‘BlacKkKlansman’ star Topher Grace reflects on the play of the evil Klan leader David Duke, Spike Lee film

Topher Grace talks about the challenges of channeling the Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman.”

(Focus Features via AP)

NEW YORK – the Former “That 70’s Show” actor Topher Grace has opened up about playing “someone he hates”, as he portrays white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in Spike Lee’s upcoming “BlacKkKlansman.”

“I can’t say that I’ve done that, played a lot someone who is even a real person, let alone someone that I hate,” the actor told Fox News at the film’s New York press junket.

But Grace told us that the role was too good to pass up.

Adam Driver and David Washington play officers Flip Zimmerman, and Ron Stallworth who trick of the local KKK in a study.

(Focus Features via AP)

“It’s a really juicy role for an actor,” he said. “I think what I was nervous about was the tone of the script, [which] was kind of both funny and devastating.”

Grace says he went for her, because Spike Lee was attached to the project.

“He is the greatest black director of all time,” he remarked, “and he says something very interesting, so I already knew that I was safe, because it went to a Spike Lee movie.”

The film is a biopic based on the life of Ron Stallworth, the first African-American cop to serve in a Colorado precinct in the years ’70, who teams up with his Jewish partner to infiltrate the Ku Klu Klan. Denzel Washington’s son, David Washington, play Stallworth, who tricks the local Klan leader, as the Duke into believing that he was a white man want to join the Klan by means of a number of conversations over the phone.

Grace talked about having mixed feelings about playing a controversial figure, but knew the role was too good to pass up.

(Focus Features via AP)

Grace explained how he prepared for the difficult role and in the mindset of the Duke.

“I’ve taken so many images of him, I read his autobiography, which is called ‘My Awakening,’ which was a barely veiled [Adolf Hitler’s] ‘Mein Kampf’ and I looked at him on the Donohue — he was actually on Donohue a couple of times.”

The actor added he had mixed feelings when he got the role.

Grace and his wife Ashley Hinshaw at the Los Angeles premiere of “Blackkklansman.”


“It is the best moment of your career [when] Spike Lee calls you and is like ‘I want you to play this role,’ and then it goes into the worst month of reading all this crap,” he said.

[SPOILER ALERT: The rest of this article will discuss the end of “BlacKkKlansman.”]

The film ends with a powerful transition from a KKK fire outside Stallworth window of live footage from the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va. Spike Lee explained he wanted to show the extremes of the racial tensions that are still present in current day America.

“My co-writer, Kevin Willmott, who took the job, knew that as storytellers, we had things in the movie that is connected to the current day, so that people not only look to us as a period piece, a history lesson,” Lee explained in the “BlacKkKlansman” press junket.

Grace weighed, and shared his opinion about the film is the heavy end.

“I find it sad that this film is more relevant than it would have been when it takes place,” Grace said.

“The film does a good job of drawing a straight line — the first shot [the film] the civil war [and] the last shot is 2017,” he said. “And only a master like Spike would be able to pull that line through a movie.”

“When I saw the audience at the Cannes festival and their reaction when they started showing images of Charlottesville — she did not know that it had gone from a fictional Klan rally where the film ends, in Charlottesville. Everyone’s breath was taken away when they realized this is footage of today is not a Klan rally in the ’70s.”

Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” hits theaters Friday.

You can find Morgan M. Evans on Twitter @themizfactor.

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