If you’ve seen a Spike Lee film, you’ve seen Roger Guenveur Smith. But you might not know you’ve seen him, because he’s so different in each role. Yet he’s always so arrestingly real as each unique character. Some roles Smith himself created, such as his one-man shows about Huey P. Newton and Rodney King, which Lee filmed – and the unforgettable “Smiley” in Do the Right Thing (being screened at the Hop September 25, with Smith doing a post-show Q & A), which did not exist in Lee’s original script. Smith created him after pestering Lee for a role in the film.
We hope you enjoy this sampling from this consummate craftsman.
The films and roles are:
School Daze (1988): Yoda
Do the Right Thing (1989): Smiley
Malcolm X (1992): Rudy
Get On the Bus (1996): Gary
He Got Game (1998): Big Time Willie
Summer of Sam (1999): Detective Curt Atwater
A Huey P. Newton Story (2001): Huey P. Newton
Chi-Raq (2015): Insurance salesman
Rodney King (2016): Rodney King