WHO IS HOT? : BLACKFILM.COM SAYS LOOK OUT FOR THESE 22 PLAYERS
The 2001 season has offered filmgoers a great opportunity to see
many African-American stars flourish and 2002 will offer even more.
During this year, we have observed many fine performances and we
think it will be hard to disagree with the people we have chosen
for this list. Now of course this list is not set in stone because
new talent will come and current talent will whither away. So for
now, take a look at who has the big projects. Who is hot? Who is
the next it guy or girl? Of course, we aren't making the decisions
but pay attention to these actors, actresses, writers and directors
and you can determine for yourself.
- 1. VIN DIESEL (actor)
Who can forget Vin Diesel in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN or BOILER ROOM?
But this summer’s FAST AND THE FURIOUS put Vin on the star map.
There’s a sequel in the works and the athletic star will shine next
opposite Dennis Hopper in KNOCKAROUND GUYS for New Line Cinema.
Look for the January release.
- 2. GINA-PRINCE BYTHEWOOD (writer, director)
- If you didn't see LOVE & BASKETBALL, that is completely your
fault for missing the directorial debut of a fantastic storyteller.
Prince-Bythewood's debut was undoubtedly one of the most brilliant
films we have seen in some time. She followed that with HBO’s
DISAPPEARING ACTS which hit chords with lovers worldwide. Keep an
eye on Gina, maybe the best is yet to come.
- 3. JAMIE FOXX (actor, comedian)
- He and LL had beef. BAIT was so-so but ANY GIVEN SUNDAY kicked
it up a notch for Jamie Foxx. He will be doing his thing again in a
new millennium version of A STAR IS BORN for Warner Bros. Following
in the footsteps of Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand should offer
Jamie an opportunity to spread his wings. Oliver Stone will direct.
Well, that’s what we heard.
- 4. WILL SMITH (superstar actor, rap-artist)
- Did you miss Will this summer? Not to worry, Will is making a
strong comeback this holiday season with the starring role in the
multi-mega biopic, ALI from Columbia Pictures, coming December
- 5. ICE CUBE (hip-hop pioneer, writer, director, actor)
- The Don Mega, aka Ice Cube, capitalizing on the success of
FRIDAY and next NEXT FRIDAY is currently scheduled to showcase in
PIMP and STRAY DAWGZ, distributed by New Line Cinema.
It seem Amerikka’s Most Wanted has become a film & music
pillar. Keep rollin.
- 6. Q-TIP (hip-hop artist, actor)
- After dropping dope beats for years with Tribe Called Quest,
flow-daddy Q-Tip has been bitten by the acting bug. He wet his feet
in HBO’s DISAPPEARING ACTS. Tip will make his screen debut in
PRISON SONG opposite Mary J. Blige.
- 7. GABRIELLE UNION (actress)
- Seen in flicks like 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU and BRING IT ON,
the lovely brown-skinned sista flipped some fabulous weave in
BROTHERS and TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME. She moves easily from TV to
film and is definitely one to watch.
- 8. KWYN BADER (writer, director)
- After landing Universal Studios to distribute his critically
acclaimed film, LOVING JEZEBEL, we expect nothing but great things
from Mr. Bader. We’ve heard through the grapevine that he’s working
with a certain Brooklyn based film company. Hmmm….40 Acres perhaps?
- 9. SEAN COMBS (hip-hop mogul, entrepreneur)
He found Biggie-Smalls, founded Bad Boy Entertainment, and the
very successful Sean John clothing line. Is there nothing this
media mogul can’t do? According to the MAD-RAPPER, "Now the brother
tryin to ack." YES, ack! Sean put it down in Artisan
Entertainment's MADE opposite Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Peter Falk
and Famke Janssen and will appear next opposite Halle Berry in
MONSTERS BALL. P-Diddy better represent or the critics will have
his head. He held his own in MADE, now stay calm Sean and do your
thing with Halle. We heard your role is small but remember, “there
are no small roles, only small actors.”
- 10. THE WAYANS BROTHERS (actors, comedians)
Marlon Wayans and Sean Wayans really upped their comic value and
marketability with SCARY MOVIE, a well positioned and intensely,
zany film which has become the ALL-TIME BOX-OFFICE champ for
Miramax. Oh yeah, SCARY also captured the highest Box-Office
opening gross of an "R" rated film in the history of filmmaking.
- 11. ANTOINE FUQUA (director)
- ANTOINE FUQUA may not be a household name as far as directors
are concerned but check the brothers resume - THE REPLACEMENT
KILLERS (Chow Yun Fat, Mira Sorvino), BAIT (Jamie Foxx) and
TRAINING DAY starring Denzel Washington has been number one at the
box office for 2 consecutive weeks. Stay tuned. This brother has
only just begun.
- 12. DMX (hip-hop artists, actor)
- From rappin to flyin - DMX, the undisputed hydro-flowin
rap-vocalist, starred very notably opposite Steven Seagal in the
Warner Bros. film EXIT WOUNDS. But he didn't stop there, DMX has
anchored the lead role in Dimension Film's THE CROW. Will he fly?
- 13. ANTHONY ANDERSON (actor)
- Have you ever seen an actor or actress that made you laugh the
minute they walked into a scene? Anthony Anderson is the man. He
has starred and scored in ROMEO MUST DIE, ME, MYSELF and IRENE,
KINGDOM COME, EXIT WOUNDS, and TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME. The brother
should be skinny as a rail after all that work! But there’s
something to be said for eating well in Hollywood...
- 14. MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ & KARYN KUSAMA (actress & director)
- GIRLFIGHT star Michelle Rodriguez and the film's director, Karyn
Kusama are definitely two to watch. After winning prizes at 4
consecutive film festivals, the film, its actress and the director
are in talks to do many things. You also may have seen Rodriguez
opposite Vin Diesel in FAST AND THE FURIOUS and opposite Danny
Glover in Spike Lee’s 3 A.M.
- 15. MAXIE COLLIER (director)
- Digital filmmaking will eventually revolutionize a lot of
aspects of the current filmmaking process. Max Collier is currently
filming a documentary in digital format. The film, entitled, PAPER
CHASERS, follows Collier and his seven-member production crew as
they travel across the United States in a RV, interviewing hip-hop
business owners and executives. This man gives new meaning to the
phrase, ‘on the move’.
- 16. SANAA LATHAN (actress)
While she is still relatively fresh to the big screen, Sanaa
Lathan didn’t need much exposure to steal every man's heart in LOVE
& BASKETBALL. She followed that up by plucking every woman’s heart
strings and memory chords in DISAPPEARING ACTS. Undoubtedly, she
will be a force to reckon with.
- 17. MOS DEF (hip-hop artist, actor)
- If you have had the pleasure of listening to his music or
remember seeing him perform live on the defunct MTV' Lyricist, then
you would know that MOS is for real. (Kellye is convinced that he
single handedly saved hip-hop in 1999) Now he’s proved his mettle
as a villian on MTV’s hip-hopera CARMEN JONES. Keep your eye on
this cat and all of the RAWKUS RECORDS family.
- 18. MALCOLM LEE (writer, director)
- In all things, the second time around is always tough. Ask any
basketball player or tennis player about trying to defend a title
and they will tell you how tough the journey is. For film
directors, going to bat for the second time is especially tough and
scary. Is Malcolm Lee up for the task? After delivering THE BEST
MAN, which was one of the best films in a long, long time, LEE has
set the bar pretty high for himself. Lucky for him his first film
was well written so the task should not be hard so long as he
writes with the same passion that scored THE BEST MAN. We can't
wait to see another “Malcolm Lee Joint."
- 19. ERIC LANE (actor)
- He played Tyco, the doomed AIDS victim to perfection in ONE
WEEK, and we expect good things from the Chicago actor.
- 20. ALPHONZO WESSON (director)
- TV commercials may be this filmmaker’s bread and butter, but the
big screen’s taken a big chunk of his, er - pie. After absorbing
numerous accolades for his emmy-winning short film, OPEN THE SKY,
Wesson tackled Reality TV with MTV’s 11th season of Real World, and
is looking to set the on-screen world ablaze with his new baby
- 21. JEFFREY WRIGHT (actor)
- After his hilarious & stunning performance as the mean Latino
villain in SHAFT, Wright definitely turned heads and made people
aware of the gifts that an actor must utilize to perfect his trade.
Keep your radar on this native Washingtonian - he is just getting
- 22. NICOLE FRANKLIN (filmmaker)
- This sista is a jack of all media trades! Actress, producer,
director, writer and president of Epiphany, Inc. her documentary I
WAS MADE TO LOVE HER caught the attention of BET, HBO and the
Sundance channel among others. Her bio on actor Jamie Foxx will
appear in BET’s fall biography series “Journeys In Black.”