Glover is also a supporter of union causes, crediting that to his parents, both members of the United Postal Workers Union, while he was growing up.
In Chattanooga recently to tour the Volkswagen of American plant, I had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about his memorable career in films.
I remember early in my career, I had a difficult time auditioning, because of a combination of a couple of things.. I felt uncomfortable in the process, I felt intimidated by the process. The other thing is, you go into an audition and you do what you want to do, you read the material and the material responds to you intuitively and instinctively, not what you expect the director would want.
In the early stages when I started doing that, I’d audition one, two scenes, a little part in television or something like that, what I began to realize is, I felt more comfortable after the audition. Yeah, I would want the job, but I felt ‘Danny, did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish when you went in to the audition?’ ‘Was this how I wanted to respond to the words and to the scene and to the moment and this was your presentation’ and not what I expect the director to say?’ The director could say ‘oh I like that’ or he could say ‘I don’t like that, but try this… that’s interesting, but try this.’ If we did it that way, I would feel real comfortable and so I began to judge myself during the audition process and I became less intimidated by the process itself. Within the framework of the audition, you’re able to get the most out of your performance.
8 year old Daniel Glover
Danny and James Glover
With my mother and father, you have to understand how they were in the emerging movement of civil rights. Eventually, they went to work for the U.S. postal service, and they always felt that they were doing something important. It was interesting to see how they were seeing the emerging civil rights movement and were right at the very start of it. The postal service was primarily African-American at that time, and to see the civil rights movement get started, they felt that they were doing something very important. I go around the country and speak and one of the things I ask is, ‘how many of you had parents, grandparents or relatives in the postal service?’ A lot of hands go up. The post office was always a place where you could work and build a family at home, or you could use it as a jumping off point to another job. They could be anywhere.. San Francisco, Chicago or New York, but they could tune in to see what was happening in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and some of the civil rights battlegrounds. That was the childhood I came into.
When I was watching the Montgomery bus boycott on television in 1955, the meaning of that was reinforced by my parents, the dynamic, the importance of that news item. I was fortunate to have my parents reinforce how important that was to my future. Not everyone who came in that generation had that.
On "The Color Purple"
Every one of us gave so much of ourselves in our relationships to the roles and in the way in which we bonded, not just as actors but as people. To have something that’s important to do and feel that it’s important is special. People still talk about The Color Purple. I run into people that weren’t even born when The Color Purple came out and say ‘I hated you in The Color Purple!’ All of us as actors were in the early stages of our careers. Every single one of us. None of us had done anything, I don’t know that Whoopi had ever done her first film, Oprah hadn’t done anything except her TV show, it was her first film.
It got enough nominations. Do you think "The Color Purple" should have won an Oscar? I can’t tell you that. Geraldine Page (who won the 1985 Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Trip to Bountiful, and beat out Whoopie Goldberg) was a brilliant person, gave a brilliant performance. She’d been around as an actress, everybody knew who she was… Lionel Ritchie did win an Oscar for his original song ‘Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister, Sister)', Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey may have canceled each other out (for Best Supporting Actress), I don’t know. And then, it may have been the kind of social dynamic at that time. I think the conversation surrounding the image of African-American men at that time was valuable. I think it was important discussion, essential discussion. I would have been disappointed if that discussion had not emerged at that time, because what The Color Purple does, is, because it’s an expressive film, it gives people the chance to have opinions, their own questions.
The issue of racism promotes a sense of self-protectiveness, like ’there’s no spousal abuse in the black community,’ ‘there’s no child abuse in the black community’ and all that. It makes you protective about the historical portrayals about things that we know, happened. For years, people bought into those stereotypes.
On the "Lethal Weapon" movies
On "Predator 2"
Wonderfully, incredible guy came to me about Predator 2 and he presented the idea of doing it because the whole team was back, the writer was back, the special effects team was back.. I have two films I’ve done that I feel that I was bigger than life in, in which I felt that I could control the space. Silverado for me, and Predator 2.
Silverado was the one where I played this iconic cowboy you know, and the character carries this one gun, a Henry rifle. And then, when he’s around his father, he has two of them. An iconic role.. against all odds.
On his new Christmas Movie, "A Meyer's Christmas
At the end, we find out that we have to find a new way to adjust our lives and adjust without her. All of us are rather tense, especially my sister-in-law Mo'nique. I’m the one who organized the family get-together this time, my wife normally did that, the woman that I had been married to for 40 some-odd years. Christmas was always special to our family.
Thank you. It's been a good visit.