Laurence Fishburne has had a prolific career, to say the least. His turn in the iconic film Apocalypse Now might not have happened if he’d been honest. Fishburne told director Francis Ford Coppola that he was 18 when he was only 14 years old. And he almost turned down the role of Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It which earned him an Academy Award nomination.
FISHBURNE: I play a character named Chief Gus Mancuso. He’s a guy who’s a spacer, a lifetime of traveling in space. He is completely enamored with space, stars and new worlds. The journey goes from Earth almost 100 years, to reach this new planet. People are asleep for most of the journey and wake up about 80 years later, and populate this new world. But things go wrong, as they do, and he wakes up along with our two leads, luckily he’s a crew chief, so he has access to certain things they wouldn’t have access to as passengers. He helps them, sort of, you know, acclimate to the environment of this crazy ship that is on a course that can’t turn back. Jim, who’s an engineer, doesn’t have all the knowledge Gus has about the workings of the ship, but together, I think the two of them are able to sort of deduce that there is something that’s a miss and it’s much larger than they imagined. The ship is very refined, very elegant. It’s super sophisticated, clean, modern and beautifully designed environments that we got to play in. I’m sure that’s going to add, sort of, to the quality of isolation that I think the audience will feel and allow the warmth to come from the characters.
STRIPLV: What’s it like working with the cast and the director?
FISHBURNE: I really enjoy working with both Jennifer and Chris, and with Michael, with who I’ve worked with before many, many years ago. They are all some of the finest actors working, period. I think the thing that was most important to us, between Morten and myself, was the fact that, you know, he was the one that said to me first, “Gus is the adult, he is the father figure in this piece.” That was, sort of, a really good anchor for me to have regarding finding out who the character is and how to play him.