American actor and director Melvin Van Peebles, 80, is known for creating the hit film back in 1971 called Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, as well as starting a new era for African Americans in film. He is also the father of noted actor and director Mario Van Peebles, who directed and starred in the hit movie New Jack City.
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Many people may be surprised to know that as Melvin has gotten older and slowed down on film directing, he’s sped up his health…as a marathon runner! When asked about his newfound (and amazingly healthy) passion, the star had this to say:
I have no illusions about running. I hate running. If I could feel as good as I felt at 30 without running, I wouldn’t do it, but that’s not the way it works! So – no pain, no gain. I’m pragmatic, and fairly honest with myself, so I knew I had to exercise. But my life and my career is filled with logistics – yesterday, for example, I was running around trying to find nun’s costumes for my new movie — and I tried to think of something I could do without getting a locker, getting a tennis court. . . and I thought, “Boom – running.” The other half of what I do is sedentary – writing, editing.