Antwone Fisher (2003)

Starring Denzel Washington, Derek Luke, Joy Bryant
based on the life of Antwone Fisher

Derek Luke
Born: April 24, 1974
Jersey City, NJ, USA
Antwone Quenton Fisher
Born: August 3, 1959
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
I think back upon a childhood full of longing for belonging and see my life now as what I have created out of my dreams. An image comes to mind of Mrs. Brown at the orphanage in Cleveland, me sitting at her side, telling her, "You'll read about me someday." - Antwone Fisher

Questioning the Story:

(Q&A with Antwone Fisher):

Is the character that Denzel Washington plays a real person, or a conglomeration of a few different people?

He's a real person but I had to have him do some things that a few other people had helped me do. He also serves the purpose that he served in real life, and he also does things that other people did for me - just like the girl. Since you can't have that many characters, you combine people.

The story actually takes place from the late '50s thru the mid '80s but the film's timeframe is more contemporary. Why was that done?

I was born in 1959 but for the movie's sake, we decided [to change it] so that children - kids - would find it contemporary. If we did it like I grew up in the '60s and '70s, then some kids might say, "Well, that's an old story." And people might say that a long time has passed since then. But we wanted it to be current so that people would identify with it more.

How accurate was the portrayal of your foster parents?

I was kind to them in the movie and the book. I was kind to them. They are worse.

Do you think he (Derek Luke) was the right actor to play you?

Certainly he was.

Was it easy for him to play you since you two had been friends before filming began?

We knew each other for some years before that so he didn't suddenly have to pay attention to me. He knew me. But the thing was, it was most important for him to do a good job. No one knows who I am so it doesn't matter whether he copied my mannerisms or not, because no one knows me. For Will Smith to play Muhammad Ali was different because everybody knows Muhammad Ali. If he came in and acted like Will Smith, then people would be disappointed because he's not being Muhammad Ali. It's much harder to do famous people.

Finding Fish book

Antwone Fisher Mini-Bio:

Antwone Fisher was born in prison to seventeen-year-old Eva Mae Fisher and twenty-three-year-old Eddie Elkins. His father, Eddie, was shot and killed before Antwone was even born. Antwone was placed in foster care within the first few weeks of his life, and for two years he lived with a loving family. The state eventually put Antwone back in the foster system, claiming that Antwone's attachment to his foster mother could be problematic. He was subsequently placed in the home of Reverend and Mrs. Pickett, where some of his most traumatic childhood experiences unfolded. For fourteen years with the Picketts, Antwone suffered both emotional and physical abuse.

Antwone walked out the door of the Picketts without getting so much as a good-bye. The road ahead for Antwone wasn't easy. Upon graduating high school, he found himself staying at the YMCA where he began life as an emancipated minor. He fell in with a criminal named Butch to avoid the derelicts and sexual predators at the YMCA. He ended up sleeping on park benches and in alleys, and it was at that critical moment in his life that he decided to join the Navy.

Antwone Fisher spent eleven years with the Navy where he learned many lessons and befriended a Navy psychiatrist, Commander Williams (portrayed by Denzel Washington in the film), who helped him realize his potential. Upon leaving the Navy, Antwone took a job as a security guard at Sony Pictures Entertainment. It was then in 1992 that he decided to look for his real family. He eventually found his aunt, Annette Elkins, who lived in Cleveland, and within months he met all of his kin, including his mother, Eva Mae. READ THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Watch the Antwone Fisher Movie Preview

The Antwone Fisher movie trailer for the film directed by Denzel Washington and starring Derek Luke. The movie marked Washington's debut as a director.

 Antwone Fisher Trailer

Antwone Fisher trailer. A sailor (Derek Luke) prone to violent outbursts is sent to a naval psychiatrist (Denzel Washington) for help. Refusing at first to open up, the young man eventually breaks down and reveals a horrific childhood during which he was abused in foster care. He searches for both his real family and foster one, to help mend the wounds that he has been suffering from.

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