Terrence Howard has demons in a refrigerator, says life is a go-kart.



Q: What was it like working with Channing?

TH: He reminded me of who I wished I was when I was 21 or 22. He’s in a great position, and he doesn’t carry any of his demons on his skin. It took me a long time to leave the demons inside of a refrigerator someplace and just thaw them out when I need them. He’s managed to do that so early on. He comes to set and he’s so free. He doesn’t have this big bag of badness with him. He’s so great, and I love that about him. I think he’s gonna be one of the most fantastic actors on the planet, by the end of 20 years, of sitting there playing the way he’s playing now, with his fearlessness and the roles that he’s taking. There’s a presence that Channing has.


Q: What drives you, as an actor, to be as intense as you are?

TH: I ride life like it’s a beautiful go-cart. Me and my friends, we’ll get out there and make a go-cart. You spend so much time finding pieces to make the go-cart, and sometimes it don’t work. But then, all of a sudden, you’ve got a go-cart that’s working. And right when you start riding down the hill, your mother calls you and tells you that you gotta come in. The little boy has to stop, right then and there. So, he comes in and he’s angry and sullen in the face. I’m having such a great time in my life right now. I’m making go-carts, you know? And then, when they call me and make me come to work, I walk in there, I slam doors and I do all those things that a little bad kid would do.

Q: Why is acting not your go-cart?

TH: Oh, my God, because there’s other people telling me where I gotta go. It’s not my go-cart any more.

Q: Couldn’t it be?

TH: Not when somebody else is writing the check. You’re in their field. It’s like when you’ve played baseball or basketball at somebody else’s house, where they have all the rules of the court. That’s no fun, whatsoever.

Q: The movie Pride was very centered on you as the lead. Have you been looking for any more leading vehicles like that?

TH: Yeah, but I had to wait for a minute, to trust where I was going. Me, Laura Ziskin, and Tom Schulman, who wrote Dead Poet’s Society, are about to do a film called Morgan’s Summit, where I go back into the lead. And, I’m about to do Macbeth, which we’re producing. We’re gonna do that this summer. And then Chevalier and Antoinette is another film I’m producing.

Q: Who are you going to be playing in Morgan’s Summit?

TH: Morgan’s Summit is really one of the most fantastic films I’ve ever read in my life. Tom Schulman heard me on NPR and asked me to come in, and we began talking about what he wanted to accomplish. The characters in the script are so beautiful. Morgan’s Summit is incredible. It’s the film that I’ve been waiting for. And, I’m talking to some people about doing some incredible bio-pics.

Q: What about Macbeth?

TH: My production company is producing that. We’re shooting in Puerto Rico, starting in June. It’s updated, in present-time Caribbean. It will be a nice thing, to see Shakespeare under a Caribbean sun.


Q: How do you choose which kind of music that you want to represent?

TH: You don’t choose to represent any of them, I don’t believe. We’re all antennas. No thought has ever come to you that’s just been indigenous of you. Electricity is moving through us, the same way it’s moving through everything else, and there are waves of activity, according to how things expand in the universe, so that electricity is moving through that. And, every once in a while, you’ll be pushed up on that wave, to where you’ll catch a frequency from something else, and because you were in the right particular frequency yourself, you can respond to it. Maybe you’ll translate it out. But, if you don’t translate it, what ends up happening is that you’re not able to continue moving, according to how everything else is moving.

Q: Is music your go-cart then?

TH: Music is my go-cart. It’s all mine.

Q: Have you thought about writing something in the movie world that could be your go-cart?

TH: I am doing that, too. I’ve got a couple projects.

Q: What kind of genre?

TH: The things that made me want to be an actor, at the very start, were films that told the story of a child’s dream and the regrets of an adult’s past -- anything that can really take you through a continued progressive life. That’s how the films will be. They’ll have to have music as a base for them because I think music creates the fourth dimension. Music gives you depth. Music gives you a sense of time. Chronological order begins where the music begins, not where the color begins, so you need to tell a full story that way.


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