Google+

Straight Outta Corey!

Corey Hawkins

The “Straight Outta Compton” Interview

with Kam Williams

Straight Outta Corey!

Born in Washington, DC on October 22, 1988, Corey Hawkins studied acting at Juilliard before making his big screen debut in 2012 opposite Bow Wow in Allegiance. The next year, he appeared in Iron Man 3 with Robert Downey, Jr., and in Non-Stop with Liam Neeson the year after that.

The “Straight Outta Comtpon”,  Interview with Kam WilliamsHere, he talks about his breakout role playing Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton, a biopic about the legendary rap group NWA.

Kam Williams: Hey Corey, how’s it going?

Corey Hawkins: Awesome, Kam! Awesome! I’m on Cloud 9!

KW: What interested you in Straight Outta Comtpon? Were you a fan of NWA?

CH: Absolutely! I was definitely a fan of NWA growing up. I was a fan of their music because it hit so close to home. I grew up in the DMV [Washington, DC metropolitan area]. I always liked their music and honest music in general.

KW: How did you approach playing Dr. Dre? Did you consult him for pointers?

CH: I spoke with him every day. He was on set every day. He didn’t want me to imitate him or mimic him or do an impersonation. He didn’t want me to stare at him and watch how he moved. Because of my training, he was willing to trust the craft. He just wanted me to capture what NWA spoke to in terms of their lyrics and in terms of what they were representing as young black artists coming out of Compton.

KW: I recently interviewed Ving Rhames, who also graduated from Juilliard. Are you also an advocate of studying acting?

CH: Definitely! In fact, Ving and I spoke at the premiere, and he was very supportive of me and very positive about the movie. He’s a great guy! And, yes, I am an advocate of what I did as far as training, especially as an African-American in this business. It’s getting better, but there’s still that stigma that we can only do one thing. I hope to break down that barrier and play whatever type of character in whatever genre of picture I’m interested in. But you need the versatility to be able to do that, and the versatility comes through your training. I think Juilliard was a great playground for that, because you could be open to anything. It was very disciplined, so you know, technically, how to get to where you need to get to.

KW: It also helps when you have colorblind casting being encouraged by people on the others side of the camera like writer/producers like Shonda Rhimes.

CH: Yeah, Shonda… and the writer on Gabrielle Union’s show, Being Mary Jane,  Mara Brock Akil. There are so many different writers and producers behind the scenes who are pushing for us now. That’s what we need more of, the people creating the stories. We can’t expect others to write our stories. That’s where I hope to get one day, and I look at Cube [Ice Cube] as a mentor now, because I see what he’s done with this film. Straight Outta Compton isn’t just any old rap biopic, but a story about complex characters, and that’s what you get onscreen.

KW: The film is also very timely, given its focus on police brutality and the recent rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Is that a lucky coincidence or divine intervention?

The “Straight Outta Comtpon”,  Interview with Kam Williams

CH: It might be divine intervention, Kam, because this script had been circulating for the past thirteen years. It’s sad that the issue is still relevant.  Being a black kid in Compton, you shouldn’t feel like you’re living in a war zone. As the society devotes more attention to the issue, I think police officers are starting to see what’s going on a little more clearly. Hopefully, this film will continue the dialogue, because we definitely attack the subject without letting up, in the same way N.W.A. attacked it back then with the record “Straight Outta Compton.”   

KW: What message do you think people will take away from?

CH: It might sound like a cliché, but what we really want is for people to feel inspired. If you look at what the people we portray in this movie accomplished and where they came from, I hope people take away that you can achieve anything. I hope it inspires young kids growing up in inner-cities like I did to make positive choices in the circumstances they were given. You feel this movie. You feel L.A. You feel the humiliation. You feel the pride. You root for them. You laugh. You cry. You really go on a ride without even knowing it. I love seeing everybody’s reaction to it, whether they’re black, white, Latino or Asian. It’s such a powerful story.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

CH: I don’t think so. I’ve been getting a lot of different questions.

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

CH: I actually can’t cook. [Laughs] I wish I could. I’m mostly a carry-out kind of guy, ordering pizza and stuff.

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?

CH: ”Your Face in Mine.” http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594633843/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

I was also reading “The Circle” which is sort of a commentary on the dangers of social media today. It’s a very powerful novel. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0345807294/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

CH: A human being. A young, smart, dedicated, driven person that African-Americans can be proud of.

KW: Who loved you unconditionally during your formative years?

CH: Everybody in my family. That’s how we operate. We all love each other unconditionally. We fight, we argue, but we love unconditionally at the core. That’s what makes family family. And I can’t say one loved me more than another.

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

CH: I remember singing in church. My grandmother was very heavily involved in the church. I loved the theatrical nature of church, too. That might have contributed to my going into acting.

KW: The Harriet Pakula-Teweles question: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in?

CH: That’s a great question. I’d love to remake The Godfather.

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?

CH: That’s another good question. These are the ones nobody’s been asking. I’m the same person.at home and on the red carpet, although I’m a little more shy at home.

KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?

CH: Discipline and a willingness to work harder than anyone else.

KW: Lastly, what’s in your wallet?

CH: What’s in my wallet? [LOL] I don’t know.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Corey, and best of luck with the film .

CH: Thank you, Kam.

 

Entertainment

Disaster Flick Revisits Coast Guard 1952 Rescue off Cape Cod

  The Finest Hours DVD Review by Kam Williams Disaster Flick Revisits Coast Guard 1952 Rescue off Cape Cod    On February 18, 1952, one of the worst nor'easters in history hit New England. In fact, the roiling waters off Cape Cod were so severe that a couple of oil tankers totally split in half. While the SS Fort Mercer was able to issue an urgent S.O.S., the SS Pendleton's fore section was swallowed too quickly by the ocean to broadcast a distress call. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation

  From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Haymarket Books Paperback, $17.95 286 pages ISBN: 978-1-60846-562-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent from sales one year ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Aspiring Singer Talks about Transformation into Youtube Sensation with Help of Secret Admirer/Music Producer

  Princess Shaw The “Presenting Princess Shaw” Interview with Kam Williams Aspiring Singer Talks about Transformation into Youtube Sensation with Help of Secret Admirer/Music Producer Born and raised in Chicago, 39 year-old Samantha Montgomery moved to New Orleans in 2006. By day, she works as a caregiver for the elderly and, by night, she fearlessly performs as Princess Shaw online and at local open mics. Inspired by her personal joy and pain from past and … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions

  Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions   The Yamaha Propeller selection page on Yamaha’s webpage is a great tool for every boat owner as a tool not only to make sure the correct prop is on their boat but also gives the ability and freedom to change the prop with ease, depending on the application. Everyone knows the equipment used for bass fishing is not the same for chasing tuna offshore, and the same logic applies to selecting a prop. At … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

NFL Awards Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles

  NFL Awards Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles By Burt Carey Are you ready for some expensive football? Make that billions. The National Football League on Tuesday awarded Super Bowls to three cities that have invested – or will invest – billions of dollars upgrading or building new stadiums in the years 2019, 2020 and 2021. Atlanta’s new $1.4 billion stadium will open in 2017, just two years before the city hosts its third Super Bowl. Miami is … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent from sales one year ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Celebrate 100 Years of the National Park Service

  Celebrate 100 Years of the National Park Service By Burt Carey God bless America, Land that I love,  Stand beside her and guide her  Thru the night with a light from above;    From the mountains, to the prairies,  To the oceans white with foam,  God bless America,  My home, sweet home.  God bless America,  My home, sweet home.   When he wrote the lyrics to God Bless America in 1918 and revised them in 1938, Irving Berlin … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+