Don Cheadle: Acting isn’t “as dazzling as it used to be”

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Though Don Cheadle still appears regularly in movies — like last summer’s blockbuster Iron Man 2 and the critically acclaimed Brooklyn’s Finest — his pace has seemed to slow somewhat as his attention has turned to other causes.

Along with becoming an activist and a UN goodwill ambassador, in an interview with The Guardian, Cheadle talks about his preference for smaller budget films and suggests that his scaling back on his number of roles is a deliberate career choice to move into other aspects of production.

Cheadle, who has appeared in both independent features and big-budget blockbusters like Iron Man 2, says he gravitates to small-scale films because of the passion involved in making them.  He admits, “You’re not making a lot of money, but everyone wants to do it. When you bring in your own clothes and you’re eating lunch off the roof of a car, you feel the difference – it’s more like, let’s put on a play in the garage! And you really could have made The Guard with the craft-services budget from Iron Man 2.”  He’s probably not exaggerating — The Guard, a low-budget Irish comedy-thriller that features Cheadle, was produced on a $6 million budget — more than 30 times cheaper than the budget of Iron Man 2Cheadle’s number of roles has dropped considerably since peaking with appearing in 11 movies in 2000-01, and part of that comes from his desire to move into other aspects of the production process.   “I think the more I become involved in the other aspects of film-making, the more enamoured I find I am with not being in front of the camera. I love writing and producing and watching it become something real before your eyes. But being in front of the camera … I don’t know if the bloom’s totally off the rose, but it’s not – obviously perhaps, after 26, 28 years – as dazzling as it used to be. It can be fun, but it has, on balance, highlighted more neuroses than it’s offered comfort or relief. It’s a lot of things to think about before you ever get around to telling the story – and it’s such a hustle, the grind of doing it. It all feels like having a baby right there, and then you’re out in front of it promoting, still grinding.”

Don Cheadle stars in The Guard, now playing at select theaters.

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About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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