Reeling 29 Part 2: Interview with Stephen Tyrone Williams of Children of God

Name: Stephen Tyrone Williams

Original Residence: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Current Residence: Harlem, NYC

Age: 28

PRIDEINDEX: How did you prepare for your role in the movie CHILDREN OF GOD?

STEPHEN: FLOAT, the short film helped me to prepare for CHILDREN OF GOD. Children is based on FLOAT and the rehearsals we had on location before filming helped with preparations as well.

PRIDEINDEX: Were you concerned about any backlash in playing a gay character?

STEPHEN: I love everybody and that includes those who would disagree with message of “CHILDREN OF GOD.” If you love someone and you believe they should hear something, even when there’s resistance, you tell them because you believe in what you have to say.

PRIDEINDEX: Your career includes extensive experience on the stage and screen how do you decide what parts to go for?

STEPHEN: Gut reaction to story determines if I go for a role. What does the story add to the current dialogue? Does the story illuminate as well as entertain?

PRIDEINDEX: Have you considered working behind the camera or producing/directing a play?

STEPHEN: Right now my focus is on acting and screenwriting, but I see myself producing and directing when the time is right.

PRIDEINDEX: Name 3 mentors or performers that have influenced your own artistic style?

STEPHEN: Gandhi, Jean Michel-Basquiat, and Nina Simone.

PRIDEINDEX: Tell us about your current projects and any notable challenges and how you have overcome them?

STEPHEN: I closed the play RUINED at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles last week. RUINED is about the current war in Congo and how it affects women

My most notable challenge is being a father to my son. I’m sure I’ll always wrestle with the idea of “perfect father”, but I’m learning every day that it’s about consistent love. So far, so good: he’s a beautiful soul with a big heart. My son is my pride.

PRIDEINDEX: What do you like to do when you’re not performing?

STEPHEN: I look for inspiration.

PRIDEINDEX: What’s next for you?

STEPHEN: I’m working on a project at Hartford Stage called Brand: New that starts the first week in November. Look for Justin Staley’s STAG & DOE out early 2011 on HBO. And on the screenwriting front, I’m working with my CHILDREN OF GOD co-star Johnny Ferro on a road-trip feature.