Ato Essandoh Quotes
'Copper' is my first period piece. It's funny because I've been doing a lot of episodes of 'Elementary' with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu; they keep bringing me back on the show, and so I go from being an outstanding black doctor to being a kind of hood, ex-car thief who went through rehab in 'Elementary.'
White artists have made millions of dollars off music they stole from black artists. I don't blame all the white artists. I'm a huge Stevie Ray Vaughn fan, and he was always very gracious about where he learned his music. But a lot of the time, you'd think the white guys thought it up. Hey, hasn't anyone heard of Muddy Waters?
When people say Jerry Lee Lewis invented rock n' roll, they forget Little Richard. People talk about Elvis Presley and forget he was singing black music. I don't blame Elvis. It was the music business figuring it could make more money from this music if it weren't presented from the original source.
You look at how Barack Obama has had to conduct himself as President. It reminds me of Jackie Robinson, how he had to be very careful to reassure people that this was all right. And you still have people trying to tear him down. They make up all sorts of lies, with the goal of making him seem illegitimate.
The Chinese Student Association at Cornell put together their own play. It was all Asian people in the cast except for me, because they wanted to do a couple of scenes about an interracial relationship. I was the only non-Asian person on stage; the entire audience was Asian apart from my 10 friends that showed up.
If you get too deep into the history, what often happens to a lot of us actors is that we become stilted. We forget that we're reading about something that happened a hundred years ago. If we don't put the human emotion that would naturally be in there, we end up being stilted instead of being human beings.