Isaiah Washington exposes his murderous portrayal of the D.C. Sniper in ‘Blue Caprice’
Kevin Chill Heard | 9/26/2013, 6:02 p.m.
By KEVIN CHILL HEARD
With the provocative release of “Blue Caprice” set for the big screen, a phone call was in order between the Call and Post and the actor charged with playing John Allen Muhammad – also known as the D.C. Sniper.
This writer once described Isaiah Washington as one of the most interesting actors ever to be interviewed. While he has been involved in his share of Hollywood controversy, he’s proven time and again to possess a unique agility in capturing a very real and raw essence of the character he portrays. Washington readily admits to having his own demons, and perhaps it’s just that which drove him to accept such a role, and propelled him to its eerie presentation.
“This film found me, spiritually speaking,” said Washington. “I did not approach this film traditionally as I have done other works, agents, managers and P.R. people, or all that jazz. This is just one man that has been emancipated as an artist, emancipated me as an actor, as a human being and has been given the opportunity to be introduced to the world as an executive director on something I’m proud of.”
“Blue Caprice” is a beautifully captured story that is as murderous as it is intoxicating. The relationship between the characters John and his impressionable young cohort, Lee Boyd Malvo, explores how a boy desperately seeking a father figure can wind up in a homicidal whirlwind in which 13 civilians are killed or injured for no apparent reason.
As to why John Allen Muhammad and Lee Malvo embarked on their maniacal jaunt across the Metropolitan D.C. area in 2002 is anybody’s guess. What writers Alexander Moors and R.F.I. Porto, along with actors Washington and Tequan Richmond (as Malvo) have put together is as creatively plausible and artistically revealing as any unknown intentions could be.
One of the standout film’s at the Sundance Film Festival, Washington radiates at his festival participation with this film. “For years I’ve had films open at Sundance Film Festival, but I physically wasn’t there,” said the star. “‘Dancing in September’ opened at Sundance, but I wasn’t physically there. ‘Love Jones’ went to Sundance but I wasn’t there. ‘Welcome to Collinwood’ went to Cannes, but I wasn’t physically there. So to go to Sundance and actually be there as an artist, as an actor and a producer is like me on training wheels right now.”
Washington’s portrayal is sadistically alluring. As to what he drew from to play such a man, he quickly retorts, “This film found me. I can take very little credit for the character of John, because I did not write it. I literally did something this time that I cannot remember doing in my career. I got Isaiah out of the way. I completely trusted the script, written by Alexandre Moors and R.I.F. Poroto, and completely trusted Alexandre Moors. Because when I did falter, there was a creative clash that I had with Alexandre. He screamed at me through tears in the parking lot one day and said (in a French accent), ‘I don’t understand what you are doing, we’re not making “Borne Identity!”’ And that was the thing that slapped me out of this Hollywood idea of a killer on the loose.”