Derek Luke‘s big breakout came about in Antwone Fisher where he played the lead role ‘Antwone “Fish” Fisher’ in 2002 alongside Hollywood megastar actor/director Denzel Washington, Sally Richardson and others.
“Who will cry for the little boy, lost and all alone?
Who will cry for the little boy, abandoned without his own?
Who will cry for the little boy? He cried himself to sleep.
Who will cry for the little boy? He never had for keeps.
Who will cry for the little boy? He walked the burning sand.
Who will cry for the little boy? The boy inside the man.
Who will cry for the little boy? Who knows well hurt and pain.
Who will cry for the little boy? He died and died again.
Who will cry for the little boy? A good boy he tried to be.
Who will cry for the little boy, who cries inside of me?” – poem by Antwone Fisher
Who Will Cry For The Little Boy? Fisher states he was inspired to compile his poems after attending a lecture given by Maya Angelou. Angelou pointed out poetry as a way to pull ourselves from suffering and thus gave Fisher the push to create his book.
The movie was such a big hit in the box office, that it created many more high-profile roles for the New Jersey born Luke, who’s father is Guyanese. The film received favorable reviews from film critics, as review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 79% of critics gave the film positive write-ups, based on 144 reviews.
Praise was given especially towards Washington’s directing and Luke’s performance. Interestingly enough, Luke is friends with the real ‘Anthone Fisher‘ who spoke of the movie:
“When I saw the film for the first time, I was overwhelmed by a mixture of feelings: fear, joy, pride and satisfaction – all of which still linger, and I am certain they will for the rest of my life. I hope others, too, walk away with those same feelings and the courage to do something to better the lives of children in general.
“I hope that after seeing the movie and reading my memoir that people will see that every child has value and boundless potential and that even if all one has to give is an encouraging word as a genuine gesture of care. .. that gift alone can save a child’s life and give hope for the future.”– Antwone Fisher
Luke’s rapid stardom has been well earned, with his energetic and outstanding performances. But his success wasn’t overnight. Growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey, Derek Luke dreamed early on of acting, asking his mother to let him become an actor when he was just four. In 1995, he headed to California with $1,000 that he’d saved up.
His first job was as an usher for Audiences Unlimited, helping viewers find seats to various sitcom tapings on the Universal Studios lot. The next year, he began working at the retail store on the Sony Pictures lot.
While there, he met Antwone Fisher, a former Sony Pictures security guard who had recently become a screenwriter. Luke learned that a film based on Fisher’s life was being developed, and so he crashed the auditions. Although he felt that he’d “bombed the audition,” he did well enough to get a callback. His second audition was better, but the movie was put on hold because of director Denzel Washington’s busy schedule.
Luke took some acting lessons and landed guest appearances on television shows such as Moesha and The King of Queens. In 2001, he heard that auditions were again being held for the Antwone Fisher movie, which was back on.
His first audition went so well that he was asked to come back to meet with Washington. Several weeks later, Fisher dropped by the Sony store to chat with Luke. At the end of their conversation, Luke walked outside with Fisher and saw Denzel Washington approaching with the film’s producer, Todd Black. Luke assumed they were coming over to speak to Fisher, but instead, Washington greeted Luke with, “Hi Antwone.”
His persistence and determination won. It’s no wonder he’s already featured in 15 big screen movies and won several awards.
- Black Reel Awards
- Stanley Kramer Award
- Independent Spirit Award
- Antwone Fisher (2002)- Antwone “Fish” Fisher
- Biker Boyz (2003)- Kid
- Pieces of April (2003)- Bobby
- Friday Night Lights (2004)- Boobie Miles
- Spartan (2004)- Curtis
- Glory Road (2006)- Bobby Joe Hill
- Catch a Fire (2006)- Patrick Chamusso
- Lions for Lambs (2007)- Arian Finch
- Definitely, Maybe (2008)- Russell T. McCormack
- Miracle at St. Anna (2008)- 2nd Staff Sgt. Aubrey Stamps
- Notorious (2009)- Sean “Puffy” Combs
- Madea Goes to Jail (2009)- Joshua Hardaway
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)- Gabe Jones
- Sparkle (2012)- Stix
- Seeking A Friend for the End of the World (2012)- Speck
On his marriage, Luke says: “I don’t get caught up in it because I remember quotes like: ‘Take the garbage out! Wash the clothes! You ain’t that hot,'” he laughed. “I think reality. I think marriage is there to give you a dose of reality.”
“Part of my success is because I am married, because I was less focused when I wasn’t. I didn’t have anybody to answer to. But when I really thought about it, marriage was something that I really wanted to do, because I saw so many broken ones when I was a child.”
If you’re one of those people who believes fairytales don’t exist in today’s world, then think again. The couple met at a workshop to find their purpose and a ‘silent voice’ spoke to them…things took off from there. Who says love can’t happen in ‘not-so regular places’?
This is why I advise those interested in an interracial relationship or relationship in general to have a warm demeanor when they go out. You never know when cupid could strike and love comes knocking.
How is he able to juggle a hectic Hollywood career, be a husband and father?
He says: “I finally figured out by learning on the fly that having this woman as a part of my life would only enhance what I was doing.”
Luke and Hernandez are parents to two children and maintain a relatively low-profile life.
We say kudos to this beautiful KolorBlind man. Your story is inspiring and will inspires many more to come. Wishing you continued success in everything you do.
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