What's your first memory of Kingston?
My first distinct memory of Kingston was Christmas morning, waking up early and travelling with my mother downtown to East Queen Street. There were vendors on both sides of the street, and while it was dark, lights were everywhere. I thought it was wonderful.
What's the most memorable meal you have had in Kingston?
Stewed peas and rice from my mother, Beulah, who was an excellent cook.
What places of interest would you suggest to a first-time visitor to Kingston?
I would recommend the National Gallery of Jamaica, and Devon House, to see a little of our past. I worked as a young lad at the National Gallery when it was housed at Devon House, so I am somewhat aware of the history.
What is your beverage of choice?
I like home-grown juices like tamarind or June plum.
What cologne are you splashing?
I use two scents... Patchouli and Dolce and Gabbana Blue.
What was your last major splurge?
I took a trip to Japan three years ago and splurged on Japanese artefacts.
Who's your dream co-star and director?
I have always wanted to work with Denzel Washington as I'm a fan of his work. As far as directors are concerned, I would like to work with Martin Scorsese.
What's next for you?
As a fine artist, I am in a travelling exhibition. I open my next exhibition at the Jamaican consulate in New York City on November 26. As an actor, I am looking forward to a new production called Hot Steppers, which will be shot in Atlanta later this year.
Share the fave places from your black book.
I like South Beach in Miami as I lived in Florida for a while. I love Stockwell in London as I have friends there.
What are your beloved haunts in Jamaica?
When I want to disappear, there's a villa outside Runaway Bay I go to called Surfside, and now I can't go there anymore (laughs). I love Trident in Portland. And I also love Negril very much because it feels separate and apart from everything else. Sometimes you are in Negril and it doesn't feel like you're in Jamaica.
Who is your inspiration?
My mother, who is no longer with us, is my total inspiration, and has always been.
What was the defining moment that set you on the path to becoming a thespian?
There was no epiphany whatsoever. I grew up in a depressed area and in order to escape, I would use the art of acting.
If you had to choose, which of your Jamaican-based films is your favourite?
The Lunatic. There was more preparation into that. I spent some time on the streets living the life of an insane man. I am a method actor so I go through that kind of thing.
How do you rank Daniel Day-Lewis, who is known for his own method style?
Day-Lewis was very good in preparing for his role in My Left Foot, but I prefer Peter O'Toole, who went into the desert to live with the Bedouins for a number of months for Lawrence of Arabia.
You've been off the Jamaican film radar and noted that you "go where the money is". Care to clue us in to where that is?
It's the work that brings the money, and right now most of the work is in the United States of America, and so that is where I am living. After doing The Lunatic, it took seven years for them to give me a call again for Dancehall Queen.
Viscerally, Jamaican films have for the most part perpetuated the violent and depressed side of our country. Should we shift focus to other subjects?
Of course! Look at the brilliance of our country. Why not a story about Usain Bolt? This is why I am so pissed with black America. They are always talking about slavery...yeah, you've been enslaved, you never forget it, but you move on. I think Jamaica has transcended in so many ways in different fields and we are still in the 'Yow, my yute' and stabbings and shootings. There are eloquent lawyers, doctors, and others who have stories to be told.
When last did you have a good laugh?
My youngest son is 14 and being groomed for the National Football League. When I go to pick him up, I watch him practise. He was ribbing me a few days ago about my aging and that Daddy used to be this muscular guy. He said I'm getting soft, so I did something that made him realise I was still very much in charge.
...And a good cry?
On the set of my last film, The Heart Of Summer, which I produced. I play a Christian father to a 17-year-old daughter who has a hole in her heart. It was a scene where she lay dying, so that was my good cry.
What about tears away from the camera?
I do cry, but I haven't for some time. I've been too busy working.
Offer us your proposal to transform the bureaucratic bungling of making films in Jamaica.
First of all, you have to put together incentives, very much like how there are ads to "Come to Jamaica to bathe in the sun, sand and sea". You need to talk about what we have as incentives, what our people are like, and that we are educated in having films shot here. It is critical to educate the local people as to what it means to have all films come here and making them realise what the big picture will be. Also having in place people who understand that after a film is made, what it means to get a good deal as far is distribution is concerned.
Are there plans to return to The Rock to work on home-based projects?
I have approached two different administrations. I really would love to come back to be the actor, but more so to be the teacher. I have been invited by the Northern Caribbean University to do workshops, which I have done. I also do that in the United States; the last time I was at Mount Vernon High School and was given a proclamation from the mayor. I am interested in passing it on and paying it forward.
What is your philosophy?
To thine own self be true.