×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Howard preps Supreme Court Justice role

As Samuel Alito, President George W. Bush’s choice to succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, was facing the first salvo of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I was discussing another Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, with thesp Terrence Howard, who has asked for a delay in the start of the film.

“They’ll have to hold it,” Howard told me — “until I learn Thurgood Marshall’s life. [My portrayal] has got to be right; I spent three years getting ready for ‘Hustle and Flow’. I want to spend time in the Senate, Congress, the White House” And Howard did not hold back his opinion of Alito — “he scares me — his past judgments.”

Howard was in L.A. Monday for the Critics’ Choice Awards for which he was nominated as Best Actor for “Hustle and Flow” and Best Supporting Actor for “Crash.” He then returned to N.Y. to receive the National Board of Review’s award Tuesday night for “Breakout Actor of the Year” for both films. He then returns to L.A. for the Golden Globes in which he’s nominated as Best Actor for “Hustle and Flow” and then the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards’ Ensemble category — nominated with both films. Howard’s versatility is further accentuated by the role he recently wound, playing a cardiological surgeon in “Awake.” For this role he studied in operating rooms for four months “shoulder to shoulder with surgeons one foot away from open hearts. I never felt so prepared for a role in my life.” And it’s the preparation he wants for Thurgood Marshall.

He is also readying to portray Joe Louis for Spike Lee. He would battle Max Schmeling twice, once losing the crown, then regaining it. Howard is confident about getting in the ring — he did it as Ali in “King of the World” in 1999. “I was 29 and I can handle it now — trust me,” he laughed. One role he would have wanted to play was Malcolm X, “But,” he allows, “Denzel did such a magnificent job.” There is one character Howard will have no difficulty playing — in an autobiographical musical, “Hold on Tight,” for which he’s writing the script — and “three or four songs.” He’s no stranger to music — hence, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.” And — he travels everywhere with his guitar. 

Popular on Variety

More Voices

  • Renee Zellweger'Judy' film premiere, Arrivals, Samuel

    'Judy's' L.A. Premiere: Renée Zellweger Takes Another Ruby Step Toward the Oscars

    Renée Zellweger continues to follow the yellow brick road to the Oscars. The Los Angeles premiere of Judy on Thursday night in Beverly Hills kept the Academy Award winner on track for a possible second win come February. “We’re just so happy we’re able to share it with you tonight,” Zellweger said to the crowd [...]

  • Barry Bill Hader

    Emmys 2019: Clear Favorites and Top Challengers for This Year's Winners (Column)

    If this felt like the longest, most expensive Emmy campaign in history, you might be right. For one thing, the 2019 Primetime Emmys will be held Sept. 22, which is the latest the ceremony has taken place since 2013. That also happened to be the last year of TV’s quaint, pre-streaming era, before outlets like [...]

  • Fleabag Succession Emmys

    Could 'Fleabag' and 'Succession' Be Spoilers on Emmy Night? (Column)

    At the onset, this year’s Emmy Awards felt a bit anticlimactic, as the final seasons of “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” appeared to have this year’s drama and comedy categories locked up before campaigning even began. But that’s how upsets happen: Just when we’re pretty confident about how things might go, a couple of wild [...]

  • Climate Mobilization

    Marshall Herskovitz: Why the Climate Crisis Needs Movie Marketing-Style Muscle

     I’ve lived inside the climate-communications conundrum for 20 years, working with scientists, academics and activists to find ways to convince Americans that something they couldn’t see or feel was nevertheless a looming catastrophe worth upending their lives to fight. Now the climate crisis is undeniable, and we are finally seeing the beginnings of concerted action. [...]

  • Renée Zellweger, Adam Driver Gain Oscar

    Telluride: Oscar Buzz Builds For Renée Zellweger, Adam Driver and 'The Two Popes'

    This year’s Telluride Film Festival began on Thursday with the Guest/Patron Brunch on a private estate about a 30-minute drive from the center of town. Eggs, bacon and fruit salad were being served as the sun was shining on Martin Scorsese, Adam Driver, Noah Baumbach, Laura Dern, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Ken Burns, Ric Burns, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content