female leads before most notably with Claire Danes in HOMELAND and it was a different treat then but equally satisfying.
A presence and success on both sides of the Atlantic gives you a powerful platform for change. What would be your message to the world?
Right now it’s a very worrying time around the world as we see right wing parties growing all over Europe and taking a hold in the US so I would encourage everyone to be vigilante and encourage people to challenge extreme ideas whenever and however they arise. We should always stand up to hatred and violence.
What is your wardrobe staple?
My wardrobe staple would be Jeans and a t-shirt with a jacket thrown over. I do enjoy wearing suits and being smart but I don’t get much of a chance to dress up when I’m filming, its all work, work, work. I miss my nights out at the weekends, it was kinda fun shooting in LA but up here in Vancouver it’s a little quiet.
What do you pack in your Jekyll and Hide holdall?
My holdall would usually contain toiletries, clothes, electronics and a book or script. I travel a lot so I would normally try and cover all bases with enough to both occupy and stimulate. It’s such a gorgeous bag that it a classy way of carrying around the fundamentals.
Until next time...