Laurence Fishburne returns to tv, on CSI
The Oscar-nominated actor talks about his new role on CSI, being funny and his expectations for the incoming Presidency.
From stage to screen, to soap opera to Shakespeare, and even supernatural thrillers, Fishburne is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. In this interview with Tavis Smiley, he talks about his return to tv:
"Well, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I was in New York ... I heard this rumor that they were looking at me to come and do CSI, so I was like, 'yeah, right, sure.' I didn't believe it at first, and then eventually I learned that it was actually a real, viable offer. So I met with some of the writer, producers and looked at some of the episodes and I was just blown away with the quality of the writing and the quality of the storytelling. And I just thought the show was really smart, and cool ... and yeah, this would be a great moment in my life to do series television."
Fisburne's character is Doctor Ray Langston, a pathologist who comes in to replace William Petersen's character, Gil Grissom as the head guy at CSI.
As for the type of work he's yet to do: "I haven't done a Western ... I haven't done real comedy. Most people don't realize that I can be funny, but yeah, I can be funny.
"There's a lot I haven't done. I haven't acted in another language. I would like ... for example, to be able to act a movie ... either in Spanish, or French, or Chinese ..."
On President-elect Barack Obama: "I feel so good about America. I feel so good about being an American. I feel like we have this incredible opportunity ... President-elect Barack Obama's been talking about change, and we have the opportunity to actually create change in this country. We've taken the first step, which is going to the polling place and casting our votes, and voting for this man. And now, I think it's not so much about what he's going to do, because he's done his bit in terms of getting elected, and plotting a course and picking a cabinet of people to help him lead. So if we all ... follow this inspirational line that he's laid down for us, then I think that we can effect real positive change in this country."
"The Tavis Smiley Show" is a weekly show offering a unique blend of news and newsmakers in expanded conversations, along with feature reports and regular commentators. "The Tavis Smiley Show" is produced by Tavis Smiley productions, and distributed nationwide by PRI. This piece is a part of the "Tavis Smiley Show’s" series "My America 2008" which profiles the challenges and triumphs of everyday Americans and how their lives will be affected by the plans and policies of the Presidential candidates.