May 27, 2012 - Citizens Review with Erin Ferguson
Erin Ferguson, Host and Executive Producer of the Number #1 Rated Television show in the Bahamas, Citizens’ Review, conducted interviews with two of Hollywood’s finest Actors on the screen, the world renowned, Academy award winning actor Morgan Freeman, known for his roles in performances like Glory, Invictus, The Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy and Dennis Haysbert who is well known for the TV hit drama series 24, The Unit, and as the Spokesman for Allstate Insurance company, with the famous phrase “Are you in Good Hands?”.
Both Gentlemen graced the cameras of the popularly watched Bahamian television show Citizens’ Review with Host Erin Ferguson to talk about a number of different topics ranging from their experience in the Bahamas, to their great mentor and Role model Bahamian Actor extraordinaire Sir Sidney Poitier. They both spoke of watching him as young actors, and modeling after his amazing talent on and off the screen, “he is a Gentleman” said Dennis Haysbert.
The master mind behind the interviews was Organic Famer and Cat Islander, Pamela Poitier, the daughter of Sir Sidney Poitier and David Hayes, the Creative Director of Citizens’ Review and Grand Nephew of Sir Sidney Poitier. Pamela Poitier thought it very important to the growth of the Bahamas for young Bahamians that aspire to be Artisans, to get a chance to hear from some of the best actors and artists in the Business. Pamela commented “Listening to their stories about persevering against the odds, and just not giving up, can help to spread a message to young people that it is possible for them to express themselves through the arts and our culture or in any way and enjoy life freely while doing it. We have to bear in mind the power behind the story of these amazing actors that were both inspired by a man (my father) who is from right here on our soil, a Bahamian from Cat Island, Sir Sidney Poitier. I think it is important that Bahamians begin to understand and engage the power that can be cultivated from the Arts and Culture of this country, the kind of power that has in history brought about revolutions and changed the world”.
During the interview Morgan Freeman talked about some of his past movies and working with different actors like Clint Eastwood in many films especially Invictus where he plays the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, whom Freeman refers to by his Xhosa Clan name Madidba. Freeman also talked about having got his Pilots license to fly at age 65, and enjoying flying his own planes, similar to John Travolta, Tom Cruise and other actors. Freeman reflected on Sir Sidney Poitier as his ultimate role model, he said, “When I was a teenager and he (Sidney) hit the screen, I knew that was it for me… I read everything about him I could find, and everything he wrote… then I got a chance to meet him, and he said to me ‘You do good work’, that was a great moment for me”. Freeman’s message to young people is “when you pick the right instrument, you know it! Keep it in your hand, whatever it is, scalpel, paint brush, wrench, doesn’t matter, you know you’ve got the right tool, when you get it in your hand, first time I stepped on stage I knew that’s what I wanted”.
Dennis Haysbert talked about understanding that his success has been what he calls “a mixture of luck and creating your own luck”. He also spoke about his father wanting him to get a trade and a stable line of work, which is a common narrative for young Artisans, his father was afraid of the instability, but his mother and siblings always supported him in what he wanted to do. His eventually father eventually supporting him after seeing that he was focused and determined and began to be successful at his Art. Dennis addressed the need for people to take care of themselves, understanding that your body is an instrument and the better you keep it, it will perform for you. He expressed the desperate need for more black writers to be able to write the change that they want to see into films, this is an important way that artist can change the world. His message to young people was “you can’t go into it thinking you are going to change the world, you have to go in there as an Artist and then find your way, It will come to you, It will come to you (he repeated), all you have to do is go out and get started.”
Mr. Ferguson was joined in the interviews by his Mother, Sharon Smith-Ferguson, Miss Bahamas 1975, who was a favorite of both actors who pointed out the Beauty of the Former Miss Bahamas, particularly Morgan Freeman whose response upon seeing her for the first time was “Oh my God, Wow!” Sharon Smith-Ferguson in 1975 was the second Bahamian to grace the cover of Jet Magazine during her time as Miss Bahamas, following Sir Sidney Poitier who was the first.
Also invited was Perez Rolle a Pre-Law Student at College of the Bahamas, and Production Assistant with Citizens’ Review, Rolle said that he was amazed that he would be listening to actors like Morgan Freeman express such strong admiration and respect for Sir Sidney Poitier, when we don’t see it here in the Bahamas, he was also very excited to meet the Actors who he has admired, and was Happy that a Home Grown Bahamian Television show like Citizens’ Review had been able to enter the international stage with this caliber of guests. Citizens’ Review Videographer Robert “Bob” Johnson, was excited to be able to film two of Hollywood’s greatest Actors with his very own camera saying “This has been an amazing opportunity to have my camera in the Bahamas capture what Hollywood Cameras capture all the time, now I can say I have shot some of the best.” Along to Photograph the event was Noted Bahamian Photographer and Photo Journalist Peter Ramsay, who captured amazing shots of the interviews and everyone involved.
After the interviews Erin Ferguson said, “Citizens’ Review continues to be for me an amazing Journey with every Bahamian to be critical, but constructive, to be bluntly honest but fair and balanced, and most importantly to help build the minds of this country. These interviews today certainly make the work we do on this show worth it. These gentlemen have come here to tell us about the little fella from Cat Island (Sir Sidney Poitier) that changed their lives and gave them the inspiration to be what they are today, so today Citizens’ Review gets to be the source of encouragement and inspiration. People can listen to these actors and understand that all is possible, you just got to stick to it and believe it can happen, and to that I say Amen!”
Airing schedule: Citizens' Review broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 9P.M. on Jones Communication Network, channel 14 on local Bahamian TV, also can be seen at our website vimeo.com/citizensreview/videos
Facebook: www.facebook.com/erinaferguson or https://www.facebook.com/groups/297401559511/edit/
Bahamas Local: http://goo.gl/O1xyG
Erin Ferguson, Host and Executive Producer
Phone: 242.552.3277 or 242.325.4254