Keith David’s face and voice are instantly recognizable to fans of movies and television.
Filmgoers saw him in sci-fi movies like the 1982 film "The Thing" and comedies like “There’s Something About Mary.”
He also was half of the iconic fight scene in John Carpenter's 1988 cult classic, "They Live," a six-minute brawl with pro wrestler Roddy Piper that is known as one of the greatest melees of all time.
“The situation was easily relatable. Here we have two guys who are homeless, but they're the working homeless,” David explained. “What made it so successful I think is that the fight had a story to it and it built within that.”
The actor recalled his time with the late Piper, who lived in Portland.
“I remember joking with Roddy after he makes me put on the glasses and I see the creatures,” David recalled. “I'd look back and be like, why didn't you tell me?”
His passion for acting runs deep and started at an early age.
“When I was in the sixth grade I did a play called "Freedom of the Press." I played John Peter Zenger,” David said. “I loved it. I felt for years I could play anybody.”
Over his career, David has tackled more than a hundred film and television roles, as well as providing his voice for commercials and video games and earning a Tony nomination for his work on stage.
“One of the best things I've ever done in my life was “Jelly's Last Jam,” he shared. “I had the time of my life.”
David currently stars in the Oprah Winfrey produced drama series "Greenleaf" as Bishop James.
“I love that because I use to want to be a minister and now I get to play one. It has all of those issues that one goes through in a family,” he said. “I find it wonderfully exciting. And as we were talking about earlier, they're real people whom you can relate to.”
The star stopped in Portland for his latest project, "V-Force." It was his first time in the Rose City.
“I have two daughters, and they like that kind of stuff. You know, I'm all for female empowerment, especially action adventure movies having girls be the hero. I like that,” David said of the new project. “I’ve been able to walk around. It's a lovely town and I can't wait to come back. I've actually been trying to get to Portland for some time.”
After his long and varied career, David says he is still just “living the dream.”
“Right now I feel like one of the luckiest man because I am living my dream. All my life that's what I wanted to do. That's what I believed God put me here to do and I get to do it.”
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