Whitaker Describes Struggles As an Actor

The Associated Press
Monday, January 22, 2007; 2:34 AM

NEW YORK -- Over his career, Forest Whitaker has played roles that weren't written for black actors.

"I had moments where the directors were open enough to let me do that, yeah," he told Newsweek for editions on newsstands Monday. "In 'Good Morning, Vietnam,' my character was written as a nerdy Jewish guy. In 'The Color of Money,' the character was originally a Yuppie."

Whitaker received a Golden Globe for best actor in a drama for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland." He also is considered a favorite for an acting Oscar.

But there was a time when his family had doubts about his choice of careers.

"I wasn't making much money, and sometimes really struggling, but I was, like, "No, Ma. This is what I want to do." Those were difficult conversations because I had my own doubts," he said at the magazine's Oscar panel discussion with other actors.

"It took me a long time to feel comfortable thinking, "I'm an actor. I can do this,'" he said.


© 2007 The Associated Press