There’s been debate about whether Freddy should have accepted Frank’s money to save his restaurant. Do you think your character made the right choice?
Freddy would never take that money, it wouldn’t be honorable. Freddy may not have a lot of money, he may have lost his family, but all he has is his honor and his integrity and that is the most important thing.
Now that the restaurant is gone, how will Frank cope without a place of solace? Can we expect to see Freddy next season?
You know what, I really don’t know.
You’re playing Don King in “Hands of Stone” – how did the role come to you?
It’s a funny story actually. I got a call from my L.A. agency and they never call! So this guy said “Okay I know you don’t talk to us but I’m new and I don’t give a damn.” I laughed and thought, ok let me talk to this guy. He said “Yeah I want to send you in for Don King, and my first reaction was “Dude, have you looked at me? There’s no way I could play Don King!” But he talked me into auditioning cuz I was like come on, this ain’t gonna happen.
The director called and said “Wow, I love that you didn’t do any Don King stuff!” We met for breakfast and told me he was going to send my audition tape to Bobby and I asked “Who the hell is Bobby?” and he said “Come on man, Bobby DeNiro!” I had to gain 30 lbs. for the role, and I’ve lost half of it now. I gotta say it was more fun putting it on than taking it off.
Usher is also in the movie. What do you think of his performance?
He looks exactly like Sugar Ray Leonard when he’s in the ring and has all of his moves down cold. He’s just amazing.
WATCH: Usher Talks Preparing To Play Sugar Ray Leonard
You’ve worked consistently in both film and television for 30 years, which is almost a rarity for an actor of color in Hollywood. What has been the secret to your longevity in the business?
You gotta keep showing up. I lived in L.A. for ten years and there were some really rough times. I did voice-over work and was very fortunate to do some classical theater. I was completely happy not doing film or TV because I was so beat down from the L.A. experience. I was told by a few casting directors that I wasn’t “Black” enough. I remember one of them telling me “Can you give me a little more street?” And I said “Well, I can give you a little more curb” (laughs).
“The Corner” got me back into things. I met David Simon through Carl Fontana, who I’ve known since I was a teenager back in Comstock back in the 1980′s. So it was people that I knew that were hiring me more than people I didn’t know. So yeah, I’m fortunate like that, you just gotta show up.
“House of Cards” Seasons 1 &2 are available on Netflix streaming
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