Angela Robinson Witherspoon Interview

Angela Robinson started acting in 1976, when she landed a role, opposite Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, in One Down, Two to go (1982). At that time, she didn’t focus on acting because she was busy modeling in Paris, London, Milan and New York City and working with the Eileen Ford Agency. Also, her attention wasn’t on acting because she had been told that acting is an avocation, not a vocation, as roles for African Americans were still hard to come by. However, her perspective would later change in New York, when she and her roommate, Sharon Stone, decided to go to acting classes together and support each other in their artistic pursuits.

Sharon started booking roles and introduced Angela to famed producer Joel Silver. He cast Angela in her first speaking role, opposite Eddie Murphy in 48 Hrs. (1982). Walter Hillwas the director and he subsequently cast Angela in another movie, Crossroads (1986), opposite Ralph Macchio. She then joined the Rainbow Theatre Company and worked closely with Juney Smith, Vernee Watson Johnson, Ian Foxx and Reed McCants, performing classic plays of the African American experience.

Angela played Pepper in “Sirens”, Aunt Vi in “Happy Endings”, Antonia in “The Last Straw” and Sheila in “A Song For You”.

In 1983 she traveled to Cuernavaca, Mexico where she spent five weeks filming “Jungle Warriors” for German director, Ernst R. Von Theumer. She did all her own stunts and had the pleasure of working with Dennis Hopper and firing an AK47.

In 1985 she traveled to the Cannes Film Festival and had dinner with director Howard Avedis. He said he had a part for her, and one year later, he called and cast her in “Kidnapped”, a Warner Bros film starring David Naughton and her future husband, John Witherspoon. By this time she had started doing stand-up comedy as another way to be seen. Angela asked John to help her with her stand-up routine and according to the story he did: He got her to stand right next to him for the next 26 years.

Although Angela’s acting career slowed down a little when she gave birth to two beautiful boys, she did “Ugly Betty”, “Joan of Arcadia”, “Soul Plane”, “The Wayans Bros.”, “3rd Rock From The Sun”, “L.A. Law” for television and the feature film “The Meteor Man”. The starring role in “The Moment After” she considers to be one of her proudest moments as an actress.

Angela was encouraged to reconnect with her craft again by studying with Adilah Barnes and being mentored by the late Rosalind Cash. She did a full production of the Theresa Rebeck play, “Loose Knit”, at the Jewel Box Theatre. Today, she is grasping the roots of creating evidence and delivering product while studying at the Richard Lawson Studios under Richard Lawson.

As of 2014 Angela added to her artistic repertoire by directing her first short film, “Last Call”, starring the young talents, Erica Juliet and Justin Orton. It’s the story of a young girl who needs money to support herself and get’s talked into dancing in a night club. The girl commits the cardinal sin of falling in love with one of the customers. “Last Call” is currently in post production and hoping to find a successful run on the festival circuit.

Also, Angela appears as “Mrs. Boudoir” in Helen Banks’ film, “She Ain’t Got A Man”. Helen is a young film director who went to the Cannes Film Festival (Short Corner)with her film,”Setting of the Son”.

Now that her boys are young men men, Angela says she can return her attentions to telling stories that she finds fascinating and that need to be told.

 

      28th January 2018 - Angela Robinson Witherspoon

 

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