Friday, March 3, 2017

TEATRO ESPEJO PRESENTS: "Welcome to Arroyo’s"

A hip-hop theatre coming-of-age story by Pulitizer Prize finalist, Kristoffer Diaz

March 17 – April 9, 2017 California Stage, Sacramento, CA
Preview: Friday, March 17, 2017
Opening Night: Saturday, March 18, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA – Teatro Espejo, Sacramento’s longest running Latino theatre company, opens their production of Welcome to Arroyo’s by Kristoffer Diaz on March 18, 2017, with a preview on March 17. The play runs through April 9 at California Stage. Welcome to Arroyo’s is a modern-day tale of love, loss and family bonds told through a lens of hiphop and youthful energy.

Alejandro Arroyo owns the newest (and cleanest) bar in New York City's Lower East Side. He insists it’s a “lounge” and works non-stop to try to make it the hottest spot in the LES. His younger sister, Molly, has a nasty habit of writing graffiti on the back wall of the local police precinct. Officer Derek, a recent NYC transplant with something to prove, has a series of run-ins with Molly. Lelly Santiago, a socially awkward college student who calls herself “a nerdy little Puerto Rican girl,” may have discovered that the Arroyo siblings' late mother was one of the founders of hip-hop music.

Two fresh and funny DJs, who call themselves the “TripNel Cartel” – a play on words off their real names – and who Diaz uses as narrators in the style of a Greek chorus, spin the story, rewind scenes, and create community in this hip-hop theater coming-of-age story.

New York playwright Diaz was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, which won a 2011 Obie Award for Best New American Play. Welcome to Arroyo’s, one of his early plays, is an homage to hip-hop that daringly writes women into the narrative of the foundations of hip-hop.

The play has a feminist bent, with a talented female graffiti artist whose late mother may hold a significant place in hip-hop history; and a highly enthused female grad student, whose love for (and research about) hip-hop has no boundaries.

The play is directed by Nicole C. Limón a long time member of Teatro Espejo. Music direction is by Adam Freas, with Mike Brim and DJ Jonathan Reyes of local hip-hop education organization, The Low End Theory Collaborative. The cast includes Ruben Oriol-Rivera as Alejandro Arroyo, Jezabel Olivares as Molly Arroyo, Bardo Gonzalez as Trip Goldstein, Ike Torres as Nelson Cardenal, Devin Valdez as Lelly Santiago, and Rhett Richardson as Officer Derek.

Welcome to Arroyo’s is produced by Teatro Espejo, Manuel José Pickett, Artistic Director.
March 17 –April 9, 2017 Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm Sundays at 2pm California Stage, 2509 R Street, Sacramento
Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students with I.D. (Tickets for March 17 Preview, $12.50) www.Arroyos2017.brownpapertickets.com Group Sales of 10+ contact: teatroespejo@hotmail.com


Friday, March 4, 2016

'We Like It Like That' Documentary Now Available

We kept hearing, 'Before Latin boogaloo, I wasn't really into Latin music. It was my parents' music.' - Mathew Ramirez Warren
If you were a child in the 1960s, you're probably familiar with Latin boogaloo. It was one of the countless music crazes that defined the decade.  But for many Hispanic people — then and now — it was much more than just a fad. It was an entry point to defining their unique identity in Canada and the U.S.

The genre's rise and fall is the subject of a new documentary called We Like It Like That. Director Mathew Ramirez Warren talks to Shad about the film and how boogaloo helped shape the American identity of Latin youth.   

We Like It Like That is a feature-length documentary film about Latin boogaloo, a colorful expression of 1960s Latino soul, straight from the streets of New York City.  Starring Latin boogaloo legends like Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon and Pete Rodriguez, We Like It Like That explores this lesser-known, but pivotal moment in Latin music history through original interviews, music recordings, live performances, dancing and rare archival footage and images.  From its origins to its recent resurgence, it is the story of a sound that redefined a generation and was too funky to keep down.  For more information on the film go to latinboogaloo.com.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Story of a Mexican American Musical Icon


BOOK REVIEW
by Adrian Perez

     Whether you’re Latino or not, if you enjoy Tex-Mex music, you’ve probably heard of Little Joe Y La Familia, the Grammy Award winning band that fused traditional Mexican, salsa, rock and roll, jazz and country western music to create a new revolutionary sound.  Initially established as Little Joe and the Latinaires in the early 1960s, the band’s image and sound changed over the years, leading to a name change as well to Little Joe Y La Familia.  Fronted by Jose Maria (Little Joe) Hernandez and his younger brother Juan (Johnny) Hernandez, the band offered a powerful sound with lead vocals and harmonics that resulted in a string of hits.  The combined musical and business talents of the brothers catapulted them from the cotton fields of Texas to international music stages where tens of thousands of fans cheered their performances.  Having reached a success of legendary status, what happened that split this musical dynamic duo?

     Many have said that Little Joe Y La Familia reached their musical peek in the late 1970s with their international mega hit “Las Nubes,” when rumors started about the band breaking up.  Some believed it was jealousy among siblings that led to the band’s fall, while others thought it was excessive use of illicit drugs.  Now, through the autobiography “The Cotton Picker – An Odyssey” by Johnny Hernandez, the myths and rumors of the Band’s breakup are told.

     This well written book takes the reader through several decades from the hardship of being born and raised in central Texas where many Mexican American families followed the cotton-picking season, through the pressures and excesses of being a musical star.  Johnny’s depiction of growing up in Temple, Texas, as a cotton-picker, will resonate with many former farmworkers whose working days usually started with the smell of fresh made flour tortillas.  Others will quickly relate to the experience of going to public school and facing a combination of discrimination and bullying, forcing Mexican Americans to band together for protection and survival.  However, perhaps it's Johnny’s telling of the respect and love he had for his family and friends as a preteen, a teenager and as an adult that makes his story extra unique.

     As he tells it, singing is what kept Johnny going when working the cotton fields during Texas’ hot and humid summers.  He often daydreamed that someday he would be performing on a stage in front of hundreds of cheering fans.  That dream almost did not become a reality because of Johnny's rebellious tendencies, which got him into legal trouble, had him drop out of school, and marry by age 16.  It was after getting married that Johnny began to learn the hard lessons of life, taking on various jobs to earn a living for him and his wife. 

     There were many people who entered Johnny’s life that slowly helped turn him around from his rebellious ways.  However, none was more influential than his brother Jesse, who had convinced Little Joe to make Johnny a part of Little Joe and the Latinaires.  It was brilliant move by Jesse, who was convinced the group was headed to stardom.  After recording their first major hit, “Por Un Amor,” Little Joe, Johnny and the Latinaires also hit the road for performances across Texas.  Unfortunately, Jesse was killed in a car accident before he could see his brothers reach the heights of their musical success.

     After releasing a string of hit songs, Little Joe moved the band to California where they discovered new musical sounds and performed with popular acts like MALO and Tower of Power.  During the late 60s and early 70s, the look and feel of the band fit in with the sounds and styles being created by Bay Area bands, winning over thousands of new fans, especially when they broke out with Tex-Mex music.  Johnny was also getting more solo singing opportunities, not only recording, but writing as well.  During this time, he also met and became friends with many Chicano music legends like Rick Stevens and Richard Bean.

     Being apart for lengths of time from his family, put a tremendous strain on Johnny’s marriage, resulting in his first divorce.  It was also around this time that Johnny met Pat, a beautiful Mexican American girl from Modesto, California, who became his second wife, and as Johnny declares, the true love of his life.  When the band moved back to Texas, Johnny took Pat with him and started a life together, but not everything was honey and roses.  Suddenly, Johnny began to feel anger directed at him by Little Joe, an anger that would determine the fate of Johnny's musical future and the Band's direction.

     “The Cotton Picker – An Odyssey” is a series of well-told stories by Johnny Hernandez who presents them in the form of a diary or journal, sharing the hardships and successes he achieved, as well as missed opportunities.  This book captures the realities of growing up poor in Texas where unfairness and discrimination are as common as compassion and equality, and where life is learned in the streets.  Johnny’s detailed description of his adventures, including a sudden trip to Veracruz Mexico, gives the reader the sense of being in the rider’s seat on a very unique, spur of the moment trip.  This book is easy, fun and interesting to read, but it’s the story telling of musical historical events that makes Johnny Hernandez’ “The Cotton Picker – An Odyssey” a must-have book.

Available at:  AMAZON; BARNES AND NOBLE; TOWER BOOKS.

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Robert Trujillo presents a new film about the Greatest Bass Player

Jaco Pastorius, The Greatest Bass Player

EXTRAORDINARY NEW FILM CHRONICLES LIFE AND MUSIC
OF LEGENDARY BASSIST/COMPOSER JACO PASTORIUS

 
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY TO BE AVAILABLE
VIA VOD, STREAMING SERVICES, DIGITAL DOWNLOAD VIA VIRGIL FILMS & ENTERTAINMENT, AND DVD/BLURAY

SONY/LEGACY TO ALSO RELEASE "JACO: OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK"


JACO IS RELEASED ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH


Robert Trujillo, in association with Passion Pictures, has announced the official multi-platform release of the acclaimed new documentary, JACO, directed by Mr. Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijak. The film - which chronicles the brief but extraordinary life of the great American musician/composer Jaco Pastorius - will be available via VOD, streaming services, and digital download on Friday, November 27th.

JACO will also have its official DVD/Blu-ray release that day, in association with Record Store Day and Black Friday 2015. That same day will also see the long anticipated release of "JACO: ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK," Sony/Legacy's official musical companion to the film. Full soundtrack details - including a complete tracklisting - will be announced soon. For news and announcements, please log on to jacothefilm.com/news.

Trujillo - world-renowned bassist with Metallica and the film's Executive Producer - will celebrate JACO and Record Store Day Black Friday 2015 with a special in-store at The Sound Garden in Syracuse, NY. Slated for TK, the event will feature a screening of JACO as well as a special signing session with Trujillo. For details, please see www.cdjoint.com/upcoming-events.cfm.

JACO is the subject of a successful PledgeMusic Campaign which will conclude at the end of September. Complete details can be found at www.pledgemusic.com/projects/jacothefilm.

The official Record Store Day film of 2014, JACO had its world premiere earlier this year at Austin, TX's SXSW Film Conference & Festival, accompanied by a panel discussion featuring filmmakers Trujillo and Marchand as well as longtime Pastorius collaborator Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Word of Mouth) and JACO Executive Producer John Pastorius. The session can be viewed now at www.sxsw.com/music/news/2015/video-spotlight-jaco-2015-sxsw-music-conference. In addition, SXSW ON's Studio SX interview with Trujillo, Marchand, and Pastorius is streaming at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm7CSf6rQeU.

JACO has since earned applause at a number of major festivals, including the inaugural Asbury Park Music in Film Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The film "(captures) the essence of what made Jaco such an influential artist," declared the Montreal Gazette, praising "the glowing words of Marchand's interviewees and the many recorded and live musical excerpts that he lets speak for themselves" and hailing JACO as "an enlightening introduction to a groundbreaking musician."

JACO tells the remarkable and tragic tale of Jaco Pastorius, a self-taught, larger-than-life musician who single-handedly changed the course of modern music by redefining the sound and the role of the electric bass guitar. Never-before-seen 8mm film, photographs, and audio recordings unveil the true story behind Pastorius' all-too-brief life, his music, and heartbreaking end.

JACO follows Pastorius' beginnings and ascent, from his era-defining work with jazz-fusion pioneers Weather Report to crossover collaborations with Joni Mitchell and Ian Hunter to his own inspired solo career as bandleader and composer. Highlighted by exclusive material from the Pastorius family archive, the film features memories and encomiums from a spectrum of Jaco fans and followers, including Joni Mitchell, Sting, Flea, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, and many others. JACO is produced by Robert Trujillo in association with Passion Pictures (SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, PROJECT NIM); the film is directed by Mr. Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijak.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Comcast looking for two Hispanic networks

Comcast will be looking network proposals for content, financed, ownership/management, price, launch, and ability to create customers.

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Comcast Cable today announced the company is now accepting proposals for two substantially Hispanic American owned, independent English-language networks that it will launch in select Comcast markets by January 28, 2017.



Today’s announcement is part of the company’s commitment to launch 10 independently owned and operated networks as part of a series of public interest commitments made by Comcast in connection with the NBCUniversal transaction completed in 2011. Of the 10 networks, all of which are to launch by 2019, four will be majority African American owned, two will be operated by Hispanic American programmers, two will be substantially Hispanic American owned, and two will be independent. These criteria were established based on several agreements Comcast entered into with leading diversity organizations in 2010. Since then, five independent networks have already successfully launched, including ASPiRE, BabyFirst Americas, BBC World News, El Rey, and REVOLT.


“We are committed to delivering programming that reflects the interests of our customers and are eager to review many innovative network proposals with the potential to bring new and exciting content to our customers,” said Greg Rigdon, Executive Vice President, Content Acquisition for Comcast Cable.


Criteria for selecting the next two substantially Hispanic American owned networks that Comcast will launch include: the content of the network; whether the network is fully financed; whether the network’s ownership and/or management group(s) are well established, have relevant experience, and are substantially owned by Hispanic Americans; whether the network is already launched and has existing MVPD distribution; price; and whether the network and its potential carriage provide value to Comcast and its customers. Comcast will accept proposals for every major genre, including general entertainment, movies, music, kids, news, and sports.


Applicants may visit http://corporate.comcast.com/diverseprogramming to submit a proposal and learn about the terms and conditions. Proposals are due by October 9, 2015, and the two networks will be selected in the coming months. 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Latina Web Series Innovator and Webstar Pioneer

Ruth Livier

Ruth Livier, an ESL kid from a trailer park has become a Web Series Innovator and Webstar Pioneer.

By Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez

Ruth Livier is not just another alluring Hollywood beauty. She has substance, style, and is an in-demand working actress of stage, screen, and film. Ruth is probably best known for her starring role in the groundbreaking Showtime TV series Resurrection Blvd. and for breaking new artistic ground almost seven years ago when she created, wrote, and starred in Ylse[1], one of the very first made-for-the-Internet series.

Ylse (Ylse.net) won many awards including the first IMAGEN award for Best Internet show.[2] It also landed Ms. Livier on the cover of the WGA’s Written By[3] magazine for becoming the first person to join that union via her work in new media.

Ruth’s journey began in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“Soy Tapatía,” she told us. “Until I was about seven, I lived with relatives in Guadalajara while my
parents worked in the fields here in California…. Once I crossed to the US and learned to read English, you couldn’t get me out of the library. I was a very serious kid…. Theatre and acting have been a part of my life since my first professional gigs back in Guadalajara. I also love to write…. Writing Ylse and seeing my amazingly talented friends bring my words to life was a fantastic, rewarding, and addicting experience.”

We asked Ruth about Resurrection Blvd. and here is some of what she shared: 


“…The show was truly groundbreaking and the people I got to meet and work with were just incredible. I mean, aside from the countless amazing experiences on set, I was invited to the Executive Offices in Washington, DC. There I was, sitting at a conference table with Robert Rodriguez, Esai Morales, and other prominent Latino celebrities while government representatives asked our opinion on the state of Hispanic representation in the entertainment business. For an ESL kid from a trailer park…well, that was one of the best and most surreal moments the universe has sent my way.”

When we asked her if Hollywood still stereotypes she said, “According to every report and study, the answer is still, unfortunately, yes.”


Ylse (Ylse.net) was a pioneering effort. It set the stage for the hit web based programs that seem to sweep the Emmys nowadays. “Our goal was to make something we could all be proud of and my amazing cast and crew, including the wonderful and great late Elizabeth Peña, who directed a webisode for us, did just that. I’m proud of our work on Ylse and I’m excited to bring the lessons learned to the new projects I have in the works.” 






 

[1] http://www.ylse.net/

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmWBHzQCCgo

[3] http://bluetoad.com/publication/?i=25606



Monday, February 16, 2015

An Interview with Hollywood Icon Billy Dee Williams

From theater to the cinema, and from television to the recording studie, Billy Dee Williams is a versatile actor/performer who is scheduled to perform on Dancing with the Stars.
By Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez
Edited by Susan Aceves
 
 
Many years before he became Lando Calrissian in two STAR WARS movies and Harvey Dent in BATMAN, a 23 year old Billy Dee Williams recorded a long forgotten album. The album features ten Broadway songs, many of which were recorded for the first time. Williams said, “It’s a collectible; it’s part of my life and it’s an interesting aspect of my life. I kinda chuckle about it and I just find it interesting it’s going to be re-issued!”

William December "Billy Dee" Williams, Jr. is an American actor, artist, singer, and writer best known for acting in the movies Brian's Song and Lady Sings the Blues, and for his roles as Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's Batman and as Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars film franchise.
 
Williams was born in New York City, New York. He has a twin sister, Loretta, and grew up in Harlem, where he was raised by his maternal grandmother while his parents worked several jobs. Williams graduated from the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art in Manhattan, where he was a classmate of Diahann Carroll, who coincidentally played the wife of his character Brady Lloyd on the 1980's prime-time soap opera Dynasty.
 
Even before he began acting, Williams attended the National Academy of Fine Arts and Design in New York. In the late 1980's, he resumed painting. Some of his work can be seen at his online gallery BDW World Art. He has had solo exhibitions in various galleries around the United States and his work hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution and the Schomburg Museum. The covers of the Thelonious Monk Competition programs since 1990 are by Williams.
 
He first appeared on Broadway in 1945 in The Firebrand of Florence. He returned to Broadway as an adult in 1960 in the play version of The Cool Word. He appeared in A Taste of Honey in 1961. A 1976 Broadway production, I Have a Dream, was directed by Robert Greenwald and starred Williams as Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
He made his film debut in 1959 in the Academy Award nominated The Last Angry Man, opposite Paul Muni, in which he portrayed a delinquent young man. He rose to stardom after starring in the critically lauded blockbuster biographical television movie, Brian's Song (1971), in which he played Chicago Bears star football player Gale Sayers, who stood by his friend Brian Piccolo (played by James Caan) during his struggle with terminal cancer. The film was so popular it was given a theatrical release. Both Williams and Caan were nominated for Emmy Awards for best actor for their performances.
 
Having broken through, Williams became one of America's most well-known black film actors of the 1970's after starring in a string of critically acclaimed and popular movies, many of them in the "blaxploitation" genre. In 1972, Williams starred as Billie Holiday's husband Louis McKay in Motown Productions' Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues. The film was a box office blockbuster, becoming one of the highest grossing films of the year and received five Academy Award nominations. Diana Ross starred opposite Williams; Motown paired the two of them again three years later in the successful follow-up project Mahogany.
 
The early 1980's brought Williams the role of Lando Calrissian, which he played in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Calrissian's charm proved to be popular with audiences and Williams now had a substantial fanbase within the science fiction genre as well. He reprised this role when he lent his voice for the character in the 2002 video game Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, as well as
the audio dramatization of Dark Empire, the National Public Radio adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, and two productions for the Star Wars: Battlefront series: Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron.
 
Between his appearances in the Star Wars films, he starred alongside Sylvester Stallone as a cop in the critically acclaimed film Nighthawks.
 
He co-starred in 1989's Batman as district attorney Harvey Dent, a role that was planned to develop into Dent's alter-ego, the villain Two-Face, in sequels. Unfortunately for Williams, that never came to pass; he was set to reprise the role in a more villainous light in the sequel Batman Returns, but his character was deleted and replaced with original villain Max Shreck.
 
Williams's television work included a recurring guest-starring role on the short-lived show Gideon's Crossing. He is also well known for his appearance in advertisements for Colt 45 (a brand of malt liquor) in the 1980's and early 1990's, for which he received much criticism. Williams responded indifferently to the criticism of his appearances in the liquor commercials. When questioned, he allegedly replied by saying, "I drink, you drink. Hell, if marijuana was legal, I'd appear in a commercial for it."
In 1992, he portrayed Berry Gordy in The Jacksons: An American Dream.
 
He played Toussaint Dubois for General Hospital: Night Shift in 2007 and 2008. Williams
reprised his role as Toussaint on General Hospital itself beginning in June 2009. Also in 2009, he took on the role of the voice of Admiral Bitchface the head of the military on the planet Titan in the Adult Swim animated series Titan Maximum. In July 2010, Williams appeared in the animated series The Boondocks, where he voiced a fictionalized version of himself in the episode "The Story of Lando Freeman."
 
In 2011, Williams appeared as a guest star on USA Network's White Collar as Ford, an old friend of Neal Caffrey's landlady June, played by Diahann Carroll. In 2012, Williams was the surprise guest during a taping of Oprah spotlighting Diana Ross. Ross and Williams were reunited after having not seen each other in 29 years.
 
It was announced in 2014 that Williams will be competing on the 18th season of Dancing with the Stars. He partnered with professional dancer Emma Slater. The couple had to withdraw from the competition on the third week due to an injury on Williams' back.
 
Williams will provide the voice of Lando Calrissian in the upcoming 2014 Star Wars Rebels cartoon series.
 
Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez had a unique opportunity to speak with the living legend!
 
AC: Tell us a little about growing up in Harlem, New York. What was it that inspired you to gravitate towards the arts?
BDW:I always found myself to be an artistic person. I would look at things and see the beauty and want to give my own personal take on it.
New York was great. I come from a very supportive family.
 
AC: Many people don’t know that you are an accomplished and significant artist. Can you tell us a little about your art? What are some of your more favorite works and what inspired you to create? Do you still paint?
BDW: Yes I still paint. I will probably paint till my last day. I am literally inspired by everything! People around me, my surroundings, from the little things like a glass of water at the dinner table to larger things like buildings and the sky. I can find inspiration in anything I am looking at.
 
AC: Tell us about your singing; about the reissue of the album you did when you were 23?
BDW: It was the first time some songs had ever been recorded. It is a very raw but important part of my history as an entertainer. It is something I wished I had tried more of it in the day. And I think the new CD will make a great collectible! I know the original vinyl records are very hard to find.
 
AC: What do you remember about the experience and why didn’t you pursue more of a singing career?
BDW: I ask myself that same question all the time, I think I could have been a great singer. The experience itself was very positive. I had so many people around me, supporting me. I was very blessed to have been able to record the album.
 
AC: Your breakout performance was in Brian’s Song. How did you get the role? What was it about that story and the character you portrayed that made you into a star?
BDW: I got the role as a hungry young actor who was willing to try anything that was thrown my way. I was looking for a job at the time and it was offered to me. I thought it was a great vehicle and there was no way I could have turned it down. The experience was amazing, something I will always remember. I was nominated for an Emmy for that role. It was a real pleasure to be part of something so prolific. People still talk to me about it today; so many men say it is the only movie that makes them cry.
 
AC: Tell us about your leading man roles in Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany.
BDW: Simply put, those films turned me into a romantic idol for the screen. It has been a persona that has stuck with me my whole career and I’m very proud.

AC: You were America’s first African American heart throb and you set the bar for the rest who have followed you. How does that feel? Who are some of your favorite lead actors?
BDW: It is a great accomplishment for a “little brown skinned boy” from New York. Who would have ever thought?!
My favorite actors would be Paul Muni, Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier.
 
AC: Many people today know you as the Star Wars icon Lando Calrissian. What did you bring to the character and why do you think the Star Wars franchise is such a hit with all generations?
BDW: I brought a rouge-ish charm to Lando and his suave and stylish lifestyle was something that the Star Wars universe needed at the time. Lando is like Steve Wynn.
 
AC: Tell us about your role in Batman. What was the good and bad of that experience?
BDW: It was a great experience. I will always remember the sets! They were huge and impressive beyond what words can express. I wanted to play Two-Face very badly. It was part of the reason I took the role, but sadly the studio changed hands and the project was taken over by new folks so I never got to show what my take would have been.
 
AC: There was some controversy about bringing your star power to Colt 45 Malt Liquor back in the day. It is alleged that you said you would do an ad for marijuana if was legal. Is this true; would you do it?
BDW: That’s simply not true, I would not do a commercial for marijuana. As for Colt 45, I am very proud of my endorsement of the product and it still, “Works every time.”
 
AC: Tell us about Dancing with the Stars. What was that experience like? Have you recovered from your injury? Are you a fan of the show and would you do it again?
BDW: FUN! So glad I did it! It was a great challenge but one that I wanted to see if I could do! It was a lot of hard work but worth every bit of effort and my partner, Emma Slater, was an amazing teacher and friend! I would do the show again in a heartbeat if they asked me. Aside from a small back problem, I am fine.
 
AC: You are an American legend, a pioneer. How would you like history to remember you and what would you like your legacy to be?
BDW: I want to be remembered as being a hard working performer. I always tried to give my very best. I always tried to bring something extra to any role that I did, on stage or on screen. I took my roles seriously and put every ounce of effort and more that I had into them.
 
AC: What kinds of projects are you working on now? What are some things that are still left on your bucket list?
BDW: I can currently be “heard” on Star Wars Rebels in which I reprise my role as Lando Calrissian. As for my bucket list? I would love to sink my teeth into a spectacular and pioneering role that would be really meaningful. I am always looking for that one great, unforgettable script.