Rawle D. Lewis

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Rawle D. Lewis (c. 1974)[1] is an American actor and comedian best known for portraying Junior Bevil in the 1993 comedy film Cool Runnings.[2][3][4][5][6]

Early and personal life[edit]

It was originally presumed that Lewis was born in Jamaica.[7][8][9] However, Lewis later revealed in an interview for the 229th issue of Empire, "So I had lied on my resume. I was born in Trinidad, so I said I had done all this acting in Trinidad, 'cos I figured, who the hell's going to figure that out?"[2] Despite this, Lewis stated on that same interview that he was from the Caribbean.[2] Lewis confirmed in another interview that part of his family is of Jamaican descent.[10] According to Reap Mediazine, Lewis is originally from New Jersey.[1]

Lewis moved to Los Angeles in high school and did his first stand-up set at the age of seventeen. He described himself as being a “pretty shy guy in high school". A friend of his suggested he try stand-up comedy.[1] Lewis almost considered quitting stand-up due to being embarrassed by his debut performance, in which heckling occurred. However, fellow comedian D.L. Hughley encouraged him not to quit.[1]

Lewis resides in Los Angeles.[8][9] Today, Lewis travels all over the world for about three months of the year performing stand-up.[1] Of the countries he has traveled into include Senegal, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Guatemala.[1][2] He has even visited Jamaica.[10]

Cool Runnings[edit]

At first, Lewis was not supposed to have auditioned as the producers originally wanted A-list stars to have portrayed the four leads.[8] According to Lewis, "I came in to this film at first to coach the players in the authentic accents, but then I was asked to do a screen test -- so here I am."[9] He later said in another interview, " I was helping them cast the movie."[11] At the time, Lewis had been participating in play which was viewed by a casting director for Cool Runnings. Liking his performance, the casting director later called Lewis and said, "Hey, we're working on this movie about the Jamaican bobsled team and we want to make sure these guys have a good Jamaican accent. Can you do a good Jamaican accent?" Lewis agreed to audition and on November 1992, he won what became his most recognized role, Junior Bevil.[2][8]

Lewis claims he gets recognized for the film at least three or four times a week.[2] The same applies in his recognition outside of the United States: "For some reason, English people recognise me a lot more than people from other European countries. And probably it's primarily because it's in the English language. But also, in France, the movie's called Rasta Rockett, and so that's what I get on the street. Especially a lot of people from Senegal, they yell out at me, 'Rasta Rockett!' That is bizarre, I never expect that."[2]

His performance in the film was recognized by Hartford Courant film critic Malcolm Johnson, who wrote in his review that Lewis had "bright but cringing eagerness."[12]

Despite his stardom with the film, Lewis once told Entertainment Weekly, " Sometimes I forget I’m in it."[13]

Later career[edit]

In 1996, Lewis appeared in the parody comedy film, Spy Hard. He mentioned in the Empire interview how Leslie Nielsen "was already like 70, at least, and he was still so funny," during the making the film. Lewis found Nielsen "brilliant" to work with.[2] Lewis appeared in the film Driven, which was also released that same year.[14][15] He also played a security guard in the 2001 film, K-PAX.[16][17][18][19]

Lewis attempted to write, produce and direct a film titled Bulletheads. He was to have also starred in the film, which was to have been distributed by Lionsgate.[1][10]

His most recent project was Hybrids, a 2015 film which also starred Paul Sorvino.[2][4]

On television, he has appeared in the television shows Where I Live and Malcolm & Eddie.[20]

Select filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Davidson, Samantha. "Rawle D. Lewis: From Getting Booed Off Stage To Being A Worldwide Comedy Sensation!". Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Plumb, Ali. "RAWLE D. LEWIS: JUNIOR BEVIL ON TALKING TO MIRRORS AND GETTING RECOGNISED IN PIZZA HUT". WHERE ARE THEY NOW? COOL RUNNINGS SPECIAL. Empire. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Interview with Cool Runnings Star Rawle D. Lewis AKA Junior Bevil on YouTube
  4. ^ a b Scriptcat's tips, tricks & tactics Vol. 12 "Attracting talent." Guest Rawle D. Lewis (Cool Runnings) on YouTube
  5. ^ Cool Runnings at The New York Times
  6. ^ "Cool Runnings". Tcm.com. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  7. ^ McKnight, Franklin (1 October 1993). "'Cool Runnings' Tells About Jamaicans' Tough Sledding". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d Hartl, John (2 October 1993). "Some Rough Sledding Making `Cool Runnings'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c Price, Stephen H. (6 October 1993). "'Cool Runnings': Serious comedy for Doug E. Doug". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "Interview with Actor Rawle D. Lewis, Star of Cool Runnings". 25 February 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Highfill, Samantha (12 February 2014). "'Cool Runnings': An oral history (Part 1)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Malcolm (1 October 1993). "Jamaica's Bobsled Team Isn't `Cool Runnings' Until The End". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  13. ^ Highfill, Samantha (12 February 2014). "'Cool Runnings': An oral history". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "DRIVEN(1996)". Tcm.com. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Rawle D. Lewis filmography at The New York Times
  16. ^ Hollywood.com
  17. ^ "RAWLE D LEWIS". Tcm.com. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Lynch, Tom (2002). Screen World. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781557835994. 
  19. ^ K-PAX cast at The New York Times
  20. ^ Rawle D. Lewis at The New York Times

External links[edit]