'Overlord' Star Bokeem Woodmine On The Film's Historical Significance And Black Creators Telling Their Stories
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'Overlord' Star Bokeem Woodmine On The Film's Historical Significance And Black Creators Telling Their Stories

In Overlord,  On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers drop behind enemy lines to penetrate the walls of a fortified church and destroy a radio transmitter. As the soldiers approach their target, they soon begin to realize that there’s more going on in the Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. Making their way to an underground lab, the outnumbered men stumble upon a sinister experiment that forces them into a vicious battle against an army of the undead.

For the home release of Overlord, Shadow and Act got to have a quick chat with Bokeem Woodbine, who stars in the film with Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell.

Overlord shows Black faces, which are rarely shown in war films. Hollywood often erases us from these movies. Woodbine said that history and J.J. Abrams attracted him to the movie. “Definitely J.J. Abrams. I’ve always been a fan of J.J. Abrams’ work. Like you said, it was a very integrated cast and of course, it’s historical significance in the fact that it takes place during D-Day. It’s very fast paced and draws you in,” he said.

As we celebrate many classic films for Black History Month, it’s worth noting that in the ’90s, Woodbine appeared in several classic Black films like Strapped, Crooklyn and Jason’s Lyric. This was during a Black renaissance where we saw many Black creatives telling their own story. We are currently in the midst of another renaissance with the rise of creatives like Lena Waithe and Ava DuVernay. Woodbine says inclusion has gotten better. “I think it’s definitely gotten better, especially with the internet,” he said. “The reach has gotten wider. You can make a movie with your phone, upload it onto the internet, and have it reach people in a way that Black creatives weren’t able to in the ’90s.”

Speaking of Waithe, the Woodbine will appear in Universal’s Queen & Slim, which she produces.  “I haven’t begun filming yet, but I’m super excited. I began filming later this month. Lena Waithe is a real talent and has crafted a story that us going to move a lot of people,” he said.

And of course, we had to ask him about the outrageous cancellation of Underground and his character, Daniel. “I actually don’t know if there was anything planned in [Season 3] for my character. We were a little bit hurt that it was cancelled.”

Overlord releases for digital on February 5 and Blu-Ray/DVD on February 19.

 

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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