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Dennis Haysbert & Mike Colter Interview: Breakthrough

Dennis Haysbert is an American actor. He portrayed baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the Major League films, Secret Service Agent Tim Collin in the 1997 political thriller film Absolute Power, and Sergeant Major Jonas Blane on the drama series The Unit. He is also known for playing U.S. Senator (later President) David Palmer on the first 5 seasons of 24.  Mike Colter is best known for his role as Luke Cage in Marvel's Luke Cage, The Defenders, and Jessica Jones. He has also appeared as Lemond Bishop in the television series The Good Wife.

In an interview for their new film Breakthrough, they discuss faith and science and how both and mix with the other to have a mutual understanding of how the world works.

Congratulations on the film, guys. It's a heart wrenching and heart warming as well. And I don't think I felt like crying so much throughout a whole movie.

Dennis Haysbert: Oh, let it go, man.

But first of all, did you guys hear about this story before taking the project?

Dennis Haybert: And on that note, I mean, I think that there has to be a record of a movie being made from a book, of an incident that happened, to two years from the incident to the book. To the movie. I don't think, I don't think anything has moved that fast.

Yeah. It's 2015 was where everything. Mike, you play the first responder, that's an atheist. Can you talk to me about Tommy's journey?

Mike Colter:Tommy, you know, I think a lot of times, people talk about faith and people will tell you God works through people sometimes. You know that sometimes you yourself become a conduit or a messenger. I think Tommy, his job is to save lives. You know, he's the first responding comes out, he did everything he can do to resuscitate, to get the person to the hospital, to just, you know, stabilize him. And he's done it so many times. I think it becomes common, but at the same time, this is a special incident because this kid doesn't give up. You know, his mom doesn't give up. Tommy did it. Okay, it's done. And then he looks around, he looks on TV, this kid is still alive? Wait a minute. Also he's pulled in. He's pulled in on the journey that the mother is taking them on. Everybody's taken on his journey. The town, the school, the pastor, his character, the doctor, you name it, the father, even the father at some point, I think it gets it. Okay enough, I can't, you know, this is not going to work. And I think that's what Tommy taught me. He's that guy that starts out from zero and now by the time the movie, I think he's a little closer to believe, you know.

And with your character, he's the doctor that is the best at what he does. But there's an inherent debate about faith and science. Can you talk to me about how that kind of plays well into this film as well?

Dennis Haysbert: Well as a doctor, this character in particular, you can't afford to let faith enter into it. You have to look at your work. You've got to look at all the tests and you'd have to see what's going on factually. Basically, you don't have time to sit there and say “Well, I really wish, I really hope this happens,” but when it does happen, you have to take it back a second and say, look, all these things I am, this is not the way I was trained. You know, I'm not supposed to feel this, but I can't help but say that this is a miracle. You know, and it's hard for a scientist to say what's a miracle? Because you make the miracles. You know, by science, I mean, and you can, and you're limited to what you're able to do with medicines and whatever. And when you have that one intangible come through and it says, no, we're going to take it over here. And not, it just blows his whole, preparation out of the water

Cinematically we live in a world of superheroes. You're familiar with playing one. What can people take away from real life heroes that are depicted in this film?

Mike Colter: Anyone can be one. You don't have to have a super special ability to be a hero. Sometimes you just have to be the right place at the right time, and you have to have the will. And that's all it takes.

Dennis Haysbert: Inspiration to do it.

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Key Release Dates
  • Breakthrough (2019) release date: Apr 17, 2019
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