I tried to copy some of his mannerisms at first but it didn't work. And then I just let the spirit of the character grow in me and it just took its rightful place. I started to speak the lines and it felt right.
A few years ago you couldn't go from TV to film. It was like a 'no no' but I believe when you find a plan and purpose that God has for your life, there's not anything man can do to you. Especially when your faith is not really standing in the wisdom of man, you're really standing in the wisdom of God.
I want what's mine. I see other actors who are doing very interesting roles, and I just want to continue to do things that are interesting, and things that people will go see in theaters.
I went to college for one semester, and I took every subject I could, and I ended up failing. So I thought to myself, Ever since I was a kid, I've loved expression - and that's when I started thinking about acting.
I think it's time to do clean-up for a generation. I believe this is one of the movies that hits home for all colors and all races. Everybody I talk to, black or white, suburban, rich or poor, can relate to rejection, can relate to not having a father or a mother.
Denzel Washington invoked confidence. When you have confidence, you can do anything. And that's what happened. I learned about being honest and keeping it true, keeping it true in my performance.
Then I was working in a store in Newark, New Jersey, and I saw an actor in person, and I got so excited. My whole day changed. That's when I decided to challenge myself to make my dreams become a reality.
I was working at the store on the Sony studios in Culver City. And I was literally holding a shirt when they came in and told me I'd got the part! It just shows dreams do come true.
Antwone's story was a story of hope and that's what appealed to me. I needed hope myself at that time. I think all actors give up at some time and think they're never going to make it.
Denzel's quality, I think, is his faith. You have all the action in your head and you have to believe in it and just do it. That's what he does and that's what he taught me to do.
He's looking for the president's kidnapped daughter; everybody he calls on to help him is busy, but lo and behold, you look across the room, and I'm waiting for that action.
I was watching TV at age 9 or 10, and my mom said that I came from the front room and I told her that I want to act. And she said if you want to do this at 18, then you can. It was a very simple story, yet, I do not even remember the conversation that I had with my mother. Until she reminded me of the story many years later.