Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Don Cheadle

We chat with the star of Traitor, on DVD this week.

by | December 18, 2008 | Comments

In last August’s Traitor, Don Cheadle took on the challenge of tempering a Bourne-like action hero with the moral ambiguity of real world concerns: namely, terrorism and the Muslim identity. And who better to portray the conflicting identities of American spy and fundamentalist defector than the Oscar-nominated Cheadle, one of a handful of actors capable of sympathetically depicting such hot-button polarities?Rotten Tomatoes spoke via email with Cheadle about his favorite films, his interest in Traitor, his thoughts on Darfur and more. Traitor is released on DVD December 19.

I don’t have five favorite films. My affinity for them changes as I change over the course of my life from child to student to professional to husband and father, etc. All the films that follow are not in any order nor etched in stone, but here goes.
— Don Cheadle

 

City of God (2003, 93% Tomatometer)


City of God
Today, I’ll say City of God though that could change tomorrow. It is so special in its storytelling, a perfectly executed, beautifully shot, wasting nothing, brilliant acting, etc. What’s not to like?

The In-Laws (1979, 83% Tomatometer)


The In-Laws
It makes me pee with laughter. Peter Falk and Alan Arkin are a perfect combination and play off each other so well in this ridiculous movie. I watch it at least once a year.

Sounder (1972, 87% Tomatometer)


Sounder
Another film that I saw at an impressionable time in my life that served for me as a beautiful testament to the power of love in the face of absolute injustice and oppression.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, 100% Tomatometer)


Dr. Strangelove
Another perfect film showcasing the brilliance of the one and only, never to be seen again talents of Peter Sellers. What a beast. Kubrick actually wanted him to play another character. I can only imagine what he would have done with that. I’m sure he would have crushed it.

Man Facing Southeast (1986, N/A)


Man Facing Southeast
It’s a great meditation on how we treat and mistreat ‘the other.’ A magical, thought provoking film that I saw at a time in my life when I was questioning a lot of things about the nature of humanity and how we react when we come up against the unknown and unknowable.

Next: Don Cheadle explains why he was drawn to Traitor, his thoughts on the future of Darfur, and one of his favorite performances.

[rtimage]MapID=1192419&MapTypeID=2&photo=6&legacy=1[/rtimage]

Why was Traitor an important film to make in today’s political (and filmmaking) climate?

Don Cheadle: I don’t know that I would use the word “important.” I leave that up to the viewer. It caught my interest because it dealt with a complex issue in a way that wasn’t as black and white as other offerings in the genre.

The world is a much more complicated place than it used to be, and film audiences have grown more interested in morally ambiguous heroes. Is that a good thing?

DC: I think it’s good that people are more open to characters that are complicated, in a certain kind of film experience that is. I think people still want clear good guys and bad guys in the tent pole blockbusters but are more amenable to the grey areas. Most of us live there anyway.

[rtimage]MapID=1192419&MapTypeID=2&photo=1&legacy=1[/rtimage]

You’ve helped to raise the issue of genocide in Darfur. Although there’s been an increase in attention on the region, the violence continues. What needs to be done there?

DC: A lot needs to be done and hopefully with this new administration, more will be. We need to engage in a very robust and committed negotiation process that brings everybody to the table while also protecting the innocent as well as seeking justice. We need to be in support of the ICC [International Criminal Court] and get behind the indictments that the court has requested.

We fondly remember your guest starring role on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” as Will’s friend, Ice Tray. What role would you name as your funniest performance? What is your favorite early role?

DC: My funniest performance…? That is a question for you. I don’t really like watching my own films too much. I had a very good time working on Rebound [The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault].

Want more Five Favorite Films? Check out previous installments with Robert Pattinson, Kevin Smith, Guillermo del Toro, and Judd Apatow.

Tag Cloud

green book LGBT renewed TV shows DC Comics Elton John screenings Columbia Pictures medical drama strong female leads Rom-Com parents Apple TV Plus WGN FX HBO Max CBS All Access Fox News Dark Horse Comics movie Comics on TV Anna Paquin Holidays comiccon TNT Polls and Games award winner AMC Rock IFC streaming discovery transformers El Rey singing competition Country Tomatazos Masterpiece RT History Spike Black History Month BET Awards emmy awards crime thriller satire cars romance Fantasy Disney+ Disney Plus kids dceu space Stephen King Arrowverse adaptation Binge Guide dc Comedy Bravo Acorn TV diversity Musical Music comedies ABC Family Pop Election batman YouTube Premium canceled TV shows Tumblr quibi sag awards screen actors guild TCA Winter 2020 composers war politics Countdown golden globes blaxploitation Grammys finale Emmy Nominations Box Office FXX nature unscripted Ghostbusters Horror Premiere Dates superhero 2018 crime drama Action game show Biopics TLC TV renewals Writers Guild of America cancelled TV series 2020 LGBTQ Sundance Now natural history zombies animated hispanic talk show Mary Poppins Returns psycho franchise indie Turner PlayStation Family SDCC dramedy 2016 anime TruTV Hallmark Christmas movies crossover Disney streaming service true crime Vudu Creative Arts Emmys Peacock Best and Worst Apple TV+ 007 Baby Yoda BET Musicals dark based on movie 24 frames cancelled TV shows supernatural Fall TV police drama GoT what to watch Year in Review YouTube comics serial killer Classic Film Rocketman Brie Larson vampires TV versus SundanceTV festival Pop TV VH1 A&E NBC Apple E3 joker Ellie Kemper 45 mutant ITV Marvel Television book DGA VOD witnail Discovery Channel Epix TCA south america Amazon Studios 20th Century Fox psychological thriller harry potter GIFs 4/20 Britbox The Purge worst worst movies Sony Pictures Logo Amazon Prime Video twilight Winter TV MCU ABC Nat Geo 2015 child's play Emmys Marvel Film Festival blockbuster Quiz scary movies Freeform fast and furious robots cinemax dragons news free movies documentaries Oscars jamie lee curtis PaleyFest christmas movies Tarantino films Warner Bros. First Reviews Trophy Talk foreign classics See It Skip It TBS travel best spy thriller Star Wars Chilling Adventures of Sabrina BBC America Shudder social media 71st Emmy Awards movies Mary poppins Lifetime asian-american cancelled television Spectrum Originals Television Critics Association historical drama The Arrangement Teen Calendar Film canceled Valentine's Day National Geographic Holiday Heroines Extras DirecTV zombie football The Witch boxoffice PBS BBC Amazon Prime Christmas Interview TCA Awards Winners obituary Starz Esquire Walt Disney Pictures CBS Certified Fresh ghosts cooking video on demand American Society of Cinematographers Super Bowl Paramount chucky APB Infographic theme song toronto Avengers sports Sci-Fi Schedule reboot NYCC YouTube Red Spring TV Netflix Christmas movies thriller rotten ESPN A24 FX on Hulu Marathons Awards Sundance documentary television concert Nickelodeon Hear Us Out Tubi USA Network all-time Adult Swim halloween revenge Opinion HBO Go breaking bad Western Disney Channel BBC One crime elevated horror hist stoner biography MSNBC sequel Turner Classic Movies Red Carpet VICE festivals BAFTA rotten movies we love hollywood Comic Book cancelled slashers Video Games Animation teaser Pet Sematary doctor who DC streaming service cartoon Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt sequels Showtime cats Martial Arts GLAAD 21st Century Fox science fiction First Look Cannes CW Seed Funimation Lionsgate Lucasfilm justice league Mudbound disaster E! Women's History Month The CW Rocky spanish language reviews Marvel Studios series Sundance TV WarnerMedia Television Academy werewolf SXSW facebook Summer Pride Month HBO comic Pixar Paramount Network Superheroes Lifetime Christmas movies miniseries laika Crackle San Diego Comic-Con Reality 2019 President mockumentary name the review indiana jones Song of Ice and Fire Cartoon Network scorecard Ovation Shondaland anthology a nightmare on elm street period drama aliens richard e. Grant TCM CMT spinoff binge Captain marvel Cosplay Travel Channel Black Mirror stop motion Drama IFC Films History directors Food Network Set visit New York Comic Con tv talk Star Trek political drama TV Land Nominations nbcuniversal video 2017 Trivia spider-man children's TV mission: impossible independent Awards Tour Mystery 72 Emmy Awards game of thrones MTV Amazon cops CNN Syfy nfl Photos adventure Pirates technology USA Academy Awards die hard dogs TCA 2017 OneApp Hulu YA toy story zero dark thirty Disney Plus OWN Reality Competition latino ratings FOX DC Universe Toys Comedy Central Kids & Family Disney universal monsters Superheroe romantic comedy Endgame spain Hallmark Chernobyl cults Watching Series Netflix Podcast Sneak Peek RT21 remakes Crunchyroll TIFF Trailer Thanksgiving critics venice casting Universal X-Men Mary Tyler Moore Character Guide docudrama stand-up comedy sitcom The Walking Dead criterion Mindy Kaling