Forty years ago in 1975, Laurence Fishburne was 12 years old and landing his first leading role in the cult classic, “Cornbread Earl & Me”
But it was two years later, that really put Laurence’s age to the test. He was going for the role in the now award-winning film, “Apocalypse Now” of an 18-year-old who enlisted in the armed forces, but he told the producers that he was 16 when he had only just turned 14. It was the role of a lifetime to act along side Martin Sheen and other notable actors in a feature film, so he “faked it until he made it” as they say.
And it proved to be beneficial as he saved Martin Sheen son, Emilio Estevez’s life while on set. Being young and goofing off, the two took one of the boats that was used in one of the scenes and went on a little trip. But for some reason, Emilio started going under and without thinking, Laurence pulled him up out of the water and saved him from drowning. It was something that Martin Sheen still thanks Laurence to this day.
That would be the last time the veteran actor lied about his age. He now takes pride in how far he has come and the length of his career.
“If there’s an opportunity to talk about things that are uncomfortable, then you should,” explains Fishburne. “You don’t have to hit people over the head with the subject, but you should talk about something if it’s important to you. My job is first to entertain, but if you can educate and enlighten at the same time, then that’s great.”
“I’m very lucky to get to do what I do. People enjoy what I do and that’s the goal at the end of the day. The star stuff is that, it’s star stuff. I’m a human being first and I’m an artist and I’m a dad. All those things are equally as important if not more so.”
“I was raised by my Mom. My dad and my Mom were never really ‘together’ together, so I never really lived with my dad. But he was a good guy and he loved me. He wasn’t perfect but he gave me what he could give me. He gave me a great name first and foremost (laughs)! I’ve been able to honor him in little ways both in the work and outside the work. He passed away in 2013 and I basically took care of him in the last five years of his life. That’s just human stuff. That’s what you do.”
Now, Mr. Fishburne lives his life by THREE simple rules:
1. Have Fun – if you can’t enjoy it, why do it? So many times, we do things that we don’t want to do but because we have to do them. When you’re in a position to choose,…