Aaah… an interview that I tried to get (for obvious reasons) but wasn’t successful. But thankfully, someone who could, did get Fred Williamson to chat about everything from originating the “bad-ass slave” in The Legend of Nigger Charley, to Django Unchained (why he hasn’t seen it, and doesn’t plan on seeing it), to Spike Lee’s reactions to it, and potentially working with him, to Woody Strode’s and Sidney Poitier’s on-screen presence during their day, to his own (Williamson’s) film work in relation to the Civil Rights struggle, and more…
New York Magazine’s Vulture posted an interview with Williamson last night, which I got around to reading this morning, and it’s worth checking out.
Some of the more interesting revelations he made:
– In response to whether he’d seen Django Unchained, he said:
I don’t want to see me in the film. I know my friend Jamie Foxx gave a good performance. But I’m still alive. I’m still capable. I’m still able. I still look the way I looked in the seventies. There are no new wrinkles. I can still jump out of cars and jump out of planes and do all the things I did. I still want to be in a position where they say, “Bring me the Hammer! Don’t bring me somebody that looks like the Hammer, acts like the Hammer, talks like the Hammer; bring me the Hammer!”
Hah! And who’s going to argue with him on that? Certainly not me.
He did say that he thought Spike’s comments about the film were “ridiculous,” adding that Spike should make a slavery movie, and cast him, Fred Williamson, in it!
Spike! We can make [The Legend of] Nigger Charley 2, or [The Legend of] Nigger Charley 3 and 4.
Somehow I doubt that Spike will take him up on that offer.
And in talking about black actors who came before him, like Sidney Poitier and Woody Strode, Williamson had this to say:
Sidney Poitier was a great black actor, but I can’t see him being a great fighter. He didn’t have the physical presence that I bring to a role. Woody Strode was in the background. Woody Strode never carried the show. There was always someone else who was the hero. I wanted to be the hero. I wanted to be the man. I was coming out of football as “the Hammer,” with the reputation that I would kick people’s ass if they stood in my way. I was not going to change my image coming into Hollywood.
How could you not love this guy and his cockiness? He is, after all, The Hammer!
By the way, he’s 74 years old.
Read the rest of the interview HERE.