NAACP Award Winning actor Glynn Turman talks about his documentary ‘The Legend of Glynn Turman’ to be released on Roku, Tubi, Peacock, Crackle, Sling, Prime Video, Vudu and Hoopla
A career that began in his younger years, actor/writer/director Harlem born Glynn Turman has enjoyed over six decades within the entertainment industry. Along the way, starring alongside Hollywood greats Sir Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee in the original Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun in 1959, as well as episodes of hit sitcoms Hanging with Mr Cooper and The Wayans Bros, and directed episodes of A Different World. His acting work including hit dramas The Wire, House of Lies and Queen Sugar. Celebrated for his contributions to the the field of entertainment, his work has seen him win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in HBO Drama Series In Treatment, Best Supporting Actor by the Los Angeles Critics Associstion for your role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as well as three NAACP Awards. Gearing up for his release of his documentary The Legend of Glynn Turman to stream across various platforms from 20th June, Glynn tells us more about what to expect!
Hi Glynn, your documentary film The Legend of Glynn Turman is due to be released on various platforms from the 20th of June. How are you feeling ahead of the release of the release?
Well, I’m feeling fine. I’m feeling great! I’m excited! This has been a long process and here it is finally in full fruition for which I’m excited.
The legend of Glynn Turman traces your life journey from humble beginnings in Harlem, New York, your introduction to the art to your successful career within entertainment, which spans over six decades. How did the idea to create a documentary of your life come about?
Well, Juney Smith is my producing partner and director of our projects, which we have been over the last few years chronicling those who were sort of unsung heroes in any theatrical world, especially the African American, theatrical world and even more specifically, the New York theatre world. So we had done several institutions and or performers under that, our banner, and he kept trying to convince me that we needed to do my story. And I kept putting it off and putting it off and putting it off. And finally he said, the magic word, he said, “You need to leave something for your kids, so that they can understand your journey in your own words”, so from the horse’s mouth, here is my journey, and come to find out that people are taking to, it’s resonating with more than just my kids, it’s hard to believe.
Your career as a writer, actor and director has seen you win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding guest actor in HBO drama series In Treatment, Best Supporting Actor by the LA Critics Association for your role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, as well as three NAACP awards. What does it mean to you to have been acknowledged for your contributions to the arts?
Oh, well, you know, it means everything you know, I’m humbled by it, encouraged by it, you know. It tickles me because you don’t start out with those kinds of goals in mind – at least I didn’t. So to have the best, the highest institutions in the business acknowledge your work, and that’s from your peers as well. It’s very humbling.
So you have theatrical beginnings having starred as the original Travis Younger on Broadway in the iconic A Raisin in the Sun, opposite the late Sir Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee, two influential figures within the civil rights movement. How did you find the experience? And what did you learn from it?
Oh, are you kidding? Starting at the very top, the most impressive people that I could have ever met and been around. So I was I was moulded in their style and their caring and their diligence as part of my part of my upbringing so it set a very high bar working with those people that I tried to continue to hold up with even to this day.
What can viewers expect from the documentary?
A guide if you will as to the value of sticking to what you set out to do following your dream and embracing what your destiny is about. Sometimes we’re on a path we don’t even know that we’re on. We don’t even know that we’ve been chosen and been called to do what we end up doing. In my case, I tried to avoid acting. I didn’t set out to be an actor at that young age, but it kept calling me and finally I had to eat the call. That happens a lot of times you think you’re heading in one direction, you’ve got your mind on something else but destiny something worked out for you that’s altogether different than what you thought – at some point, you have to surrender and that surrendering is what leads you to more than you could have imagined yourself.
What would you like for viewers to take away from the documentary?
Trust yourself. Be diligent in your pursuits. Know that there’s ups and downs – I think that the documentary will show you that. But that if you persevere, you will achieve and be rewarded for your for your diligence.
What advice can you give to any aspiring creatives?
Well, there’s the key word – ‘creative’. Why isn’t that something nice? That’s the word you just choose to use, and it’s such an honour to be a part of a creative process. So if you’ve chosen to become a part of the creative processes, as an artist, then you’re truly blessed. You truly owe us that pursuit, all that you can give it all that you can muster.
An added note from Glynn –
The name of the documentary is The Legend of Glynn Turman and it’s streaming now starting June 20 in all the streaming platforms, and up until that time you can preorder it and buy your own blu ray or DVD through Amazon or Best Buy or Barnes Nobles and some of those so that you can have it for yourself and or play it for your acting classes or your school, in person and so on so forth.
Interview by Lucy Basaba.
The Legend of Glynn Turman will be available to stream across various platforms from Tuesday 20th June 2023. To find out more about the documentary, visit here…