HELLO AMERICA!—Action star Wesley Snipes has proven that even though he was slapped with a three year prison term for tax evasion, it did not negatively affect his career as one of the most popular film actors in the industry. He acknowledged that since his release, he has even more offers from producers worldwide to star in their films. “The bottom line is,” he noted, “people are more interested in what an artist does as an actor, composer or whatever gift recognized for than they are with their personal problems. Mainly because we all have uphill battles or challenges which must be confronted.”
This year (2015) the actor has starred in such films as “The Player” and “Five Minutes to Live.” He continues to receive bags of fan mail from every part of the globe. “People seem to enjoy the stories,” he offered. “And that’s why I enjoy what I do. I seriously care about the kind of stories no matter if it’s comedy or drama; I make darn sure the characters I create connect with real life concerns and how people respond when confronted with life threatening decisions. For example, I really know now how it feels to be locked up behind bars, restricted to a time in which to go to bed and when to get up. Prison was an experience that taught me a lot obout people who are trapped and forced to be aware of every second that you are there. It was about survival in a well guarded, limited area. The idea of freedom was never really there, only beyond a large set of walls with watchmen with high-powered guns to make damn sure you stayed in the cell which had your name attached to it.”
Snipes believes his experience has made him not only a better actor, but a much better and more understanding person. “I don’t take anything or anybody for granted. I’m grateful for every moment I’m able to get up in the morning and run free in the park without someone watching me with binoculors or a guard standing by to make sure that you’re not breaking some rule.” He added that being able to go to the restroom without being watched or viewed by prison mates or guards is something very special now. “There are certain things,” he said, “that is very personal. Sure, you get used to it. You have no choice but when it doesn’t happen anymore, you really understand what freedom feels like. Now if I have to play a prison inmate or someone behind bars, believe me it will be very easy.”
The actor was born in Orlando, Florida. He studied acting at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. Later attended State University of New York, Purchase, N.Y. He claimes that his early films “New Jack City” and “Jungle Fever” prepared him for one of the most challenging roles of his career in film “One Night Stand” which he received in 1992 the top acting award at the Venice Film Festival.
“I’m one lucky guy,” Snipes quickly admits. “I’ve learned from my mistakes, poorly thought out decisions, professionally and personally. After all, I’ve learned that life is a master class in getting to know what is real and what is just a marage or an illusion.”