DEREK LUKE (Antwone Fisher)
Prior to being selected for the lead role in ANTWONE FISHER, Derek Luke was relatively unknown except for appearances on the television series, "Moesha" and "The King Of Queens. " During the casting process for ANTWONE FISHER, Luke's determination and perseverance paid off when he caught the attention of first-time director, Denzel Washington, amongst hundreds of other young hopefuls. A New Jersey native and former employee at the Sony Pictures gift shop, Luke won the starring role that marks his big break into feature films.
In the spring of 2002, Luke shot PIECES OF APRIL, in which he plays Katie Holmes' boyfriend. The film was written and directed by Peter Hedges (screenwriter for WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE). In early 2003 Luke will be seen in BIKER BOYZ starring opposite Laurence Fishburne, Kid Rock, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Orlando Jones, Lisa Bonet, Meagan Good and Salli Richardson.
In December 2002, Luke will be featured in a series of ads for Gap.
JOY BRYANT (Cheryl)
Joy Bryant made her onscreen debut in the MTV original production of "Carmen: A Hip Hopera," opposite Beyoncé Knowles and Mekhi Phifer, followed by a small role in the Warner Bros. ' feature comedy, SHOWTIME, opposite Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro. Bryant is currently in production on Bille Woodruff's HONEY, a music-driven, coming-of-age drama about an inner-city woman, played by Jessica Alba, who fulfills her dream of becoming a successful video choreographer until she is confronted with unsuspecting setbacks. Bryant will portray the title character's best friend.
While enrolled as a full-time student at Yale University, Bryant was discovered by a modeling scout from Next Models Management. For several years, Bryant pursued a career as a fashion model in Paris and subsequently entered an exclusive contract with Tommy Hilfiger. Bryant continues to model between films as a cover subject for Victoria's Secret and in a number of prestigious print campaigns.
Bryant is an avid supporter of the Fieldston Enrichment Program under the umbrella of A Better Chance, an organization that reaches out to minority talent to enrich their academic opportunities. Bryant was herself an enrollee in the A Better Chance program and later earned an academic scholarship to Yale University.
DENZEL WASHINGTON (Jerome Davenport)
See 'About The Filmmakers. '
SALLI RICHARDSON (Berta Davenport)
Playing the role of Berta, Jerome Davenport's wife, is Salli Richardson, whose performances have been featured in the Samuel L. Jackson-starrer THE GREAT WHITE HYPE, ONCE UPON A TIME. .. WHEN WE WERE COLORED, Keenan Ivory Wayans' A LOW DOWN DIRTY SHAME, Lou Diamond Phillips' directorial debut film SIOUX CITY, which won the Gold Medal at the Houston Film Festival, and Mario Van Peebles' POSSE. Additionally, Richardson starred in HBO's "Soul Of The Game. " She is currently shooting BIKER BOYZ, which stars Derek Luke, Laurence Fishburne and Kid Rock.
Richardson has held starring roles on numerous television shows including Showtime's "Rude Awakenings," CBS's "Family Law" and the hit show "Stargate SG-1. " For Disney's animated series, "Gargoyles," Richardson spent three seasons as the voice of Elisa Maza.
DENZEL WASHINGTON (Director/Producer/Jerome Davenport)
Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington has enjoyed a distinguished career, consistently entertaining audiences with rich and colorful character portrayals distinctly his own. When offered Antwone Fisher's script four years ago as an actor, he told the producers that it was time he directed.
In 2002, Washington received an Oscar® for Best Actor for his portrayal of a jaded LAPD veteran in Antoine Fuqua's TRAINING DAY, and starred in the critically acclaimed JOHN Q. He will next be seen in Carl Franklin's crime thriller OUT OF TIME opposite Sanaa Lathan.
He has done three movies for Edward Zwick: GLORY, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, COURAGE UNDER FIRE and THE SIEGE. With Norman Jewison, he made his feature film debut in A SOLDIER'S STORY and years later, played the lead role in THE HURRICANE, for which he won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. For Spike Lee, he starred in MO' BETTER BLUES, MALCOLM X, for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and HE GOT GAME. He also starred in Sidney Lumet's POWER, Sir Richard Attenborough's CRY FREEDOM, for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Tony Scott's CRIMSON TIDE, Alan J. Pakula's THE PELICAN BRIEF and Jonathan Demme's Academy Award-winning PHILADELPHIA.
Additional film credits as an actor include REMEMBER THE TITANS, FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY, THE MIGHTY QUINN, MISSISSIPPI MASALA, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, THE PREACHER'S WIFE, FALLEN and THE BONE COLLECTOR among others.
In addition to his accomplishments on screen, Washington produced the HBO documentary "Half Past Autumn: The Life And Works Of Gordon Parks," nominated for two Emmys®. He served as executive producer on "Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream," a biographical documentary for TBS which earned an Emmy Award nomination. He also narrated "John Henry," which received a Grammy® nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. In 1996, he won the NAACP Image Award for his performance in the animated children's special, "Happily Ever After: Rumpelstiltskin. "
A native of Mt. Vernon, New York, Washington had his career sights set on medicine when he attended Fordham University. During a stint as a summer camp counselor, he appeared in one of their theater productions and discovered a love for acting. Upon graduation from Fordham, Washington was accepted into San Francisco's prestigious American Conservatory Theater and spent an intensive year studying acting. Upon his return to New York, his Obie Award®-winning performance in the off-Broadway production of "A Soldier's Play" captured the attention of Hollywood and led him to be cast in the long running hit television series, "St. Elsewhere," as Dr. Philip Chandler.
ANTWONE FISHER (Writer/Co-Producer)
Inspired by his life, ANTWONE FISHER marks Antwone Fisher's debut as a screenwriter and co-producer. During the 10 years it took to bring his screenplay to the screen, Fisher sold numerous screenplays and wrote his memoirs for the book Finding Fish (William Morrow), a "New York Times" Bestseller. December 2002 will mark Fisher's debut as a published poet when Harper Collins releases his collection of poems entitled Who Will Cry For The Little Boy.
TODD BLACK (Producer)
ANTWONE FISHER has been 10 years in the making for Producer Todd Black. During that span, Black has been involved in a number of other projects. Through a partnership with director Randa Haines, Black produced WRESTLING ERNEST HEMINGWAY for Warner Bros. and A FAMILY THING for United Artists. This led into his three-year tenure as President of Motion Picture Production at Sony's Mandalay Entertainment where he managed such movies as DONNIE BRASCO, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, LES MISERABLES and WILD THINGS.
In January 2000, Black, along with his partner Jason Blumenthal, merged with the Steve Tisch Company to form Escape Artists, an independently financed company. They have secured Sony Pictures as their domestic partner. Currently, they are prepping four pictures for production starting with the Luis Mandoki thriller NEED; the romantic comedy WEDLOCKED, starring Meg Ryan and Richard Gere; NAUTICA to be directed by Tarsem; and the thriller KNOWING, to be directed by DONNIE DARKO helmer Richard Kelly. They are also concentrating on a number of other high-profile development projects.
Black attended the theatre program at the University of Southern California and began his career as a casting associate on various television shows. From there, he went on to work with Joe Wizan, to produce such movies as IRON EAGLE, TOUGH GUYS with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, DUNSTON CHECKS IN and FIRE IN THE SKY.
RANDA HAINES (Producer)
As the director of CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, THE DOCTOR, WRESTLING ERNEST HEMINGWAY, DANCE WITH ME and the acclaimed telefilm "Something About Amelia," Randa Haines has traversed drama and comedy in her exploration of universal themes of communication. Haines' first feature, CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, was nominated for three Golden Globes®, a BAFTA®, and five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film drew critical praise for Haines' direction - she was nominated for a Best Director Award by the Directors Guild of America - and for its performances, winning accolades for William Hurt's sensitive work. The film launched Marlee Matlin's career with a Golden Globe and an Oscar®.
Haines' television credits include: "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" for PBS; several episodes of the award-winning, hard-edged television series "Hill Street Blues"; the critically acclaimed television movie "Something About Amelia," for which Haines was nominated for both Emmy and DGA Awards for Best Director; and "The Outsider," a western, starring Naomi Watts for Showtime Networks.
As a producer, Haines' credits include A FAMILY THING with Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones, DANCE WITH ME, and "The Outsider. " She began her career as an actress, studying with Lee Strasberg.
NANCY PALOIAN-BREZNIKAR (Executive Producer)
Executive producer Nancy Paloian-Breznikar co-produced Twentieth Century Fox's DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR?, starring Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott and Fox Searchlight Pictures' Penelope Cruz starrer WOMAN ON TOP. Paloian-Breznikar's co-production credits include Twentieth Century Fox's DRIVE ME CRAZY, directed by John Schultz, BEST LAID PLANS starring Reese Witherspoon and Josh Brolin, and BLUNT FORCE.
Her other credits as a line producer include LURED INNOCENCE with Dennis Hopper and Talia Shire; Martin Bregman's A WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY, starring Jack Lemmon and Dudley Moore; THE MAKER, with Matthew Modine; SOMEBODY IS WAITING, starring Gabriel Byrne; and the tele-feature "Out There" with Rod Steiger, Julie Brown and Billy Bob Thornton.
PHILIPPE ROUSSELOT, AFC/ASC (Director of Photography)
Academy Award-winning Philippe Rousselot, who won the Oscar when he filmed A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT for actor-turned-director Robert Redford, joins Denzel Washington in his directorial debut. The two men previously worked together on REMEMBER THE TITANS.
The highly talented Rousselot has been twice Oscar nominated; for his work on HENRY & JUNE and HOPE AND GLORY. Other feature credits for the French-born cinematographer include PLANET OF THE APES, THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT, MARY REILLY, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, FLESH & BONE, SOMMERSBY, DANGEROUS LIAISONS and DIVA, among others.
NELSON COATES (Production Designer)
A long-time collaborator with director Gary Fleder, Nelson Coates designed the successful thrillers DON'T SAY A WORD and KISS THE GIRLS, as well as the highly stylized THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU'RE DEAD, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995. Most recently, the two collaborated on the sci-fi thriller IMPOSTOR. Fleder and Coates are currently working on John Grisham's RUNAWAY JURY, starring Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and John Cusack, for Twentieth Century Fox.
Coates' commitment to detail is especially showcased in LIVING OUT LOUD, STIR OF ECHOES, the top-rated miniseries "Stephen King's The Stand," for which he was nominated for an EMMY®, and Angelica Huston's directorial debut, BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA. Coates is also credited with MURDER AT 1600, ALBINO ALLIGATOR, THREE OF HEARTS, DISTURBING BEHAVIOR, CB4, BLANK CHECK and FRAILTY.
Not limited to film, Coates also enjoys designing for the stage. He constructed sets for the Onstage Theatre Company's "Hurlyburly," which won rave reviews from "Variety," "Dramalogue" and "The Los Angeles Times. " In addition, he has earned several Forum Awards, including one for Horton Foote's "The Traveling Lady. "
CONRAD BUFF, A. C. E. (Editor)
Conrad Buff first made a name for himself in the early 1980s as a visual effects editorial supervisor on films like THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, E. T. , POLTERGEIST and GHOSTBUSTERS. His career as a film editor began when he co-edited JAGGED EDGE. Since then, Buff has edited a number of remarkable films, including four pictures for James Cameron: THE ABYSS, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, TRUE LIES and TITANIC, for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Editing in 1998. Some of his other credits include THE GETAWAY, DANTE'S PEAK, ARLINGTON ROAD, THIRTEEN DAYS, and most recently, TRAINING DAY, among others.
MYCHAEL DANNA (Music By)
Mychael Danna has been scoring films since his 1987 feature debut for Atom Egoyan's FAMILY VIEWING, a score that earned Danna the first of his nine Canadian film award nominations. Danna's reputation as one of the pioneers of combining non-Western sound sources with orchestral and electronic minimalism in the world of film music has led him to work with such acclaimed directors as Egoyan, Scott Hicks, Ang Lee, Gillies MacKinnon, James Mangold, Mira Nair and Joel Schumacher.
Currently at work on the Ang Lee-directed THE HULK, Danna's recent projects include ARARAT, HEARTS IN ATLANTIS, MONSOON WEDDING, CHOSEN, GREEN DRAGON and GIRL, INTERRUPTED.
Danna studied music composition at the University of Toronto, where he received the Glenn Gould Composition Scholarship. He also served for five years as composer-in-residence at the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto. His works for dance include music for the Carbone Quatorze Dance Company's performance of "Dead Souls" and a score for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's "Gita Govinda" (2001).
SHAREN DAVIS (Costume Designer)
Sharen Davis, who previously worked with Denzel Washington on DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, joins him for his directorial debut. She recently served as the designer on the hit summer movie, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS, starring Eddie Murphy, and DOUBLE TAKE. Her additional film credits include HIGH CRIMES, RUSH HOUR, Twentieth Century Fox's 1998 remake of DR. DOOLITTLE, MONEY TALKS, EQUINOX and YOUNGER AND YOUNGER.
For television, Davis is credited with "Grace And Glorie," starring Gena Rowlands and Diane Lane, "Nightjohn" with Beau Bridges, "Zooman" with Louis Gossett Jr. and Charles S. Dutton, "State Of Emergency," "Laurel Avenue" and the creepy thriller "Nightmare on the 13th Floor," among others.
CHRIS SMITH (Co-Producer)
ANTWONE FISHER marks Chris Smith's first film as a co-producer. A WGA screenwriter, Smith has sold numerous projects to Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers and producers like Neil Moritz, Bob Simonds, George Zaloom and Les Mayfield, however the screenplays have not, as of yet, been produced.
Following the Los Angeles riots, Smith became a volunteer screenwriting teacher at the Bethel AME church in South Central Los Angeles where Antwone Fisher enrolled as a screenwriting student. Upon reading Fisher's story, Smith introduced him to Todd Black. Smith and Black worked with Fisher to hone the script and get the film made.
Inspired by his experience with Fisher, Smith received his MA in Educational Administration at the University of Michigan and this fall began his doctoral program at UCLA in Educational Leadership where his interests will focus on improving urban public schools.