I care about people. In the end, I think they feel it. It comes across, regardless of the character I'm portraying.

— Forest Whitaker

The most instructive Forest Whitaker quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

The true wealth of a community is measured by how carefully it listens to its women and how sincerely it values their wisdom. Empowering women empowers us all.

22

In a lot of films, they're showing more complete, developed characters of diverse ethnic backgrounds. The larger concern is to be able to tastefully explore the stereotypes, and still move past them to see the core of people.

13

There's a thing you confront when you're going into something new and you come to this sort of abyss, and then you push yourself. It makes you try different things.

12

Since Idi Amin was from the Sudanese section in the north of Uganda, he was darker skinned. He had more of a blue undertone. So, we did change the coloring of my skin to be closer to his. But otherwise, there were no transformations besides acting.

11

I stay true, because whatever the project is, I'm still looking for inside of that character.

11

I went through two schools of acting but I learned more about acting from meditating and from my marshall arts teacher.

10

I can play a man who's despicable. But I'll still look inside him to find a point of connection. If I can find that kernel, audiences will relate to me.

10

I try to serve the character all the time;

this one took a lot of work and was consuming. It's like climbing up a ladder and sometimes you're afraid to face yourself so you make excuses; you avoid going to the top of the ladder and look in the mirror.

9

I found the people to be very kind and generous.

It was unique because the crew was mainly Ugandan [filming The Last King of Scotland]. They had never done a film before. So, they were learning the process of making films, but at the same time they were also helping with the authenticity of the film.

9

I like to play complex characters and the duality, and trying to reach for the light, it's more interesting really. I've gotten to play so many types of guys and I just try to find the humanity in each one of them the best I can.

8

And God, God who believes in us all. And who's given me this moment, in this lifetime, that I will hopefully carry to the end of my lifetime into the next lifetime.

8

I was pretty much consumed by this character.

Even when I was off, I was continually searching to find something else new about [Idi] Amin, and to embed myself deeper into the culture to the point that, in the end, I was so entrenched that I could tell what tribe someone was from just by looking at them.

8

About Forest Whitaker

Quotes 49 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Actor
Birthday October 16

I do look at that thematic of healing of humanity.

6

My parents moved to Los Angeles when I was really young, but I spent every summer with my grandparents, and I'd stay with my grandfather on the farm in Longview. He was retired from the railroad, and he had a small farm with some cows and some pigs. I remember part of my youth was feeding hogs and plowing fields and stuff, so that's a part of me.

4

When I was a kid, the only way I saw movies was from the back seat of my family's car at the drive-in.

3

I never acted in anything I've directed but I have produced a number of films and I have acted in some of the movies I've produced. Usually with first time filmmakers and pushing a move forward I have played a small role but never the lead.

3

I'm really excited that people are receiving my performance like this.

It makes me feel good, because I've been working really hard. And this character [Idi Amin], I worked particularly hard on. But I don't want to get too caught up in it, because first of all, it could lead to a great disappointment. You never know what's going to happen.

0

It is important to make the best out of every generation.

0

There are places where life could exist.

And we've already discovered that there's been life on certain planets that we've explored. That may just be algae or whatever, but life on Earth began a certain way, too.

0

We have to not just open our eyes to what's going on in other places;

we need to open our eyes to what's going on right in front of us.

0

It is possible for a kid from east Texas, raised in south central LA and Carson, who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them and to have them happen.

0

I hope that audiences respond really positively.

I think it's a very intense, entertaining film [The Last King of Scotland], because you're brought in on a fun ride, and slowly you fall into it as James [actor James McAvoy's character, Dr. Nicholas Garrigan] does. Nicholas is like the audience. I think it's a good ride for people. And you learn something, as well.

0

I was trying to capture this man's [Idi Amin] energy, and I did a lot of research in studying him. I tried to capture his 'Warrior King' energy inside of me as much as possible.

0

I think the place fed me completely. Not only was I in Uganda, but I was around many people who had a personal relationship with Idi Amin. I was eating the food constantly. I was culturally hanging out with the people. You can't help but absorb the energy, and try to get inside the culture.

0

I certainly don' think I could've played the character [Idi Amin] the same way without being in Uganda. I loved working in Uganda.

0

Filming in Africa touched something really deep inside of me, really.

It changed my matrix, my insides. My blood even feels kinda different. I don't know how to describe it. It's really kind of Eucharistic. I feel like I ate the place and now it's part of my system, part of my being. I'm not claiming that now I know what it's like to be African, but that now I have a deeper understanding of myself.

0

As an artist, it's a great opportunity to play a character like this [Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland]. And then, as a person, I had never been to the African continent. So, I knew, personally, it would reshape me.

0

There are people [in Uganda] who hate Idi Amin, a small amount.

And then there are the people who really admire him, like a hero. And then there's a large group who say, 'We know that all these murders and atrocities occurred, but he did all these great things.'

0

It's a unique experience when you're doing an independent film where you have one person who puts up all the funds to make the film.

0

I started by studying Kiswahili to learn the dialect.

Then, I studied tapes, documentaries, footage, and audio cassettes of Idi Amin's speeches. And I met with his brothers, his sisters, his ministers, his generals' all kinds of people, in order to try to understand him.

0

Because I was playing Idi Amin, who dealt with the colonisation issue, I became aware of this internalised conflict of what it means to be torn between cultures, what it means to be taken over by other cultures.

0

Visit to Africa reshaped my point-of-view of colonialism.

It reshaped my point-of-view of my own sense of source, and my own place of birth. It made it more organic inside of me, because it placed me in a position where my job was to understand and to become more African.

0

Things are shifting; man is evolving in many different ways. The Internet has created a portal for people to connect with each other in a way they never could have before. When it comes to African-American or black films, it's different because there is a model that you can actually look at, an equation that shows that these films earn money.

0

I've always wanted to do characters that would help me find my connection with others and connect all of us together. You always want the energy of the character, the spirit of the person, to enter you.

0

Trying to understand, inside, what it is to be Ugandan was crucial to the character, because there are Ugandan ways of doing things that I was trying to capture. Even if I had made this movie in South Africa, it would not have been the same, because it is so specific to Uganda.

0

The other night I was walking down the stairs behind one of my daughters.

I was tired, and she was goofing around, you know like kids do, doing all this stupid stuff on the stairs. And I was thinking, please just go down the stairs and let's get you to bed. It's after your bedtime. I've had enough for one day. And then I sort of caught myself. I snapped out of it. I was like, 'dude, you should be dancing down the stairs behind her'!

0

I do believe there's life other than on our planet.

0

In my career, I've had people talking about different things many times, but then not get nominated.

0

Until film is just as easily accessible as a pen or pencil, then it's not completely an art form. In painting you can just pick up a piece of chalk, a stick or whatever. In sculpture you can get a rock. Writing you just need a pencil and paper.

0

I'm an actor. And I guess I've done so many movies I've achieved some high visibility. But a star? I guess I still think of myself as kind of a worker ant.

0

In every project, I always look for the depth of humanity inside of it.

I'm just trying to say if we can help in some way heal the equation with [Afro-Americans] what's going on with us as people.

0

I could never have gone to Africa another way and had the same experience.

It was my job and my joy at the same time.

0

As an actor, I've always wanted to do characters that would help me find my connection with others and connect all of us together. You always want the energy of the character, the spirit of the person, to enter you. I've been doing this for 26 years and some of the things I've done are always with me.

0

I try to be like a forest: revitalizing and constantly growing.

0

I really wasn't even sure if I should continue acting.

I would like try and figure out if I could be good enough to do it. It was like 10 or 12 years into my career before I felt like maybe I can do it. It was such a different time than now.

0

I think the biggest thing that motivates me when I'm choosing a part is a role that will help me continue to grow as a person and as an artist, and a role that will deepen my understanding of humanity, and my connection to it.

0

I'm just looking for characters that continue to make me stretch and grow and learn more about the human condition.

0

Stereotypes do exist, but we have to walk through them.

0
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