Actors workshop
Jimmy Jean Louis’s Method for Acting Success and Getting Haiti and DR Together
Santo Domingo, November 21, 2010

“El reino de la basura”, un documental que defiende el medio ambiente Haitian Hollywood star Jimmy Jean Louis spoke to an enthralled audience of film world colleagues and fans, describing the Film Festival as “great for the Dominican Republic and with strong potential to become one of the great film festivals of the world.”

He described his road to stardom as “the story of my life, which was extremely difficult.” In Hollywood, laughed, he had three strokes against him, “There aren’t too many parts for blacks, second I have an accent and third, I’m from Haiti. It’s difficult enough for Americans!” He warned aspiring stars, “you need perseverance, and have to know that you have  have some talent. Only 2% of those going to Hollywood become actors,” and also said how much actors learned from watching each other work. “If you someone of the caliber of Harrison Ford in front of you, you pay attention.”

He also surprised the audience by pointing out how much more exposure he gained from working on TV with the Heroes series. “I did not realize the power of TV until I started.. Right now a TV show is a great vehicle, worldwide,” he said, describing calls to act in Indonesia, France, and even to play a Ghanaian - in Ghana!

Above all, he described the deep personal satisfaction, of “being Haitian, and representing Haiti on screen but in association with being a hero.” The workshop screened a “teaser” for his latest film, a documentary about the Haitian earthquake, Haiti 16:53, whose shocking images of scenes he described as “looking like the end of the world,” will bring home the horror. “Haiti still needs help and still will for the next 10-15 years,” he said.

“El reino de la basura”, un documental que defiende el medio ambiente “I love to come to the Dominican Republic and work, and to share some of the Haitian stories,” he added affirming that “Haiti has one of the greatest histories of the world, more people should know about it.” He expressed appreciation at the Festival’s outreach to Haiti and for the Dominican Republic’s invitation to Haitian students to come over, since between the destruction of theatres, the piracy and the damage to infrastructure, the Haitian industry was almost dead. He added “Although there had often been some kind of political and historical conflict between the two halves of the island I’m really happy to see that this side is reaching out.” He added that he had spoken to DR President Leonel Fernández several times this week, “and he is including Haiti in his plans.” To loud applause he concluded, “Maybe it’s because of the earthquake, but we need togetherness more than separation…In the end we are the same people, same mothers but different fathers. There are big differences but we have to get together eventually.”


See additional photos of this event in our Photo Galler Santo Domingo - Mauricio Baez - Actor's Studio - Nov. 21, 2010>