October 6, 2022


Art Is Experience

Cool Runnings actor Leon Robinson has an appreciation for bobsleigh, Jamaican food and music | Entertainment

With any film star, there’s the actor, and then there’s the persona. Leon Robinson, or ‘Just Leon’ as he has humbly preferred to be credited more than the many years, has often experienced an curiosity in cultivating the latter. Most Jamaicans had been released to his chiselled facial area in the 1993 cult typical Cool Runnings movie that chronicled the tale of the island’s initial bobsleigh (or bobsled) crew who challenged naysayers with their entry in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada.

The film supplied insight into the passion of the daring sportsmen and made them receive a exclusive place in the hearts of their fellow Jamaicans. Without a doubt, lots of of them would stop up slipping in appreciate with the charming character of Derice Bannock. In an job interview with The Sunday Gleaner, Leon says he was incredibly significantly knowledgeable of the activity and appreciated it.

It has nearly been a few many years due to the fact the Walt Disney movie’s launch and 34 decades because the 4-guy crew manufactured its Olympic debut, enamouring the entire world with its inspiring story, but Leon’s appreciation for it has only deepened.

“Though I wouldn’t describe myself as a fan of bobsledding, I can absolutely say I appreciated it for what it is. I never know how the motion picture impacted my career as I can say I was undertaking very well prior to that. I am happy to have played lots of roles that trapped in people’s hearts and to have established memorable people, Derice being just one of those people,” Leon reported.


And he proceeds to wave the Jamaican flag as if it was the land of his birth, realizing that for the initially time in 24 years, a four-guy workforce experienced capable to participate in the 2022 Wintertime Olympics in Beijing. “It is a significant appreciation mainly because I have been in the sledge, and I know what it will take and how it beats up your system,” he presented.

The actor was a single of the VIP attendees for a personal viewing celebration hosted by the Jamaica Vacationer Board in New York final Friday to check out Jamaica’s nationwide group participate in the 4-male bobsleigh races. Regretably, the two-man bobsleigh workforce finished 30th out of 30, but it has been mentioned that the staff is functioning challenging and has its sights set on additional than film references – to make its true-lifestyle mark. For this explanation, and additional, Leon thinks that the current athletes symbolizing the nation are entitled to all the assistance and need to have to know that what they are undertaking is not staying carried out in vain.

“I have nothing but enormous respect for the athletes. What I would share with Jamaicans locally is that they require to be mindful of their existence in the globe. When we have anyone symbolizing the island, you have to have to large up yuh upper body and signify enable them know you are guiding them simply because these factors never take place just about every working day,” he mentioned. “It is completely wonderful that Jamaica competent to be one particular of the world’s best and has pushed to be aspect of the Wintertime Olympics in excess of the decades, contemplating there is no snow on the island. One issue I know is that so a lot of folks who have in no way been to Jamaica only know the island by Cool Runnings, and it will make me feel proud to be element of that history.”

Leon shared that he has in no way imagined about participating in the character of Derice any differently, and he admitted, “I really do not look at my movies,” due to the fact he feels that he is far too crucial of himself and watching it lots of instances “it can make me begin wondering about what I could do differently”.

Enjoyment truth. When Disney went to scout actors for the film, persons held indicating that Leon should be component of the solid, pondering he was born in Jamaica. Of Jamaican descent, Leon lived in Jamaica 3 to 4 months out of the yr and for 10 many years in advance of he landed the purpose in Amazing Runnings would remedy to the nickname ‘Ackee and Salt fish’.

In the center of the interview, the actor, who is also a singer and songwriter, broke out into patois as he joked about being the most important foodie and lover of Jamaican foods from the ackee and salt fish to brown stewed fish and all the workings of the island’s flavours.


And his link to Jamaica is multilayered, staying the lead singer and songwriter for award-successful reggae-soul band Leon and The Peoples, which he explained is on the other facet of the spectrum in comparison to his career in the film field.

“I was generally in Jamaica. Generally every Christmas, I am in Hopewell, but I didn’t get to vacation final calendar year. I am motivated by the tradition, and as an artiste, I have been on 4 excursions with Beres Hammond – he manufactured my initially one. So the connection is deep,” he reported.

Leon additional: “The band is basically a saving grace since the movie business enterprise is not particularly a enjoyable small business. Also, the music is me … I am not participating in a character. In Amazing Runnings, I wasn’t me, I was Derice Bannock, and all I cared about was what I place out there as that character, likewise for all the people I performed. By means of the music, people today get to know and engage additional with Leon, the storyteller.”

Leon and The Peoples is at the moment on the lookout to e book dates in between his performing plan, he mentioned, and is organizing to be in Negril by July. He is also acquiring all set for the March 4 premiere of a new movie he is in, A Working day to Die, where he performs the character of Tyrone Pettis.

“It’s an action film which stars myself, Kevin Dillon, and Bruce Willis, and it is legitimate, my supporters primarily, like to see me participate in the terrible boy,” he laughed.

“But whether acting, making, directing, or singing, I hope to be element of stories that last past my time. And one of the very best assistance I can give to younger creatives, or any individual heading into the sector and [adding] to the tales, is to be uniquely you. Don’t attempt to observe the pack. There are significantly way too numerous Indians and not enough chiefs – if you understand what I am indicating,” Leon ongoing.

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