Yaphet Kotto talks about the new film and reprising his role from Midnight Run
The actor Yaphet Kotto has appeared in over 60 films during the past twenty-five years. He's portrayed a number of unforgettable characters in movie classics such as Alien, Brubaker, The Running Man and Midnight Run to name just a few, and is easily recognizable from his role as Lieutenant Al Giardello on the TV series Homicide: Life on the Street-- a staple during the 90s.
His latest film is Witless Protection in which he co-stars with Larry the Cable Guy, Eric Roberts, Ivana Milicevic, Peter Stormare, Jenny McCarthy and Joe Mantegna. We caught up with him to chat about working with such a great group of comedic actors, what else he's been up to, and his beef with the Internet.
You appear alongside Larry the Cable Guy in the new film Witless Protection. How did this project come your way?
Yaphet Kotto: I've actually been on sabbatical for the past two years. My wife, Tessie, and I own a resort in the Philippines called "The Running Man Institute," where we work with people in the entertainment industry to build their creativity. I was working and living at the resort when this script came to me from my manager. I read it while walking on the beach and wasn't able to stop laughing out loud. I called my manager back as soon as I finished and said 'I'm doing this movie!'
What was it like working with Larry and the rest of the cast?
Yaphet Kotto: It was great! Everyone was incredibly professional and supportive and Larry is so funny! It's actually hard to work with him at times because I would just be laughing so much... It took us days to shoot certain scenes, because the entire cast and crew would just burst into laughter and it would take us over half an hour to stop.
What was the best part about making this movie?
Yaphet Kotto:The best part for me was to get to play Mosley again. He's the character originally from Midnight Run and my favorite character I've ever played. It's not just that I love to play Mosley -- people in general just really love this character. People always stop me with Mosley lines or just laugh recalling his scenes in general.
What's next for you?
Yaphet Kotto: I'm working on a new comedy I helped write called Kill Bond. I'll reprise Mosley in that as well -- now that I've had the chance to play him again, I just want to do more -- I'm not ready to put him away just yet. But first, I have to get people to stop thinking I'm running for President.
Wait, as in The President of the United States?
Yaphet Kotto: Yeah, I wrote a piece about the economy and American history a while back and posted it on the web. It was just an opinion piece, but a few days later, I started getting calls from people asking me if I was running for President and when I would be announcing officially. I'm politically active, but I'm absolutely NOT running for election of any kind (laughing)!! Speaking of which, another thing I'd like people to know is that I'm not 70 years old! All internet sites list me as 70 for some reason... Now, I'm not a young man, but I'm certainly not close to 70 yet. So if anyone out there knows how to correct that, I'd really appreciate it!
Yaphet Kotto appears as FBI Agent Alonzo Mosley alongside Larry the Cable Guy, Jenny McCarthy and Ivana Milicevic in Lionsgate's Witless Protection which opens in theaters everywhere on February 22.