Editor’s note: Every Friday, HLN brings you the "My First Time" series. It explores the first time your favorite celebrities did something significant or memorable (so get your mind out of the gutter!).
In this installment, actor Wood Harris, who plays Kay in the upcoming film “Dredd,” based on the comic book Judge Dredd, opens up about how comic books have inspired him as a child and continue to do so today.
HLN: Did you read comic books as a kid?
Wood Harris: I grew up reading comic books! The first one I got into was "The Avengers" and the other Marvel comics. I was a big Iron Man fan, too.
HLN: Why did you get into comic books? Were they inspiring to you?
WH: Comic books really inspired me to draw! They pushed me to become an artist. I started out tracing the comic books with the opaque papers and tracing helped me develop my hand to be able to draw. It helped me become artistic.
HLN: Do you still draw today?
WH: I do draw today. I paint, actually, but I haven’t sold any paintings. I don’t work toward that — I just always try to stay creative. I believe you shouldn’t just act — write songs, draw, write scripts if you’re a writer. I like to stay creatively active.
HLN: Which comic book was your favorite?
WH: There was "The Fantastic 4" and "Captain America." "Captain America" was definitely one of my favorites. And "The Hulk." "The Hulk" used to have a TV show!
HLN: What do you think is the secret for comic book-to-movie adaptations?
WH: Part of it is what we do with special effects. We have so much ability with special effects: How do you make the Hulk destroy a building? But what movies like “Batman” and even “Dredd” have done is we put some realness into it. Judge Dredd could be a real person today.
HLN: Is that what makes “Dredd” stand out from other comic book-to-movie adaptations?
WH: That’s one of the things that make it stand out. A cop could be the judge and the executioner in real life — that’s not that far-fetched. If you think about it, who do the cops really work for? “Dredd” brings up that question — the moral questions. There’s realness to it in its core.
HLN: If you lived in a post-apocalyptic world, what’s the one thing you’d like to have with you?
WH: Companionship, you know what I’m saying? Proper companionship.
HLN: What about a super power? If you were a comic book hero, what would be your superpower and why?
WH: That’s a good one: You could fly or you could have the brain that’s incredible … I’d want that, so I could figure everything out. Like Professor X! I’d take it above flying or being invisible or reading minds. If you think about it, if you have an incredible brain, you should still be able to read minds that way!