Monday, January 25, 2010

Actor wants to play Martin Luther King

While news that DreamWorks is developing a biopic of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King has led to speculation about who'll star as the civil rights hero, there are already stirrings among the Hollywood acting community that a relative unknown would be perfect in the role.

Antonio D. Charity has appeared in television dramas like The Shield, Nip/Tuck, The Wire and the Law & Order franchises, and won raves in theatre showcases in Los Angeles, most notably in performances of The Meeting, Jeff Stetson's imagining of a meeting between King and Malcolm X.

Antonio D. Charity starred as King in the play.

The last time there was serious talk of a King flick, Eddie Murphy was a top contender for the role, but that was before his plans to star in August Wilson's Fences fell through and he resigned himself to family comedies. Placing a relative unknown with such a connection to King would make the film all the more moving.

Antonio D. Charity (right) as the Rev. Dr. King in The Meeting

Charity has exoressed real interest in the role, and is looking for a way to get the attention of producers Steven Spielberg, Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones.

Already there's a Facebook campaign to give Charity an audition and a chance at the role.

We say there's nothing to lose by getting him in-- and so much to gain!

For the producers' convenience, we include Charity's bio below.

Meanwhile, we'll keep you posted.

Antonio D. Charity is from Surry County, VA. This youngest of twelve children moved to Los Angeles in December 2004 and has been impressing agents, casting directors and filmmakers with his amazing talent.

Antonio was first inspired to pursue acting professionally by the late Wiley Powell, Jr. after he joined the Surry County High School Repertory Club. Under Mr. Powell’s direction, the SCHS Repertory Club’s one-act plays won numerous awards at district, regional and state competitions. For two consecutive summers Antonio was awarded a scholarship from the Surry County School Board to attend “Firespark School For Gifted Students In The Arts” at Brenau College in Gainesville, Ga.

After graduating from Surry High Antonio moved to Washington, D.C. where he enrolled in Howard University’s College of Fine Arts as a theatre major. There he was taught by Al Freeman, Jr., best known for his portrayal of Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X”. Besides teaching him in class, Mr. Freeman also directed Antonio in Richard Wesley’s The Sirens and in Oak and Ivy, in which Antonio portrayed the famous poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. The next four years of studying at Howard and working in D.C. and the surrounding areas laid the artistic foundation for the rest of his career.

It laid the business and professional foundation as well because it was during this time that Antonio became a member of the Screen Actors Guild. While still enrolled at Howard Antonio was hired as a guest star on an episode of “Homicide: Life On The Street”, in which he worked with Emmy Award winner Andre Braugher, Clark Johnson and with Daniel Baldwin. He also worked on several industrials, commercials and stage plays.

He transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for one year and then returned to Howard. While living in Richmond and studying theatre at VCU he met a very well respected theatre director named Ernie McClintock. Ernie was a teacher, coach and friend. Antonio studied and worked with him for twelve years.

Antonio graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and moved to New York.

Over the next nine years he worked in a variety of television shows, films, commercials and stage plays. He appeared in “It Runs In The Family” with Michael and Kirk Douglas, “The Salon” with Vivica A. Fox, “Something The Lord Made” with Mos Def, “The Corner” with Charles Dutton and Khandi Alexander, “The Wire” with Wood Harris, “Cry Wolf” with Jon Bon Jovi and Gary Cole, “All My Children” with Kelly Ripa, “As The World Turns”, “Law & Order” and several other television and film productions. But mostly he “cut his teeth” on the New York stage in numerous community theatre, regional theatre, off Broadway, and off-off Broadway productions.

In December of 2004 he relocated to Los Angeles. He has worked on television shows such as “Charmed” with Alyssa Milano, the series “Nip/Tuck”, “House”, True Blood”, Numb3rs”, “The Shield” and several others. He has also performed in a made for television movie starring Florence Henderson of “The Brady Bunch” called “For Heaven’s Sake” and the feature films “Che Guevara” and “Over Her Dead Body”, starring Eva Longoria.

Currently he is performing in the Off Broadway hit “Black Angels Over Tuskegee”. In 2009 “Black Angels Over Tuskegee” won an NAACP Theatre Award for Best Ensemble. He also portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the play “The Meetng” by Jeff Stetson. The play was performed at various locations in and around Los Angeles. His star is shining bright, and his reputation as an amazing new talent is growing.

Keep your eyes open and you will see him over and over again. The best is yet to come!


Pink Slip - Part 1 - Suzie said...

I have seen Antonio D. Charity play Dr. King in "The Meeting" and he is amazing.....but more than that, Antonio is an amazing man, who spends his time helping others and dedicates his life to issues that would make Dr. King proud. I first met Antonio in NYC at a Law&Order SVU wrap party. Antonio & his beautiful wife, casting director, Tige Charity, were kind and gracious to me as I recovered from a broken ankle...and that's what led to our friendship. Since that time, I've seen Antonio, in numerous plays both in New York & LA and he always impresses with his talent, and keen intelligence. Someone at Dreamworks please contact him.

Anonymous said...

Antonio Charity is an amazing talent and the producers would be amiss if he was not seriously considered for this role.

Yaky said...

Antonio is one of the few actors that gives me goosebumps while performing. He is an amazing talent, friend and person, and will be outstanding in this portrayal!

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Pink Slip - Part 1 - Suzie said...

Antonio D. Charity is an amazing actor....so talented, versatile and also a very good human being. I hope that anyone in the industry reading this will hire 'Tonio as he's often called...you will never regret it.