Fame & Fortune: Laurence Fishburne

Bankrate: Some younger fans may not realize that you were in "Apocalypse Now" when you were only 15 years old. Looking back, what are your sharpest memories of that experience?

Laurence Fishburne: The most important thing that happened to me while making "Apocalypse Now" was that I came into a kind of awareness that I had an opportunity in being an actor, and doing the work that actors do, to reach out and touch people. You don't always get to do that. If you're making things like "Death Wish II," which I also made, that's not exactly the kind of work I'm talking about. There's no shame in that kind of work, that work is necessary and has its place. If you're doing something like "King of New York," that's not gonna touch everybody, but there are people that the movie does touch. It touches something inside of them.

Bankrate: Where do you live now?

Laurence Fishburne: Now I'm mostly in L.A., but I also have a home in New York on the Upper West Side.

Bankrate: How often do you get out there?

Laurence Fishburne: Often enough. I've been making trips to New York regularly since "Two Trains Running." I'm in and out of New York a lot.

Bankrate: Having grown up in Brooklyn, do you live a more extravagant lifestyle now than the one you grew up with?

Laurence Fishburne: Of course. I have three homes now. I grew up in an apartment building.

Bankrate: Are you an extravagant person, generally?

Laurence Fishburne: No, I don't think so.

Bankrate: The New York upbringing keeps you kind of humble?

Laurence Fishburne: Pretty much.

Bankrate: Considering all your success, what would you say are the greatest extravagances you treat yourself to?

Laurence Fishburne: My wife and I occasionally like to have an evening where we dine on caviar. That's probably the most extravagant that it gets.

Bankrate: Do you get to treat your family to some cool things?

Laurence Fishburne: Oh sure. My dad has a nice car; my mom has a nice car. It's nice to be able to share your success with the people in your life.

Bankrate: Any one particular thing you've gotten to treat someone to that really stands out?

Laurence Fishburne: Just recently I did some work for the NFL Network. I narrated something called "America's Game," where I narrated about 10 different episodes. One of the perks I received was free Super Bowl tickets. So I took a cousin of mine who is a real sports enthusiast to the Super Bowl. That was pretty special.

Bankrate: I've heard about a film you have coming up called "Newport 56." Are you playing Duke Ellington?

Laurence Fishburne: Yeah. It's a movie I've been trying to get made for a while about Duke Ellington, and the renaissance that happened in '56 after the performance at Newport. We were supposed to get that off the ground last year, but you know how movies are. It's like everything else. It's "in development."


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