Comic Book Fan Laurence Fishburne Reminds Us Pimps are People Too

Laurence Fishburne told us right off he’s a comic book fan, reading them since he was 8 or 9 years old. He plays Dr. Bill Foster in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, but astute comic book and movie fans noticed he also played editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, Perry White, in DC’s recent Superman films.  To that Laurence Fishburne responds, “for anyone that thinks I’m being disloyal to the DC franchise, I’ll say I’ve bought plenty of comic books from both.”  Continue reading for more of Laurence Fishburne’s thoughts on comics, movie making, and his new role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Laurence Fishburne Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Laurence Fishburne (Dr. Bill Foster) Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

In ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, Laurence Fishburne’s character, Bill Foster, is a former colleague of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne who reluctantly becomes embroiled in Hank’s plan to reunite his family. Old animosities bubble up between the two scientists, whose approaches to their mutual research have led them down different paths. As a comic fan, Laurence Fishburne was hungry to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). “I’d gotten involved with Marvel by watching the movies,” said Fishburne, “I’ve very much wanted to be a part of the MCU because of the way it’s progressing.”  Laurence Fishburne let it be known far and wide that, “I would really like to be a part of the MCU, if there’s any way I can be a part of it, I’d like to be a part of it.”  He added, “I would have played a fly on the wall; I would have played a piece of debris.”

Laurence Fishburne Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

When Laurence Fishburne met with Director Peyton Reed he found a kindred spirit – “a guy in his 50’s that loves comics.” Fishburne recalled, “When I first met Peyton it was like meeting an old friend. We share a love for the medium of comic books and a real appreciation and understanding about why these stories are relevant to people. We connected on that level, so there’s a natural ease and flow to working with each other. So the fact that Kevin Feige (producer) and Peyton found that I was a good match for the character of Bill Foster is huge. It’s a dream come true for me.” Laurence Fishburne continued, “What initially excited me about the role of Bill Foster is that he is a scientist in his own right, a contemporary of Hank Pym’s with the same level of smarts and curiosity. The fact that I’d be playing scenes with Michael Douglas and be a foil to him was a big factor. I’ve never worked with him before, so who in their right mind would walk away from that?”

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) Photo: Ben Rothstein ©Marvel Studios 2018

It’s also fantastic to see a person-of-color playing a prominent, intelligent, scientist on the screen.  Fishburne concurred, “It’s great because Marvel was doing stuff with inclusion since the 60’s and 70’s. After Apocalypse Now (1979), the only roles I could get were thugs, pimps, and bad-guys. I don’t mind playing villains. Villainy never gives me pause – heroes, villains, whatever it is, as long as you can make them human, then it’s fine – ‘pimps are people too.’”

Laurence Fishburne in Apocalypse Now

Laurence Fishburne in Apocalypse Now (1979) © Omni Zoetrope

And just in case you haven’t learned by now, you should NOT leave the theater during the credits of a Marvel film. Paul Rudd told us to ask Laurence Fishburne his reaction when he finally saw the mid-credits scene at the end of the film. FIshburne let out an, “OH SH*T!!!” and mimicked the look on his face at the time.

Laurence Fishburne Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Laurence Fishburne (Dr. Bill Foster) Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

We couldn’t have a conversation with Laurence Fishburne without some mention of the role he is most known for, Morpheus in THE MATRIX (another movie series based on a comic book/graphic novel).  When faced with the choice between the red or blue pill, Fishburne never hesitated in his response, “It’s always a red-pill day my dear.”

Laurence Fishburne in The Matrix (1999)

Laurence Fishburne in The Matrix (1999) © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Laurence Fishburne Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Laurence Fishburne (Dr. Bill Foster) meets with group of bloggers. Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP opens July 6, 2018, and our spoiler-free review says it’s just the laugh we need after Infinity War.

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Laurence Fishburne Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.