Wednesday, June 12, 2024

John Amos Shares Near-Fatal Encounter Over ‘Roots’ Movie Role | Watch

John Amos
LOS ANGELES – JANUARY 1: Good Times, a CBS television situation comedy. Premiere episde, February 8, 1974. Pictured from left is Esther Rolle (as Florida Evans), John Amos (as James Evans, Sr.). (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

*John Amos has disclosed that his life nearly ended while vying for the role of Kunta Kinte in the “Roots” miniseries.

In an interview with the Television Academy nearly a decade ago, Amos reminisced about pursuing the role and the peril it brought him as he perfected an African accent.

I Love Old School Music reports that Amos said, “I knew I had the handle on it [the African accent], not because of ego, but one time when I was living in Liberia I was out drinking with some friends of mine –local guys– and we went to one of the local shebeens, which is just a bar in somebody’s house where they make homemade brew or whatever. And my friend, Charles Mitchell –an indigenous Liberian– said to me, ‘John!’ I said ‘What Charles?’ …I had my back to the crowd…Charles is facing me and I see a look of alarm on his face. ‘I said ‘Charles what’s wrong?!!’ He said, ‘Oh John, one bad guy [with a machete] coming for us.’ I said, ‘WHAT?!!’”

The “Good Times’ star continued, … “ and there’s a guy, [he] gets up from the table and sure enough he’s got his machete out, and he’s with two or three of his friends –and they’ve got they’re machetes or clubs. … The guy looked at me and said, ‘I know you! I told you when you were in Bowman Hill Diamond Mine, that I coming for you one day and now the day!’”

Amos clarified that the individual had wrongly identified him as a former security guard who mistreated him during his time as a captive worker at a diamond mine.

John Amos - Depositphotos
John Amos at the WB Network’s 2003 All-Star Party, White Lotus, Hollywood, CA 07-13-03

“This guy (the security guard) had mistreated him so bad that he’d vowed he was gonna cut his head off,” Amos added. “He said ‘Now I’m coming for your head!’ I said, ‘Woah! Wait one minute buddy!’ … [I] dropped the accent, pulled out my wallet, pulled out my California [license] *gesturing to himself* this is ME, I’m just a player!’”

John continued, “So the question of ‘whether or not I had the right accent’ wasn’t up for discussion, it almost got me KILLED! LOL.”

Watch John Amos recount the harrowing moment in the clip below.

READ MORE: ‘Good Times’ Animated Series is Coming to Netflix | Watch Trailer

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