AFTER contributing to several minor projects over time, Jamaican-born actor and director Errol Napier has landed his biggest role thus far. He plays Magician Number 2 within the Hollywood blockbuster Black Adam, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
“I’m a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and it was either myself or agent that sent up myself for the role once we saw that there was a gap. I got the audition and did a self-tape and inside per week I got it,” Napier told the Jamaica Observer from his Atlanta-based home.
Napier said his character bestowed the gift of swiftness on Black Adam, which was a singular experience for him for multiple reasons.
“I needed to learn a very different language. I also needed to do some chanting. It sounds almost like Egyptian,” he said, adding that it was a pleasure to be acquainted with the star.
“I met The Rock briefly on set and he was really easy-going and mannerly — a really nice guy,” Napier continued.
Black Adam officially opened in theatres on Friday. It tells the story of Teth Adam (played by The Rock) who’s bestowed the powers of the gods. After using these powers for vengeance he was imprisoned, becoming Black Adam. Nearly 5,000 years has passed, and Black Adam is gone from man to legend. Now free, his unique type of justice, born out of rage, is challenged by modern-day heroes who form the Justice Society: Hawkman, Dr Fate, Atom Smasher, and Cyclone.
Along with The Rock, Black Adam also stars Noah Centineo, Viola Davis, Sarah Shahi, Quintessa Swindell, and Pierce Brosnan.
In line with Deadline, Black Adam’s expected opening of US$60m-US$62m by many measures is a solid start, and is the perfect domestic debut for Dwayne Johnson outside of an ensemble movie (Mummy Returns at a US$68M debut was a Brendan Fraser vehicle back in 2001). It looks to even beat the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw wherein Johnson costarred with Jason Statham, that film opening to US$60.03M. Friday repped the Rock’s Best Opening Day in a solo star vehicle, now at US$26.8M.
Hailing from Spaulding in Manchester, Napier attended Spalding Primary and Knox College before moving to Church Teachers’ College in Manchester where he studied secondary education English, art, and history. He taught those subjects at St Andrew Technical before migrating in 1972.
Napier said he has been involved with projects similar to Underwiters Undercover, A Song For My Brothers, and Late Bloomer Missing Puddin’.
He now teaches acting on a contract basis.
Napier further said his favourite Jamaican film is The Harder They Come, which he missed being a contributor to because he migrated that very same 12 months. He believes it’s cinematic brilliance.
“Back in those days, leaving Jamaica and coming to the US to do acting, people asked if I used to be crazy, but that’s what I desired to do,” he said while reflecting on the selection he made 50 years ago.
He’s currently auditioning for an unnamed Tyler Perry production but was unable to reveal much.
Napier hopes to some day help to develop the local film scene.
“It has a protracted technique to go. It needs some good teachers and directions when it comes to content and when it comes to directing. I might love to come back back and do workshops once there’s a chance,” he said.