Malcolm-Jamal Warner Interview: Sharing Humility in Hollywood
Humility. Does it still exist? With enabling our generations’ self entitlement and rewarding bad behavior, humbleness is a true craft that no one cares to study anymore. With the exception of rising stars such as KeKe Plamer and Tristian Wilds, it’s rare we come across entertainers that posses the same class, respect, and integrity that our legends once carried. Instead, we live in a society where twitter beefs are the norm and thirty minute stage rants on how life isn’t treating them fair are almost expected. (Cough, Cough, Kanye).
Plagued by brat-like decorum, it’s refreshing to speak with someone who’s values have not been compromised and still remains humble in Hollywood. With the current fall TV line up approaching, Bleu has been fortunate to speak with the legendary Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Best known for his work on the comedic series The Cosby’s, playing the outgoing Theo Huxtable, Malcolm has done numerous projects over the years including TNT’s Hawthorne along side Jada Pinkett Smith, and BET’s Read Between the Lines as the devoted husband and father to co-star Tracee Ellis Ross. With recurring roles on two major shows such as FX’s Sons Of Anarchy, and TNT’s Major Crimes, Mr. Warner is no stranger to hard work. Adding theater to his busy schedule is no big deal.
Starring in the reprising of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in Sidney Poitier’s role as Dr. John, Warner has returned to his roots in theater. Warner explains his history in theater saying, “I actually started out in theater as a child before I did Cosby’s. I return to theater every three years because that’s where the foundation of acting starts. He continues saying, “acting requires various muscles. Film, television, and theater all require something different. I don’t want to do just one for too long because that’s the technique you’ll deliver. As the conscious thespian reflects on the tools that has made him the amazing actor he is today, he elaborates by saying, “Even if you get stuck in Television for too long you can get stuck bringing that television acting to film or theater. The trick is when you do all three mediums you should have enough mastery of all three crafts using the right muscles for correct platform.”
Two hits shows, a stage play, and further projects on the way, one must wonder how does an actor balance a workload of this magnitude? “It starts out working with your producers and networks who like you enough to work around your schedule, said Warner modestly chuckling. “So while in LA, I was shooting Major Crimes and Sons Of Anarchy. I’ve been in Boston for the last two months working on the play, but I return to Los Angeles to finish major crimes and hopefully return to Son’s of Anarchy.” As the world anxiously waited the return of the show, the premier left everyone anticipating what’s next to come. Especially for the newest character on the show played by no other than Warner. He sheds light on his role saying, “On Sons of Anarchy, I am the vice president of the Grim Masters, so I work along side with Michael Beach, who is the President. The grim masters are the charters to the Sons of Anarchy, so their tight and really work well together by having each others back. Its kind of cool playing sticky which is my character on the show who is a living outlaw, and on Major Crimes I’m playing the law. I get to play opposite sides of the spectrum.”
As the former Huxtable still continues to work in Hollywood, it’s no secret that perhaps his Cosby days has groomed his discipline to take on multiple shows. Starting out when roles for African-Americans were rarely offered, let alone an entire cast for that matter, representing a family was non existent. Fast forward to the fall season of 2014, and we can refreshingly see diversity everywhere. With the New comedy series Black`ish on ABC, comparisons to The Cosby Show has consistently flown around. As a result, Warner rightfully shares his opinion on the new series considering that he is apart of the very iconic show that its being honorably compared to. Warner explains with excitement saying, “I have not seen the show yet but what I know of the series and the trailers. I saw it speaks and represents a large group of African-American parents that are upper middle class and apart of corporate America. They all share concerns if their children are receiving enough of the Black culture, especially when they attend predominantly white schools and have predominately white friends. The show definitely has potential especially with Anthony Anderson and Traci Ellis Ross, who are both very funny. Also, I know and have a lot of respect for the show’s creator Kenya Barris. I’m looking forward to seeing the show.”
It was an honor to speak with such an iconic actor and someone who still remains down to earth and dedicated to their art. To catch the star in action, you can watch the newest edition to Sons of Anarchy every Tuesday night @ 10:00pm or Monday nights @ 10:00pm on TNT. If theater is more your style then the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner stage play would be perfect for you. Either way, you will witness greatness on screen or the stage.