Antonio Fargas stars in "Silver Bells"

Antonio Fargas stars in "Silver Bells"
Interviewed and written by Aaron Robinson - Editor

Legendary Actor, Antonio Fargas, who is a proud New York native, is one of the worlds most amazing and exhilarating actors in the TV/Film industry. Since acting at the age of fourteen, Fargas has come to build an everlasting archive, having spectaculars roles in the beginning of his film career such as Shaft, Across 110th Street, and Foxy Brown. When it comes to television, Fargas has been cast in series such as “Everybody Hates Chris”, “Martin”, and “The Steve Harvey Show” just to name a few.  He has been most notable for starring is the 1970’s long-running television series “Starsky and Hutch” as Huggy Bear.

Today, Fargas is starring in "Silver Bells" where he plays Major Melvin Lowell. He will star along Bruce Boxleitner, Kenton Duty, Bridgett Newton, Laura Spencer and Kevin Downes. “Silver Bells” will premier on UP TV on Sunday, December 1 at 7, 9, and 11 EST. 

I had the opportunity to interview a man with such great wisdom, spirituality and passion for his art. Here is what Antonio Fargas had to share with the Consciousness Magazine readers about his role in “Silver Bells” and much more.

Aaron Robinson: Tell us a little about your character Major Melvin Lowell in the film “Silver Bells?
Antonio Fargas: In this Christmas story, Major Melvin Lowell is a guy who made a career out of helping others, and he sees the benefit when he encounters Bruce Boxleitner, who is this ambitious guy who has to be humbled. He gets humbled by having to do his community service, along with me supervising him while he does the community service. It’s Christmas time so he gets the chance to ring a bell and be recognized as this guy from television, who through a court case, has to do community service. In essence, I think that Major sort of brings in the God aspect of this story. I’ve always admired the Salvation Army at Christmas, because they’re out there doing the work and trying to raise money for those less fortunate. So, Major gets to bring Bruce into that life and help him reclaim his family. Because he [Bruce] has been so driven, he doesn’t pay attention to the little things about his son and wife’s needs. He thinks he’s doing the best that he can by being the bread winner. Major brings him [Bruce] on a journey to come to realize the benefits, warmth and goodness of Christmas.

Aaron: What makes this role different from any other role that you have ever played in your career?
Antonio: Each role has been special. Like my children, I can’t separate one from the other. Being an actor I’ve done all kinds of roles. What’s special about this role is that he’s a mature man. Most of my characters have been edgy characters that have explored the dark side or that do the dirty work. This character is just a family guy, and that’s different for me. Faith is important to him. Family is important, and he loves God.

Aaron: What real life lesson do you think the viewers will learn from this wonderful film?
Antonio: I think it’s such an analogy to “Christmas Carol”, where a man who is self driven (Scrooge was about money), and Bruce was about fame and being important and sacrificing so much. Many people can identity with sacrificing and deferring there dreams of just being a simple man or the simple things in life. I think it’s a lot like watching “Christmas Carol”, where you see the force of this man redeem himself through his community service, and he gets in touch with the important things in life. I think a lot of people will relate to that.

Aaron: What is it like working with the cast members?
Antonio: I enjoyed working with Bruce Boxleitner because I’ve seen him grow. We were two artists who were trying to tell as story. The other cast members were a pleasure to work with also. It was like a family, and that’s special. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to see our story.

Aaron: You are known for having a demeanor of a cool and laid-back individual. How did this persona develop?
Antonio: As an actor and survivor in life you have to be able to deliver. Being cool is just another way of keeping the lid on someone who has a lot of energy or who has a burning desire. I think it’s a disciplinary thing. I was able to be disciplined enough to know my niche where I could be best of service to Antonio and to the characters I play. I think it’s homage for me to the craft of acting that I am totally different from the characters that I play. Part of that persona has been through the roles that I’ve played on television and film. They all have a sense of cool and being a survivor as well. Sometimes it’s the inner part of the character that has to come through. That’s why I like the characters that I play because they’re the chance takers. Sometimes it’s to their detriment. I identify a lot with survival of the characters that I’ve played and in my life as well.

Aaron: What up-and-coming projects can your fans expect from you in the future?
Antonio: I’m at an interesting part of my life. I’ve been in acting for 53 years. I don’t feel that I have anything more to prove. What I try to do is make myself available for projects like “Silver Bells” and for black theatre, because that’s important to me. My spirituality is what’s most important to me today. I’ve been through a transition. My life has always been spiritually guided. Right now I’m trying to make my shoulders strong because I know whose shoulders I stand on. And I’m trying to make my shoulders strong for the young people coming behind me. I want to leave this world a better place. So, it’s not surprising that I’m moving towards projects like “Silver Bells” and theatre.

Aaron: Are you a supporter of any community charities or organizations?
Antonio: Right here in Las Vegas, where I live, there’s the West Las Vegas Art Center. Every summer we have a summer theatre camp where we teach young people life and survival skills through the arts. We put on a production every summer after an 8 week course of people who have never been on the stage, never danced before. We give them an opportunity to develop self pride and a sense of family. I’ve also been on the board of a few theatre organizations through the years as well.

Aaron: Would you like to add anything else in regards to the play or anything that we haven’t covered?

Antonio: I think it’s important to, as soon as possible, realize that life is an opportunity to not defer your dream. If you have a dream you should give it every opportunity. You do the work and then you leave the results up to the spiritual side of things, because if you’re in this thing to become a star you may be disappointed because very few will reach that. Don’t give up your dream, but at the same time have a respect for the craft and do the work.

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