Sunday, December 12, 2010

Edward James Olmos

I am not a big fan of the TV series Battlestar Galactica neither I am big fan of Maimi Vice. So you will i am not big fan of Edward James Olmos. But what he said in this interview made me salute him. He was bold enough to reveal Hollywood pratice discrimination. The article appeared in the sun on Ddc 10 2010. Here is the link

Headline: One outspoken Latino
Despite his success in Hollywood, American Latino actor, writer and director Edward James Olmos wants to see an end to discrimination in the movie industry

By Bissme S

The biggest challenge Edward James Olmos faced as a Hollywood actor is not looking like Kevin Costner or Tom Cruise. This is what the Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner said during a one-to-one interview with theSun recently.
"How beautiful you look is an important aspect in my industry," says the 63-year-old American Latino actor, writer and director who was in town recently.
He also said that coloured people in the United States face a certain kind of discrimination and this is no different in Hollywood.
"Stories of people who are coloured and their contribution to the United States are not often told. Tell me when was the last time you saw a Hollywood film that has an Asian hero? How many Latinos are heroes in American films?"
Olmos finds that the only race equaliser in the US is the education system. "If you can educate yourself in America, perhaps you can make something of yourself," he says. "In other parts of the world, you can educate yourself, but you may not become all you want to be."
Interestingly, his first love was not acting – Olmos initially wanted to be a professional baseball player. Then the love for music entered his life and changed his career path. He became a rock singer, performing at some of the famous clubs at Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.
From music he branched out into acting. His first big break came when he was cast in a Broadway play Zoot Suit which earned him a Tony nomination.
After appearing in the film version of Zoot Suit in 1981, Olmos starred in several other films including Wolfen, Blade Runner and The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez.
He shot to stardom in 1984 when he played Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the television series Miami Vice opposite Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. The following year, the role got him the Golden Globe and Emmy awards.
In 1988, Olmos became the first American-born Latino to receive an Academy Award nomination for best actor in Stand and Deliver.
His other popular role was playing commander William Adama in the critically-acclaimed TV series Battlestar Galactica which ran from 2004 to 2009.
Despite the awards and accolades, the actor still has not been able to overcome the feeling of discrimination he faces in the film industry.
Sometimes, good roles do not come his way but he is not bitter about that. "I’ve no time to be frustrated," he says.
Olmos (centre) with Help University College president and co-founder Datuk Dr Paul T.H. Chan and wife; Eggstory founder Nickson Fong, and Olmos’ son Michael, president of film, Olmos Productions.
These days, he is busy running his own production company, Olmos Productions. Currently, he is working with actor-cum-producer Will Smith on a feature film. Olmos will also co-star and co-produce Jamesy Boy with Scott Medrick who produced movies such as Superman and 300.
Jamesy Boy is based on the true story of James Burns, a teenager who goes from the suburban street gangs of Denver to a maximum-security prison cell surrounded by hardened criminals. In this unlikely setting, Burns ultimately emerges a better person.
Meanwhile, Olmos will also co-produce an animation TV series The Chop Chops with a Singapore-based company Eggstory and Help University College in Malaysia. The actor was in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the project with representatives of the university college.
The Chop Chops is a legendary tale of a group of ghost-hunting kungfu masters (right, top) who fight an evil force and try to restore harmony in the world.
Olmos is impressed with the animation quality and likes the educational values it portrays. The series will air over American TV sometime next year.
Olmos may be busy with his career but he makes time to take part in humanitarian projects. Among others, he is the US Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef, which takes care of the welfare of underprivileged children. "I’m more of an activist than an actor," he says.
In all his activism work, Olmos likes to put one message across: "All of us – whether we’re white, black, brown or red – belong to just one race. We divided ourselves as races 600 years ago. It was a big mistake.
"If there’s any legacy that I would like to leave behind, it’s an awareness that there is only one race in this world."

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