You know, I think a lot of times what happens when we as actors know we're playing a bad guy is we get into bad guy mode. You know what, man? In real life, bad people do good things too and good people do bad things. So you don't necessarily have to be the stereotypical bad guy to still do bad things.
You may have seen me in movies like 'Fast & Furious' and 'Avatar.' But I wouldn't have been able to do any of that without hard work and determination. You can accomplish anything if you just stay out of trouble and do the right things.
'Miracle at St. Anna.' I was challenged by Spike Lee. When he offered me the film, he looked me square in the eye and said, 'You start this film off and you end this film. I don't want a dry eye in the theatre. Can you pull that off?' He was dead serious.
I think the biggest lesson that I take from 'Avatar' on any set that I go to is just work ethic. Working with Jim Cameron, you're used to working very, very long days and you're very meticulous about details. He's very, very picky about little details, little character-isms and things.
As Africans Americans we often think about the tragic stories associated with our lineage, but there are a lot of triumphs. Traveling helps you learn about other aspects of our history, like the story of Christ the Redeemer. It's empowering and inspiring.
Being able to travel and see the world really makes me appreciate the blessings in my life. There are so many people that will never get a chance to see some of the things that I've seen during my travels. I'll never take that for granted.
It's never me saying, 'When is my day over?' It's more, 'When do they legally have to get me off of the lot, based on when I have to be back the next day?' The first call is a big thing in the acting world and in the union world. There needs to be a 12 hour period, and I need it.