The cast of the new film Red Tails were in town to promote their high flying special
effects film that Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. called “a great fun movie!” Red Tails
is based on the heroic Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. George Lucas developed
the script and originally was at the helm to direct.
First time feature film maker Anthony Hemmingway stepped in as director. “I hope
this film helps bridge the gap for the black community and the industry,” Hemmingway
said. Filmed in 2009, Red Tails was shot on location in Prague and the actors had
lots of location stories. “We just didn’t fit, we were in Eastern Europe,” said Nate
Parker (The Great Debaters, Pride) who plays “Easy” in the film. He went on to say
how no one spoke English and everyone stared at this group of black men driving down
The cast admitted those unfamiliar with the historical aspect of the film will learn
something, but that history isn’t the films main purpose. “The objective first and
foremost from George Lucas was to make an action movie for young boys,” Gooding noted.
Both Gooding and Terrence Howard, the films’ acting veterans have starred in films
previously about the subject matter.
British actor David Oyelowo (The Help) talked about how this helped him disregard
the notion that all black actors don’t have to try and be the next Denzel Washington.
“This is a very rarified situation where a cast of this size in terms of black actors
get to work together,” Oyelowo explained. He also joked that despite his tardiness
to boot camp, he actually broke all the records.
I asked the cast what made them eager to be in a film like this and Oscar nominated
actor Howard (Crash, The Brave One) talked about how as a kid he would pretend to
be a fighter pilot using buckeyes as ammunition. “To be able to climb inside of
a jet and shoot down enemy planes and play that game, this was fun, to see what young
black men accomplished. That’s why I wanted to be a part of it,” said Howard.
Cast touch down in Houston
By: Dustin Chase & Donna Copeland
“I was blown away by the visuals in this film. When you come to see this movie, it’s
an amusement park ride.” - Cuba Gooding Jr