Google+

Hinds Finds Tubman a Spiritual Calling!

 

Aisha Hinds   
The “Underground” and “Shots Fired” Interview

with Kam Williams

Hinds Finds Tubman a Spiritual Calling!

Aisha Hinds, The “Underground" and "Shots Fired” Interview, with Kam Williams, Star Trek: Into Darkness, If I Stay,Beyond the LightsTrue Blood, Prison Break, Under the Dome, WeedsAisha Hinds is a Brooklyn, NY native who initially entered showbiz in modern dance. She parlayed success in that field into an acting career which has spanned a vast array of projects ranging from feature films like Star Trek: Into Darkness, If I Stay and Beyond the Lights to such hit TV shows as True Blood, Prison Break, Under the Dome and Weeds.

Here, Aisha talks about playing American icon Harriet Tubman on Underground, a docudrama about the Underground Railroad. The second season of Underground is set to premiere on the WGN network on March 8th. Aisha also reflects upon her role as Pastor Janae James on Shots Fired, a timely TV series debuting on the Fox network on March 22nd.

Kam Williams: Hi Aisha, thanks for the interview.

Aisha Hinds: My pleasure, Kam. I deeply appreciate this opportunity. So, thank YOU!

KW: I told my readers I’d be interviewing you, so I’ll be mixing their questions in with mine.

AH: Sounds great! Delighted to talk with the readers as well as yourself.

KW: What interested you in Underground?

AH: I became an instant fan of the show seconds into the opening frames of the pilot. When that drone shot carried us through the main house with Rosalie, played so unflinchingly-brilliantly by Jurnee Smollett Bell, I signed on for the ride. I saw that this show was about to elucidate this age-old narrative in a way that was both edgy and engaging. The artistry on the show is apparent in each episode. From the riveting writing to the purposeful and precise direction, the masterful work of the DP [Director of Photography] Kevin McKnight and his crew, and the layers and depths each actor goes to to ensure we the audience feel a human connection to these characters led me to sign my name on the dotted line. The cherry on top was the pulsating and powerful use of music to punctuate the story.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier would like to know what Harriet Tubman means to you and how you prepared to play her.

AH: She is a legend, an icon, a soldier on the side of justice, a spiritual warrior, and a servant of God, as well as the one of the baddest women to literally ever walk the land. I surrendered to her spirit. She lived such a full, complex, and irrefutably-dynamic life that all the craft in the world would be insufficient in honoring her legacy. I did my homework, of course, by inhaling as much literature as was available to find, so that when it was time to shoot I could hopefully exhale her. However, the real truth is that her spirit is so POWERFUL that it consumes you. I was literally reduced to basic breath and blinks while she inhabited my vessel and told her story through me.

KW: Since Patricia is from Canada, she would like to know whether any episodes will be shot on location there and if the series will explore the historical connections between the Underground Railroad and Canada?

AH: Thank God for Canada! In the context of this narrative and beyond, Canada was certainly an additional option for the many traveling the treacherous terrain of the Underground Railroad in pursuit of what was perceived as “freedom.” Once the Fugitive Slave Act took effect, the Northern states were no longer safe for those who managed to escape from being enslaved. The second season of Underground does explore Canada’s role in providing a welcoming place for the thousands who were in danger of being captured and returned to their owners, and those who escaped by way of rerouting beyond the American borders. Though this part of history is included in the season, we did not shoot on location in Canada.

Aisha Hinds, The “Underground" and "Shots Fired” Interview, with Kam Williams, Star Trek: Into Darkness, If I Stay,Beyond the LightsTrue Blood, Prison Break, Under the Dome, Weeds

KW: Patricia was also wondering whether the show will cover less well-known aspects of Tubman’s life. like the fact that she was a spy during the Civil War for the Union army, and that she collaborated with John Brown to free slaves.

AH: There will be a wealth of facts revealed and revisited in this season pertaining to Harriet Tubman. That is a huge part of my excitement, the fact that this generation will get such a beautifully-detailed introduction to a hero and icon that has largely lived in a few pages of our history books and in one-dimensional photographs.

KW: How would you describe the series’ main message?

AH: Each season, the series has explored a theme. This season, it is “Citizen vs. Soldier.” Are we citizens watching the world and its atrocities unfold from the sidelines, or are we engaged in the battle as soldiers, taking a stand and joining the army to fight against injustice?

KW: Tell me a little about Shots Fired. Sanaa Lathan was very excited about the show, when we talked about it last fall.

AH: I share her excitement!! It was a project that, interestingly enough, provided a unique opportunity as an artist to engage in the fight against injustice, and explore the ongoing debate and dialogue surrounding who and what lives matter. The show is an autopsy of our criminal justice system, a space where the conversation surrounding the issues in our country is offering a seat at the table to all the voices to be heard, a murder mystery, and grassroots look at our own humanity as we move through the parts and pieces of the story.

KW: The plotline sounds very timely, although it flips the script by having a black cop shooting a white teenager.

AH: Sadly, this plot is one that doesn’t lack source material. It’s a narrative that has been timely for a very long time. In such, when Reggie Rock Bythewood and Gina Prince-Bythewood began to assemble the cast, which is a rather large ensemble of very talented powerhouse players, everyone wholeheartedly signed up to stand in service of this story, knowing and understanding how important it is to exhaust and explore its many facets.

KW: What’s it like playing a pastor and what role does your character play in terms of keeping the peace?

AH: It was such a delight to express a part of myself that has long been reserved for my own sacred journey through life-spirituality. Digging into the depths of my heart to widen its capacity and unpack what it would mean to carry the burden for an entire congregation and community that looks to you for answers and guidance during trying times was both a joy and a revelation. Pastors carry a tremendous responsibility. Pastor Janae is a lifelong Gate Station resident, a community activist, and a powerful pastor vested in the lives which have been entrusted to her by way of The Chosen House, her small neighborhood church. Throughout the 10-hour event series, she finds herself in positions that challenge the government, expose deeply-rooted conflicts, and contemplates effective methods for her community to resist in the face of blatant injustice. Her journey also demands she take an autopsy of her own humanity, examining what she is driven by and what she cares about ultimately.

KW: AALBC.com founder Troy Johnson asks: What was the last book you read?

AH: Biggie : Voletta Wallace Remembers Her Son, Christopher Wallace aka Notorious B.I.G.” http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001PIHUB8/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

AH: One that comes to mind was being double-parked outside of my grandmother’s house in East New York, Brooklyn while my mom ran inside for a moment, and I moved the gear on the car from PARK to DRIVE… and the car started to move. I was so scared. I was way too little to know how to drive, and so I quickly threw the gear back into park and the car stopped moving, thankfully. This was back in the day when the gears were controlled by the stick that was next to the steering wheel as opposed to in a center console area like most modern cars. Needless to say, my mother let me have it.

KW: The Morris Chestnut question: Was there any particular moment in your childhood that inspired you to become the person you are today?

AH: Yes, one of the first memories I have was watching Whoopi Goldberg perform her one-woman show on Broadway on HBO. She moved seamlessly through an array of spirited and soul-stirring characters, each one holding a mirror up to me and allowing me in many ways to see a reflection of myself on screen. I felt validated and valued, and here was this woman inside my television screen who gave me a voice.  It didn’t immediately register with me that this was what I would eventually be doing with my life for today’s generation. It was also incredibly serendipitous that I would later learn I shared a birthday with Whoopi. I went on to be inspired by many other artists and forms of art, and was soon directed to a place that would help harness my experiences and develop my voice within the craft, LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in New York City.

KW: Who loved you unconditionally during your formative years?

AH: My Granny.

KW: Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood?

AH: Definitely! I had praying grandmothers who bathed me in “The Word” and filled the atmosphere with worship. Though I developed my own personal spiritual relationship later in life, the foundation they laid is what my faith was built upon. I am indebted to them always for cradling me in the heart of Christ and encouraging my passion to press towards the mark of the high calling on my life, wherever that takes me.

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

AH: Stuffed snapper.

KW: Craig Robinson asks: What was your last dream?

AH: Tuh, that is based on the assumption that there’s actually time to sleep these days. We’re living in a time where we all got to STAY WOKE!

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

AH: An opportunity to honor the legacy of the lives drawn into the lines in my face, the broad of my nose, the dark of my eyes, the fullness of my lips, and coal in my complexion.

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

AH: A just world.

KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you?

AH: My nephew’s laughter!

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

AH: None that I can honestly think of right now, which means the folks have asked some great questions thus far in my lifetime.

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

AH: Does this come with a free shipment of clothing from them?! I got questions about your questions!

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in?

AH: Remakes are awesome, especially when it honors yet adds a new component or dimension to the original. But truthfully, we have so many stories, lives and subjects to explore that I’d love to keep pushing towards new knowledge.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

AH: Study and know that we are always a student of the craft well after we’ve completed any course of study… and approach the work as a servant, not a star.

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

AH: As a small piece of the puzzle sent here to serve a bigger picture.

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

AH: Here you go! I got more questions about your questions. [LOL] Is someone volunteering to put something IN it, if it’s empty, or naw?

KW: Thanks again for the time, Aisha, and best of luck with both TV-series.

AH: I appreciate you taking the time to give me a space to discuss the work and the journey to and within it. Thank you so very much, Kam.


Source:  GIG News

Entertainment

Raunchy Adaptation of Classic TV Series Arrives on Home Video

  Chips DVD Review by Kam Williams Raunchy Adaptation of Classic TV Series Arrives on Home Video Whenever a classic television series is made into a movie, the buzz always seems to be about whether the screen version will be a creative variation on the theme or merely a campy, cornball, take-the-money-and-run ripoff trading in familiar formulas and shopworn cliches. After all, for every inspired adaptation like Batman (1989), Charlie's … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Gil’s Goodwill!

  Gil Robertson The “Book of Black Heroes” Interview with Kam Williams Gil's Goodwill! For nearly three decades, writer/author Gil L. Robertson, IV has used the written word to enlighten, empower and uplift. The one-time political organizer initially made his mark in entertainment journalism, penning over 50 national magazine covers and contributing bylines to a wide range of publications that include the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate

  How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate by Amy Lignor   You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already there, but who knew you would have even more so soon? What’s that? Oh…well, of course, in order to buy that new home with four bedrooms instead of two, you will also need to sell your present homestead in order to get the money needed to start paying on a new one. And, of … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Ejogo’s Largo!

    Carmen Ejogo The “It Comes at Night” Interview with Kam Williams Ejogo's Largo! Carmen Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott King’ opposite David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay's universally acclaimed SELMA as well as being singled out for her ‘mind-blowing’ lead role as Sister in SPARKLE alongside … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Tidewater 230 LXF Combines Luxury, Family Friendly Features

  Tidewater 230 LXF Combines Luxury, Family Friendly Features By Craig Lamb Are you looking for a family friendly, center console fishing rig in the 23-foot class? Your search is over with the 230 LXF from Tidewater Boats. The all-new 230 LXF has a centerline of 23’ with a wide beam spanning 8’ 10.” The boat weighs 3,200 pounds and has a fuel capacity of 95 gallons for peace of mind on long trips. Best balance of performance and fuel … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic

  You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic by Amy Lignor   No, the sport is not called ‘Zorba’, but it most definitely fits for this article’s title. This most unusual sport is actually called ‘Zorbing’, and has caught on like wildfire across the globe. And now, seeing as that the NBA has wrapped, with Golden State proving that they were determined to make amends for last season; and with the NHL closing up shop for the season … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects

  Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects by Amy Lignor   There are a whole list of summer activities for you and the kids planned. Most of them, of course, you want to be nothing but fun, such as grilling outside on the patio or swimming in the pool. However, having the backyard pool and patio are two things you really need in place before either of those activities could be enjoyed. And building this area could be a great … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

    Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All by Amy Lignor   It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the downsides of this fact is that when you’re looking for peace, quiet, and basically a chance to do nothing more than spend time with yourself and, perhaps, one other best friend, the most popular places don’t offer that. In other words, it is the most remote (sometimes most … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]