Q&A: Vivica A. Fox visits and talks about UNT

Q&A: Vivica A. Fox visits and talks about UNT

Q&A: Vivica A. Fox visits and talks about UNT
February 25
03:25 2014

Preston Barta // Film Critic

Television and film actress Vivica A. Fox was one of two keynote speakers who spoke at UNT’s 14th annual Equity and Diversity Conference this past Friday at the Gateway Center.

Fox, who is best known for her roles in “Independence Day” (1996) and both volumes of Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill,” talked about the complex relationship between diversity, equality and inclusion from different theoretical and methodological angles during her afternoon conference. She also spoke about the challenges in her life, leaving home when she was 17 and moving to California to pursue her dreams.

The North Texas Daily had the opportunity to speak with Fox after the conference about her acting career, thoughts about films rendering black experiences and her impression of the UNT campus.

In your conference you talked about how you produce films. You also mentioned that you want to write a book and someday direct. So now that you’re thinking creatively, so to speak, do your own ideas ever intrude on projects when you’re working strictly as an actor?

Vivica A. Fox: “When I act I give a 100 percent of myself to the role. I also give respect to the producer and director. I don’t take myself out of it and go, ‘Oh, if I was the director I would do this.’ If I have a problem with how the director is directing me, I do have the power in life to ask if they will explain it to me, because maybe they see the character in a different way. They just need to enlighten me. But I never disrespect the director. When a character is written, I try to respect the writer’s words. Overall, as an actor, I respect the production.”

Last week in the Daily we wrote an article about five landmark films that depict black history. What are some of the most significant films to you?

Fox: “The five most important black films to me are ‘Waiting to Exhale’ (1995), ‘Mahogany’ (1975), ‘The Wiz’ (1978), ‘Set It Off’ (1996) and ‘Two Can Play That Game’ (2001).”

Kill_Bill_2

Having worked with Quentin Tarantino in both volumes of “Kill Bill,” what did you think of his last film, “Django Unchained?” Do think he portrayed the black experience well?

Fox: “I actually didn’t see ‘Django.’ I know. I know it was by Tarantino, but I haven’t seen it yet. When I am working so much as an actor, I don’t go to films and see them as much because I am too critical. I start looking at the blocking, lighting and all of that. I like to go to movies when I can actually watch them as a fan.

I did, however, see ‘About Last Night’ with Kevin Hart. I also watched ‘Dallas Buyers Club.’ I have to say, when I saw that film, I immediately thought ‘Oscar.’ Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto— I just knew it. The acting was so superb. But I went into those two films as a fan. I didn’t go as a prejudging, tired and cynical actress. I like to go watch movies as a fan— to let go, have my popcorn and enjoy them.”

What are your overall thoughts of UNT?

Fox: “First of all, you all have a beautiful campus. I’ll start there. The staff has been so wonderful, so accommodating, so professional, so on-time, so on-point— just all that and a bag of chips. My kind of people.”

If you could teach a class at UNT, what would you teach to students?

Fox: “It would be a film and television drama class. I would definitely give assignments on how to act in a sitcom. I would give another assignment on how to act in a movie, how to be an action hero and how to act on stage. They are all different formats.

When you do a sitcom, most of the time it’s three cameras catching you from all different angles. When you do a film, sometimes it’s just one angle, and other times it’s two cameras and you have to do it 12 different times— louder, broader or quieter. You have to give them a lot of different takes. When you do the stage, there are no second takes. You act in front of a live audience. When people drop a line, you have to help each other out so they can pick it back up. Your timing has to be great. So there are different genres for each one. But yeah, I would love to teach that at UNT.”

Fox can be seen next on the big screen in “Q,” due out in April and in the highly anticipated TV movie “Sharknado 2: The Second One” later this year.

Feature Photo: Actress and producer Vivica A. Fox. Photo courtesy of VivicaFox.com.
Center Photo: Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen and Lucy Liu star in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Vol. 2.” Photo courtesy of Miramax Films.

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