Isaiah Washington is one of the more underrated and outspoken actors in Hollywood. His new film Blue Caprice, the story of the notorious D.C. sniper, John Allen Muhammad, and his young partner Lee Boyd Malvo is told with chilling realism and unflinching honesty. The former “Grey’s Anatomy” actor stars as Muhammad, and he shared with rolling out what drew him to this particular project and why he feels that the film can help the public and the powers-that-be to face America’s violent culture, which recently manifest itself once again in the Navy Yard shootings in Washington, D.C.
“I read this missive written by [director] Alexandre Moors and that’s what made me pick up the phone and call Isen Robbins, one of the producers,” Washington explains. “After hearing his spiel, I still wasn’t convinced. I made arrangements to talk to Alexandre, and about two and a half hours later, it became clear that we weren’t making a film. We were creating a force. The backdrop is about the D.C. sniper, but it’s really a force that’s going to build a dialogue that’s not being taken seriously enough. How people continue to be hurt, particularly, if they have easy access to firearms. That made me get on board, being a father. We could make fifteen more of these films, and there’s still a great chance that my own children could be victimized by some random violent act in America. And that’s unacceptable.”
Washington feels that this film was destined [“There’s no such thing as serendipity or coincidence or irony.’] to hit theaters with the aftermath of the Navy Yard shootings still fresh in the consciousness of the American public. And he believes that this latest tragedy is further evidence of the failings of the American military system and the public reaction only reveals how apathetic we’ve become to these types of incidents.
“All I’m hearing is ‘someone blew it. someone gave him security clearance,'” Washington states. “Nothing but excuses — and people are dead and dying. Its not acceptable. Our society, after going through these traumas, is reduced to ‘Oh yeah, I remember that!’ Because all you’re getting on the tube is war, sex and violence.”
Washington revealed that he had no idea what was going on when the Navy Yard shootings initially occurred, but after going online and finding information on shooter Aaron Alexis, he was saddened by what he saw and read about the troubled 34-year-old former Navy reservist and military contractor.
“I go to Google and I see this beautiful brown Adonis, shaved-head man, a Buddhist who speaks Thai, smiling this broad smile,” Washington recalls, his voice lowering. “This beautiful giant. And he looked like my son in 10 years.
“But this time around, I’m not completely angry at him,” he adds. “My heart goes out to the victims. But its clear that this man was screaming for help for a long time and was not getting it. Same story. John Allen Muhammad [got] an honorable discharge after trying to kill his entire platoon! He got an honorable discharge! When I was in the military, I had guys getting discharges because they were gay and got caught with men. Dishonorable discharge. I saw a guy who got caught smoking weed and peed in the cup—dishonorable discharge. But you’ve got people who are hurting people now, and they get honorable discharges? That’s not the military I knew — or is it?”