Pulitzer Prize Winner, LOVE SONGS Producer and Screenwriter Charles Fuller (right)
LOVE SONGS by Charles Fuller
Interview with Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Screenwriter and Producer
By Theresa Hyde
April 9th, 1999
LOVE SONGS is a trilogy that depicts a different side of the Black American experience one
that shows what life and love are really like whether black or white. The trilogy opens with a story
starring one of the pioneer of Credit Card Movies, Independent Filmmaker Robert Townsend as a
promising young boxer. Champ is pursuing his athletic career while working a real job as an auto
mechanic to make ends meet for himself and his wife Sheron, who is expecting a baby. This story is
directed by Louis Gossett, Jr., the memorable Drill Sergeant from An Officer and A Gentleman,
who is an Academy Award-winning veteran actor whose career spans 48 years on the stage and
In the second story of the trilogy, directed by Robert Townsend, Ellis (Andre Braugher) is a
working class man who woos the woman of his dreams (the beautiful Lynn Whitfield), all the while
trying to convince her that his love is right for her. To complete the trilogy, three-time Emmy Award
nominee Andre Braugher directs the story of Reuben (Louis Gossett, Jr.), a hard-working family
man with a loving wife and a level-headed teenage son, whose life is thrown into turmoil when
Reuben must protect his sister-in-law, Della, from the physical abuse of her husband, Willy.
LOVE SONGS is written by Pulitzer Prize Winning Writer Charles Fuller, produced by Showtime
Networks Inc. and premiered at this years Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival. As
Showtime Field Marketing Director Mary Bourne-Marth puts it, Last year and the year before,
we sponsored the Sundance Channel. And last year at the Houston International Film Festival, the
Opening Film was a Showtime film, as well. Weve had a long-term relationship with Hunter
(Todd), and we have a continuing relationship with the Houston International Film Festival. Charles
(Fuller) said it best, he had a whole group of people gathered around him and he said, One of the
things that we (Showtime) have developed a reputation for in this industry is letting good Artists do
their work, and not getting in the way. Letting them do their very best.
Attorney Kenneth A. Zimmern who considers himself a film buff says, LOVE SONGS
introduced us to a world Im not typically exposed to. And I thought that was interesting. Charles
Fuller, who wrote A Soldiers Story has written and produced this Trilogy and it was beautifully
(L-R) Pulitzer Prize Winning Writer Charles Fuller and Theresa Hyde.
I approached the Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright with quiet hesitation probably because he was 3
times bigger than me, as he gently offered me a seat. I didnt feel worthy at all to be in the presence
of such a great man. Any first question I ask would have sounded so
THYDE: How does one become a Pulitzer Prize Winner?
CHARLES FULLER: (laughs) You write a Pulitzer Prize winning play (more laughs). I dont
know, I dont know that
Im not sure (laughs). I wrote a play called A Soldiers Play that was
made into a movie called A Soldiers Story. I have no idea how it all
THYDE: Im a writer, as well. But how do you get Louis Gossett Jr. and Robert Townsend in your
CHARLES FULLER: Ive worked with them before. And whenever I write something, because I
used to work in the Theatre, and I know a lot of actors, its very easy to get the actors to do my
work. So, I call em up and ask them if they wanna do it, and they do it.
THYDE: Youre so special
CHARLES FULLER: Its not anything special, its just (pause)
I work hard (laughs).
THYDE: But we all work hard (laughs)
CHARLES FULLER: (laughs) Call it hard work, thats what it is.
THYDE: And you also produced the movie
CHARLES FULLER: Its the first time Ive ever produced a movie. Its hard work, 24 hours a
day you work. Youre responsible for the budget, youre responsible for the actors, for everything
on the set. But you work on everything, youre responsible for everything. And I liked that, I liked
THYDE: Where are you from, originally?
CHARLES FULLER: I was born in Philadelphia, raised in Philadelphia. I went to Catholic
Schools, Elementary, High School, and University. I was in the army. I got married, I have two
sons, whom I love very much. I have an ideal life of a Writer, really, a great life of a Writer
THYDE: What is it like working with Robert Townsend and Louis Gossett Jr.?
CHARLES FULLER: Bobby and I have worked together in A Soldiers Story, so we knew each
other and we had a lot of fun. Lou and I worked together in 1, 2
..this is the 3rd movie of mine
that Lou has done. And so we knew each other from those experiences. Lou is a great actor, and
so when Lou is on the set, in a sense, he brought to all the other actors a kind of
.he was like a
Beacon to them. They wanted to show Lou how good they were, really. And they have a great
deal of respect for Lou, and it worked very well for us, in terms of making the film. Everybody
wanted to show Lou that they could do whatever it was they needed to do. I mean, he has a
tremendous respect among actors and writers. I respect him enormously. Hes a great actor, a
(R-L) Theresa Hyde talking to Showtime Field Marketing Director Mary Bourne-Marth
during the Film Festival Opening Night Gala, Charles Fuller (seated).
CHARLES FULLER smiled the most intelligent smile and with a brilliant glint in his eye, continued
to talk about LOVE SONGS. He went on telling his stories about the set and the making of the
film. The crowd gathered around him listening intently and hung on to his every precious Pulitzer
Prize Winning Word. And as Zoe Bui stated, the Houston International Film Festival is a great
opportunity for us to share in all his glory. Thank you, Hunter Todd!
Film Festival Opening Night Gala
THE 32ND ANNUAL WORLDFEST-HOUSTON
The Houston International Film Festival
WorldFest-Houston, The Independent Film Festival