“Black or White” is the story of a grandfather (Academy Award winner Kevin Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter. When her paternal grandmother (Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer) seeks custody with the help of her brother (Anthony Mackie), the little girl is torn between two families who love her deeply.
With the best intentions at heart, both families fight for what they feel is right and are soon forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness, and understanding. Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds, in which nothing is as simple as black or white.
We caught up with one of the film’s stars Mpho Koaho. Read what he had to say about the film.
What inspired you to take up the role of Duvan?
I actually initially read for the role of “Reggie”. Mike thought I would be better suited for Duvan, and asked me to read for that. I immediately gravitated to the role, and am fortunate to have landed it. I saw a great opportunity to show my range with the portrayal of this character.
Describe what it was like to work with director, Mike Binder.
It was amazing. I am forever indebted to him for the opportunity. He believed in me from day one, and I love him for that. He nurtured my performance in this movie. If I did well at all, it’s because of him. He’s a truly skilled director, and one of the funniest comedians.
What was it like working alongside such accomplished actors as Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, and Anthony Mackie?
By far the best set experience I’ve ever had. Kevin is a legend. He was so kind to me, and complimentary of my work. An extremely professional and humble man, considering the scale of his celebrity. Octavia is my big sis. She took me under her wing from the get go. I had a blast with her. So warm and she was always there for me. A very gifted actor in her own right. Mackie is my brother from time. We did a film in 2003 called “Haven” starring Orlando Bloom, Bill Paxton, and Zoe Saldana. So proud of him, and his accomplishments as of late. Working with Anthony is easy… it’s like working with a friend from way back. Mackie is the man. #TheFalcon
Do you see parts of yourself in Duvan?
A few, but definitely not the extent of his intelligence haha. I do possess his search for knowledge, I pursue this daily. I am also very driven, like Duvan is. I’ve been acting professionally since I was 14, so I know a bit about being a young business man. There are also cultural similarities, considering our respective African backgrounds.
Was the tonal jump from “Falling Skies” to “Black or White” a difficult one to manage?
Not for me, I thrive in those situations. The altering of my appearance, speech patterns, accent, mannerisms, etc. Every actor should possess these abilities. I’ve always thought that’s what an actor was, versatile.
What other projects do you have coming up in the future?
We just wrapped the final season of Falling Skies. What a journey that has been. There is a South African biopic I would like to do, so we’ll see what happens with that. My team and I are making plans to shoot our first pilot. I’m very excited about that. I plan to make some music as well. Look out for that.
What was your favorite subject in high school?
I don’t know if I had a favorite subject. School wasn’t really my thing. I can remember paying the most attention in Geography. That class was fun. I developed a fascination with our planet and the cosmos as a result.
The film hits theaters this Friday.
-Dylan “CineMasai” Green