Actor, singer, producer, Leon Robinson aka ‘Leon‘, is a triple threat! best known for his functions as David Ruffin in The Temptations, J.T. Matthews in The 5 Heartbeats, Derice Bannock in Cool Runnings, or together Russell in Waiting to Exhale, Leon is one of those very couple of actors leading a career that has actually spanned three decades. A wonderful talk through a male whose target in life is to encourage love and togetherness.

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By Victoria Adelaide | Feb 26. 2018


Victoria Adelaide: What carry out you typically look because that in a role?Leon: Well, usually once I’m in search of a role, I constantly like to perform something that’s different. Something the is a different type of story or a different type of duty for me. Due to the fact that I choose to challenge myself. I don’t prefer to it is in one note. Being distinct as a person and as an artist, is gift able to have distinctive qualities, and in order to screen those characteristics you need to be in a details storyline and details roles. So I’m always looking for something the can distinguish me, or put me in a position where ns can aid distinguish a story. It is the most essential thing because that me. I consider myself a storyteller, more than I think about myself one actor, a songwriter or anything. Due to the fact that what us remember most of any type of movie, or any book is the story, not one character, together we just remember good characters that are in an excellent stories.

VA: having said that, what sort of duty would you choose to get that you haven’t play yet?L: Wow! (laughs). There are so many. Well, you need to realize that, there are a many things that us can readjust and points we can’t change. Ns can change my accent, my weight, or my body. I really can’t adjust my challenge too much. So gift able come either develop a task or be actors for a project, in which people feel the it’s what is different from you, the tough. I simply think anything that’s really wildly various from me or something ns so right for, it’s prefer the perfect marriage. You constantly look because that those type of things. There are so countless different roles, so many different stories to tell.

VA: Yes, and also you have actually to gain into it and also sometimes ns guess come mold yourself into that personality to better suit yourself or her performance?L: Yes, the happens every the time. Once you figure out who this character is and what he is in the story, numerous times you need to mold yourself right into that person. Sometimes I play genuine life characters. As soon as you beat someone that actually walked and also talked ~ above this earth, you owe it to your friends and also their family, did you do it really gained to occupational on capturing the essence of that person. Like when I played David Ruffin in The Temptations, i studied him, i studied his movements, everything, heard all kinds the stories about him… I want to make sure I walk a proper representation of him. Exact same thing once I walk Little Richard.


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Make America black color Again! A comedy that will certainly make girlfriend laugh the end loud! Courtesy of motion Mob Films.


VA: How has your approach to her work adjusted over the years?L: The biggest distinction is the amount of time and also of preparation, which friend don’t have as lot now, due to the fact that people just don’t rehearse and also prepare for a long period of time choose they supplied to. And additionally just the procedure of life. When you are a young actor, you nothing really have actually a the majority of responsibilities other than to act, for this reason you can delve into roles and also just stay in the character. Once you’re older friend have more responsibilities, girlfriend usually have actually a home, probably a family, businesses that you can not let go simply to become an additional person (laughs). It just becomes more difficult to just delve right into roles, become an additional person because that a few months and also not need to worry around anything else. I think as soon as you space young and also don’t have as countless responsibilities, that a lot easier to execute that.

VA: on the 25th anniversary that Cool Runnings, just how does it feel once you see that the movie is still so popular?L: well it’s fantastic, 3 weeks earlier we go a screening that it, on the large screen at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Ns was there with the director, the editor, and also another cast member, it was wonderful. Everyone said the very same thing, if this movie came out today it would make 200 million dollars. It might be made today. It’s simply amazing exactly how well this movie holds increase the story. I average everyone just gives into it, the amazing. I have been really lucky in that I’ve had movies that have stood the check of time. Starting with The five Heartbeats, which to be voted the number one African-American movie of the critical 25 years and a couple of other ones…like The Temptations, world just watch them year after ~ year ~ year and also celebrate them. I feel really blessed. As soon as I started my career, an lawyer friend claimed to me, “Listen, so numerous actors have been a walk throughout many stages, plenty of screens and also they will not be remembered. What you desire to do an ext than anything else is memorable work that resonates to people even lengthy after you gone.” and that has constantly been a goal of mine. So any type of time I obtain a chance, obtain lucky enough to it is in in a good storyline like Cool Runnings, The five Heartbeats, The Temptations or whatever, ns feel really blessed and also I’m happy due to the fact that I’m afford the one thing I really desire to do.

VA: You additionally have a production firm called Motion mob Films, in new York. What are you functioning on appropriate now?L: Well, right now we have actually a brief film making the film festival rounds, i beg your pardon is dubbed Make America black Again (laughs). The a politics satire about a candidate that is running for office under this present administration, under Trump. The is a black candidate to run on the project slogan of Make America black Again, which is sort of a takeoff due to the fact that the president Trump point is Make America an excellent Again, yet he’s really trying come say Make America White Again. So us made it Make America black color Again, and he is running on the campaign’s slogan v an entirely white project staff. Additionally we space currently developing our first TV manufacturing which is dubbed The Pulp of way B. It takes ar in downtown new York City, in Alphabet City. It’s around a street therapist who doesn’t have an office per se. Therefore he meets his client in the park, in coffee shops, in bed, wherever…(laughs).


VA: you are likewise a musician. What is your songwriting process and what inspires you?L: What inspires me is actual life. To sing songs and identifying v the civilization who have the right to identify with those songs. So lots of my catalyst either originates from stories or points I’ve experienced though life, or through other people. I think that’s once music has always resonated with me, once I hear a song and every one of a sudden i can almost imagine one of two people me going come it, me feeling it or me to sing it. That’s usually what inspires me in mine writing.

VA: “Beautiful” : what go it means to you?L: Well, my new album is called Love Is a Beautiful Thing, and it’s around all species of love. Not simply the type of love that we have actually for someone the we room in a partnership with, or us sleep with. Over there are civilization that do have relationships indigenous 5 or 10 years and just since they’re not resting together anymore, castle don’t know where that human being is in the world. I’m talking around the kind of love you have for her brother, her sister, or your friend. Part days girlfriend may even hate them however in the end you’ll always love them. And also there are all types of love, yes sir motherly love, there’s romantic love, yes friendship love, and also there is the type of love that’s broken. Love comes with so plenty of different things and that’s what the album is yes, really about.

VA: perform you think the generosity is the strongest quality an artist have to possess?L: ns don’t know if the a high quality that artists should possess. I recognize that the a high quality that I need to possess in order to do what ns do. There space all types of artists. Artists write and also create every kinds of things. Just as ns talking around love ideal now, yes an artist that deserve to be talking to you around evil, and that’s what cd driver him to compose things. So i wouldn’t desire to say the all artists need this, I just know that it’s crucial for me to have actually it, in stimulate to compose the kind of music that ns write. Since I compose music for the people.

VA: What had the biggest influence on friend musically?L: i don’t understand if there is one point that affected me other than more than likely the drum and also bass of Reggae. Reggae music is most likely what made me want to sing. My own music is a mix that Reggae, Soul and also other elements. So there’s commonly a Reggae back beat in a lot of our songs.

VA: Did girlfriend come from a musical background?L: No, no really. There was always music in mine house, because my dad was a lover the music and also loved to sing. However no-one professionally in that avenue. In my family, ns was the first.


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VA: what’s coming following for Leon & The Peoples? A new album?L: Yes. The album i mentioned, Love is a Beautiful Thing. The first single after ~ the album is released, will certainly be a single that I’m very proud of, called Sometimes ns Wish ns Was Single. (laughs)

VA: Well, it is an exciting title (laughs). Can you call me a bit much more about that?L: Well, together I said, I write songs for the people. As soon as I came up through a ide for this specific song, i was simply talking to so numerous of mine friends, either married or in major relationships. At part point, every one of them, everyone, men and women, great they were single. Also if it’s because that 10 minutes the end of the day, or once your girlfriends tell girlfriend they’ve acquired an extra ticket for you to walk to Costa Rica for the weekend and also your husband says, ‘No!’. Just to have that freedom is miscellaneous everyone wants at some allude in your life, also if it’s simply for one hour the end of the day. Therefore I created this song about it. That sounds favor a bad boy song, but it’s usually a love song about how lot you really appreciate the person that you with.

VA: on a an individual note, girlfriend seem to have actually a terrific relationship through your daughter. How has being a dad adjusted your life?L: Tremendously. Especially when you are an artist, so lot of what you perform is about you. And every one of a suddenly there’s who in your life, the you love much more than girlfriend love yourself. I think as soon as you space parents, you have this gene in you, it’s called a “selfless gene”. You selfless. As soon as I go on vacation, it’s not really that essential to me even if it is I have actually a great time, it’s only essential to me when my daughter has a good time. Just how my daughter is law is much more important than just how I’m doing. The really alters you in so countless ways.

VA: What sort of dad room you?L: I’m definitely a dad that’s a friend with his daughter. I believe that once you’re supervisor strict, sometimes you shed your kid. I don’t want to shed my kid. Ns don’t want my daughter to store things from me. So ns think by letting her know that I’m likewise her friend and also her dad, she deserve to talk come me around everything and I’m walk to provide her mine opinion. I’m not going to be super strictly on her and also act prefer I never did anything wrong. I want her to go with the points she is to walk through, she’s going to make her mistakes and also I’m going to speak to her around everything. I’m going to speak to her around her career, school, sex, whatever. Ns going to share my knowledge, and also my mistakes, everything with her. Therefore she have the right to have one even much better life than I do.

VA: You came to be famous with a number of an excellent movies. Exactly how did you find out not to take yourself as well seriously?L: Well, I kind of discover through life. I think together you acquire older you need to look around and also see just how life yes, really is. We room taught so countless things when we’re young. Ns think by the time you are 40 years old, you should be able to figure the end things. Friend should figure out who have to be approximately you, exactly how your temperament should be, exactly how you desire to strategy life, what works and what no work, what you’ve been taught that is true and also what you’ve to be taught the is nonsense. You need to have identified life because that yourself. It’s one of the pets peeves ns have, once I see world who have lived their stays for therefore long and also they’ve however to number anything out. I’m like, “Do you take time to look in ~ yourself?”, “Do you take it time to figure things out?”, “Do you walk from one partnership to the next, never realizing what you’ve to be doing wrong in the vault relationships?” I median these are the points that we have to do as soon as we gain older, as soon as we mature. Ns think so countless times people just don’t mature. Castle don’t shot to look around and see what life yes, really is about, since they’ve lived enough of that to obtain to know it.

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VA: Is there something the general public doesn’t know around you?L: Hmmm…let me see, possibly that i was increased as the just male of mine generation, for this reason that i was surrounding by women my totality life. I learned come love women prior to I also wanted to have sex with them. I think it is the factor why i get in addition to women therefore well, they can sense that I have a actual care and love for them far past just the typical guy-girl thing (laughs).