Five Favorite Films

Andre Holland's Five Favorite Films

The Moonlight Actor talks about the old days of renting VCRs and the necessity of a shirtless Paul Newman.

by | October 28, 2016 | Comments

Generated by IJG JPEG Library
Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images
Fans of Andre Holland on American Horror Story: Roanoake and The Knick can now see him on the big screen in Moonlight, which has earned rave reviews across the board. His Five Favorite Films, listed here, reflect the diversity and quality that he demonstrates as an actor. Movies from several decades and genres populate his list, and he shows his passion for the art as he discusses them. See the list here:

The Bourne Identity (2002) 83%

The one that, if I’m sitting on the couch and it comes on, I can’t turn away — The Bourne movies. I will watch them a million times, and any time they’re on, which is often [laughs], I gotta watch them. I just loved that character. I thought it was so fascinating and, honestly, that’s the kind of part that I would love to play one day. So, I love watching it and watching the way Matt Damon played it. It’s just so exciting, to me. I don’t know why, but I can’t get enough of it. I think there is a little bit of…  just the escapism of it all – running through the streets of Germany or all the different cities that he went to and trying to figure out who you are is really cool. It’s just a cool conceit.

Nothing But a Man (1963) 95%

The movie that I always watch before doing just about any project — and certainly before doing this one — is called Nothing But A Man. It’s a classic film. Ivan Dixon played the lead character and it’s just about this black man trying to make his way through the world. But it’s a beautiful, beautiful film, and it breaks my heart every time I watch it. It’s just one of the most extraordinary movies I’ve ever seen. I was introduced to it by a friend of mine; I was doing a play — probably eight or nine years ago — and my friend, Aunjanue Ellis, who is an actress, put me on to it and I had not seen it before. Now I watch it all the time.  It’s great – I think it was in the 1960s. Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln -– it just was super. An incredible film.

Paris Blues (1961) 67%

And then kind of parallel to [Nothing but a Man] — number three would probably be my most favorite romance, Paris Blues. Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward. I love it. The dialogue in that film is some of the best I’ve ever seen. And Sidney Poitier, I think, gives one of his best performances. And it’s so, so sexy, that movie.

RT: Yeah, that’s right, it’s been so long since I’ve seen it. And Paul Newman – I remember several of the films he was in that way, actually, as well. I was like, “Man, I feel too young to watch this.”

[Laughing] Yeah. He’s got these scenes where he’s in the bedroom with his shirt off, and you can just see it. I mean, he was such a heartthrob, you know. You can just see the filmmaker thinking, “We have to get a shot of Paul Newman with his shirt off [laughing].” And they got a few of them.

RT: We’re not made of stone. The filmmaker was right.

True, true.

Up (2009) 98%

For some reason, there’s another movie that I really love, that always breaks my heart and makes me cry, every time I watch it, and that’s the animated movie Up.

RT: Oh, my God, yes. We could have a whole therapy session about that movie.

Yes, absolutely. Just the opening sequence is, like… I can’t even get through that without breaking down. It’s so beautiful.

RT: That movie made me really happy for 3D glasses because it covered my tears.

Yeah. That’s hilarious. I know what you mean with those 3D glasses. One of the first times I saw it, I was on a date and, I mean, you talk about trying to hide some tears? I was trying to maintain my cool, but I could not do it. It was such a beautiful movie.

RT: Do you think that made the date go better, because it made you so emotionally vulnerable?

I think it did, actually, because, as I recall, she was crying a lot, too, and I think it definitely put us both into a good, nice, open, vulnerable place. And it’s funny — where I live in New York, there’s a coffee shop around the corner from me that I go to all the time, basically, and in going to it, there’s a guy who I would always see there, and we would always talk and chat. Someone said, “Oh, yeah, you know he’s a writer and he used to be an actor,” and blah, blah, blah. I didn’t know his work, I’m ashamed to say, but, at the end of Up when the name Tom McCarthy flashed across, I thought, “Wait a minute! That’s the dude from the coffee shop.”  I guess I was living under a rock that I didn’t know who he was. But anyway, I just was even more of a fan of his. He’s such a talented man.

Oliver! (1968) 82%

Number five — this is a tough one. I think the one I would like to say, though, is one — when I was a kid, this is the one that I watched all the time. I had it on VHS tape and probably wore the tape out – I know just about every line from the movie. I don’t know why I loved it so much, but the movie Oliver. The musical version. The Lionel Bart one. Ron Moody was  the guy that played Fagin. Growing up, we never went to the movies. I grew up in a pretty rural town in Alabama, and we just never went, and so our big excitement for the weekend would be to go to the video store and… We also didn’t have a VCR, but you could, back in the day, rent a VCR. So, we would rent a VCR, and for some reason, we owned the movie. We owned two movies; we owned Oliver and we owned The Wiz. Whenever we would rent the VCR, we would watch the movies that we rented, but then, because we had the VCR, we’d always end up playing Oliver and The Wiz again. I think that’s probably why I fell in love with it. And then, ironically, it wound up being the first play that I ever did in community theatre. Although I’m [also] obsessed with The Wiz. It terrified me, as a kid. That was gonna be the other one I was gonna say. It was either Oliver or The Wiz, but The Wiz is just amazing.


Moonlight is now open in limited release.

Tag Cloud

animated Action medical drama BET E! Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt FOX composers Western political drama Brie Larson El Rey adventure Esquire natural history Fantasy Logo Musicals Lionsgate Britbox Tomatazos Calendar Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Cartoon Network 2015 Food Network BBC America politics psycho Spike serial killer Ghostbusters Cannes Marvel unscripted Reality Competition Syfy dc Lucasfilm Starz cinemax Rom-Com sitcom TLC USA Disney sports binge Warner Bros. Watching Series game show zombie Film Festival finale HBO Max National Geographic 2016 Spring TV romance singing competition doctor who Tarantino ESPN Summer APB Sony Pictures TBS TIFF Pet Sematary period drama true crime Mudbound Interview Pirates teaser Video Games YA 007 MTV crossover Winners Sundance Now Writers Guild of America Christmas DC Universe biography toy story Polls and Games DGA CNN 2018 Emmy Nominations dceu witnail Box Office LGBT Biopics Horror Freeform war zero dark thirty 45 Ovation SDCC Photos MSNBC Comic Book golden globes CBS All Access GLAAD Toys Trailer CW Seed ABC Family Mystery BBC Red Carpet supernatural WarnerMedia robots President cats social media thriller nature Election Mindy Kaling VH1 Nat Geo docudrama TV Land GIFs Sundance Mary Tyler Moore Year in Review Countdown crime Martial Arts SXSW spinoff Sci-Fi Shondaland Super Bowl New York Comic Con adaptation Superheroe NYCC ABC DC streaming service Kids & Family Superheroes Rock Spectrum Originals Awards Dark Horse Comics Extras TNT Stephen King elevated horror TCA Cosplay miniseries space 24 frames Amazon DirecTV IFC Films spider-man based on movie theme song dragons OWN Columbia Pictures PaleyFest The Witch 21st Century Fox festivals discovery Fox News aliens dramedy 2019 mutant LGBTQ Teen Universal Adult Swim Anna Paquin richard e. Grant 2017 Rocketman Masterpiece AMC PBS Ellie Kemper facebook FX Netflix A&E Creative Arts Emmys HBO Black Mirror TruTV YouTube Premium Infographic Pixar Grammys 20th Century Fox Music Comedy police drama Crackle Set visit Captain marvel Pop Sneak Peek Character Guide Hulu casting transformers Rocky FXX Trophy Talk Acorn TV Star Wars YouTube Red RT History cults The Arrangement hist Marathons Awards Tour Mary Poppins Returns crime drama San Diego Comic-Con Mary poppins science fiction Quiz GoT Certified Fresh CMT CBS award winner Nickelodeon Pride Month mockumentary IFC sequel diversity Lifetime talk show Comedy Central Fall TV TV Best and Worst Women's History Month boxoffice Comics on TV Musical vampires Trivia harry potter spy thriller crime thriller History cooking TCA 2017 Showtime ratings Premiere Dates DC Comics Schedule Paramount Network travel Podcast Heroines Walt Disney Pictures Drama X-Men strong female leads Oscars USA Network MCU Reality Apple VICE ITV Animation historical drama green book justice league comic Tumblr TCM Vudu Nominations technology SundanceTV NBC E3 American Society of Cinematographers zombies television Thanksgiving what to watch Holidays WGN Shudder disaster psychological thriller First Look Song of Ice and Fire blaxploitation comiccon Chernobyl Epix Opinion See It Skip It streaming Valentine's Day Disney Channel Winter TV Emmys Star Trek jamie lee curtis cops The CW Amazon Prime Bravo RT21 Country Paramount Elton John anime anthology