Thursday, February 23, 2006

Patrice and Mulele


Where do I start? The last few days have been crazy! I'm finishing the edits of the Congo script, changing a few things here and there. There is a plot twist involving the lead character named Kita that I need to hide better. You'll have to see the movie to know what the plot twist is...I sent the Congo script out to a few people, including a cinematographer from Senegal. He's been in the business for along time. Have the skills. I would love to have a cast of Africans behind the camera int he directors chair also. I feel that it world bring a different feeling to the production. Now cast wise, I bumped into Sadiq Abu (top photo) last night at the TSOTSI screening---I hated the movie, it reinforced soooooo many stereotypes that I wouldn't know where to begin. Back to Sadiq. He's been casted as Mulele in the Congo script. I was hesitant to give him such a strong role only because he's not Congolese, and it was important to me that a Congolese play the Congolese roles. Sadiq is from Sierra Leone and speaks several languages. I originally wanted to offer this role to Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard, but that didn't work out. Terrance isn't Congolese, so if I was thinking about Terrance for the Mulele roll, then Sadiq can be considered.

I brought Sadiq in, and he read with a Congolese actor named Richard Tchicaya (bottom photo). His father is the Congo Republic, his mother is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Well let me tell you that Sadiq and Richard, who I was still suspect about, they both convinced me that they were great for the part. Richards character is named Patrice. Richard is also a member of the US Marines so the ruggedness and military skills are there. Sadiq has a smooth touch to him. Muleles character is a Matise. A Matise is someone who is usually a man that is half Belgian, half Congolese, and they think because they are light skinned that they are better than everyone...Not! Richard and Sadiq impressed the casting directors. Mulele and Patrice used to be in the old Zairian army. Sadiq did his part in KiSwahili and Richard did his part in French and English. Looking back, I made Richards audition a bit difficult because I gave him his lines in English and asked him to read it in French. That slowed thing down considerably because he had to translate the words as he was reading it so Richard couldn’t read it smoothly. Richard, Sadiq, and I talked in the hallway, and I believe it was Sadiq that made the suggestion that Richard switch between speaking in French and speaking English, which is what a lot of people that are multilingual do. It worked! During the audition Sadiq added a touch to the role that I'm going to write into the script. Ok, tomorrow I'll tell you about the ladies casted for this production: Bibi Amos, Joella Benoit, and Kristie Latray...


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