April 2001
In Their Own Words : Q & A With Carl Brashear: The Man of Honor

Interviewed by Sekou

IN THEIR OWN WORDS : Q & A With Carl Brashear: The Man of Honor

This month, "Men of Honor" will be released on Video/DVD and we urge you to rent it if you haven't. CARL BRASHEAR has the kind of story that lends itself to legend. His real-life achievements are the stuff that screenwriters would sell their soul to create and actors would fight to portray. And this time, instead of just watching "Men of Honor" and wondering about the mysterious man behind the story, you can glimpse some of his true story right here on blackfilm.com. Listen up - this man's got a story to tell.

Did you always want your story to be made into a film?

Yes, I did. I knew someday it would be made. I believed with all my heart that someday I would have a movie, because I was the first man in naval history to be restored to full diving duty as an amputee. I stayed in the Navy as a diver thirteen years after I lost my leg. I advanced to become the first black Master Diver and then I was placed in naval history.

Is there anything that you want people to learn from this film?

Yes, I do. I want them to come away from this movie with the attitude that no matter what obstacles are placed in your path you can overcome them. Racism? You can overlook it, go around it, go over top of it... and you will win.

How involved were you in the creation of the film?

I was involved with the script from day one, with all the revisions, and I was on the set when they were filming the movie.

Did you have any input in casting decisions?

None whatsoever, but I viewed a lot of people that auditioned and George [George Tillman, the movie's director] would ask me my opinion but my opinion might not have meant too much. As far as Cuba Gooding Jr., when we started writing the script, each time we would start talking about some possible person to play me it was always Cuba Gooding Jr. No one else was even mentioned -- except for my son calling one time to suggest Van Peebles. But no one else was mentioned besides Cuba Gooding Jr. And he was ideal. He was a God-sent man to play me.

Are you comfortable with the final product?

I'm very comfortable with it.