Posted by Bossip Staff
Bossip kicked back with your favorite (insert thug, gangbanger character here) Wood Harris about raising the stakes with Kerry Washington, and why he’s about to stunt on you ho’s with a Phd. Yes, a Phd.
Bossip: You’ve been known to play those slick, criminal, gangster, thug-like characters. Do you ever feel typecast?
Wood: I am on the verge of feeling that way. I do like playing the bad guy but I do have to sometimes turn down stuff like that. Any real actor is looking for variety. If I do another bad guy film, I think I’ll do myself a disservice.
Bossip: Would you do a romantic comedy? If so, who would you want to be your female co-star?
Wood: Of course I would do a romantic comedy in a heartbeat. I’ve spoke with Malcolm Lee who directed The Best Man, and we went to college together. He has a romantic comedy project that we talked about doing. Hmm, my female lead? I’m into the talent. There are a lot of beauties out there and I just had to pick from them, it would be hard to narrow it down. If I had to go with talent, cream rises to the top. I’d go with Kerry Washington. I love the talents of those young actresses. I did a film with Zoe Saldana called “Heart Specialist” and they should come out sometime this year. My favorite actress that I’ve worked with has been Regina Hall from Paid in Full. She’s super talented. There were some scenes that we shot from the film that people have never even seen, but I will never forget.
Bossip: Man, you play some real gritty characters. Paid in Full is like every hood dude’s favorite film.
Wood: So far, in my short career, all the people I’ve played have been real people. Avon Barksdale (The Wire) is real. Ace (Paid in Full) is real. Jimmy Hendrix. I’m going to play Sweetwater Clifton, the first black guy in the NBA. There’s another film that’s on stall now with Oliver Stone. It’s another true story. I’m like damn, I’m like the true story man! I might work with Martin Scorcese on another HBO series. It’s a period piece about gangsters. I would love to do it, but I don’t know yet. I also have another movie coming out, that will be a great segue into the music game. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to do films with my friends –Mos Def, Donald Faison, Mehki Phifer.
Bossip: Speaking of music, we know that you received your Master’s degree from NYU and you were heavy in the spoken word and hip hop scene in NY. What’s going on with your music now?
Wood: It’s so funny that everybody knows, but I haven’t even done anything with it yet. It’s coming into fruition. I’m going to throw it against the wall and see what sticks. I’m just an artist in general, I guess. I never thought about it as a kid. I hear you mentioning me and I’m like I guess I’m no longer just a gangbanger, I’m an artist….with a Master’s degree. I’m getting my doctorate too in Metropathic medicine.
Bossip: For real?
Wood: I’m a science geek, yo! I’m not gonna front like I grew up in school and I was Mr. sharp with the books. You can’t look back in my past and see that. I’m from Chicago. Typical, sort of, ghetto coming up. Chicago is still the same way as it’s always been with gangs and all that type of stuff.
Bossip: What interested you in medicine?
Wood: I ended up getting involved in medicine indirectly. My father died of what’s called Iatrogenics, which relates to hospital-related death. I had another female friend of mine that was in college with me at the time who had a tragic yet curable, healable condition that she died from. My mother was diagnosed, but is a survivor of Cancer. I evolved into a real thoughtful guy concerning health issues. I started surrounding myself around these different healers and doctors and ended up becoming an ambassador of health, a title given to me by a doctor in L.A. It is just a title, but I take it very seriously. It’s about putting information in the hood about what’s going on food-wise and health-wise. We’re leading the pack with issues of diabetes and diseases that are curable and healable food-wise. I’m sick of it. We are the greatest culture, let’s not do this to ourselves. Let’s not have anymore damn Popeyes. I know the ghettos are in bad shape, but cheetos for kids? If a kid had an apple in the morning and another kids had cheetos, who’s going to have a greater ability? I take my duty – informing and raising money- very seriously. And you know, acting folks also take you serious when you show up with a Phd. (he laughs)
Bossip: What do you do to kickback? Chill out?
Wood: I like to study. I’m an art fanatic. I try to keep myself busy with stuff like that rather than hitting up all these red carpets. I do that when there’s an event going on. You won’t see me out too much because it’s boring. If it was fresh, then you’d probably see me there. I like concerts. I like to see someone with a microphone.
Bossip: What’s your dream role?
Wood: Right now my dream role would be two different projects that I would like to do. One of them is a remake of the King of Comedy film which was done by Martin Scorsese and Robert Deniro. And Jerry Lewis was in it. We’ve spoken to some people about it. I also have my eyes set on doing August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, in which I’ve spoken to Charles Dutton about directing it. This whole thing is a dream come true – the ability to make films.
That’s one cool dude.