Actor Forest Whitaker Shares His Experience After Filming 'The Forgiven'

By Mei Manuel, March 14, 2018 04:03 AM

The Forgiven(Youtube/Screenshot)

Hollywood actor Forest Whitaker has learned several things after starring as renowned South African Anglican cleric, anti-apartheid and human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the film "The Forgiven."

The film is an adaptation of the play "The Archbishop and The Antichrist" by Michael Ashton and follows the events when Tutu was the President of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the apartheid in South Africa. It also focused on Tutu's distaste and prejudice against the brutal murderer, Piet Blomfeld, played by Eric Bana.

In his interview with NBC's "Today", Whitaker said he learnt a lot about forgiveness and shared, "They (Tutu and Blomfeld) met in the cell and we start to explore whether this man can be redeemed and whether Desmond Tutu is capable of being able to forgive some of the most heinous disgusting acts."

Both Blomfeld and Tutu held different beliefs and it was almost unlikely Tutu would forgive a murderer at first glance considering the extent of his faith. However, the power of God's love is strong and enabled Tutu to do the impossible.

Whitaker, who spoke to Tutu on several occassions to ask advice about the importance of love and forgiveness, said "I think we learn that it is possible for anyone to be redeemed," he shared. "It's possible for us to go to the core of somebody and understand our connection between them. And we have to understand too, unless we do forgive, we hold something inside of [ourself] that allows it to take power over us."

Whitaker is well-known for his strong faith and religion, growing up in church with his grandfather being a preacher for 50 years. His family members also embraced teaching and preaching, but he did admit he did not have a strong faith similar to his family's beliefs in his youth.

In an interview with Risen Magazine, the actor shared "The one thing that my mom did that I consider is really a great gift is that when I was a little kid [and we had to go to church] I would say, 'I don't want to get up. Why do I have to believe what you believe?' My mom in her great wisdom said to me, 'You don't have to believe in what I believe, but you have to believe in something. So get up! She was right in that way. So in that respect my mind is open to understanding the connections between all traditions and people trying to become better individuals and more divine. It has carried that way through me all my life."

The movie 'The Forgotten' made its onscreen debut in the BFI London Film Festival 2017 and on the Belgrade Film Festival last month. It then debuted in the US on March 9, 2018 in Los Angeles and New York. The full worldwide screening of the film is set on March 16, 2018.


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