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Fishburne's 'Biker Boyz'

Actor Laurence Fishburne
AP
Laurence Fishburne has a secret passion that is now out of the bag.

The actor tells The Early Show that he loves motorcycles and the decision to work on the film "Biker Boyz" was a no-brainer for him.

In "Biker Boyz," Fishburne plays "Smoke," the aging leader of the motorcycle gang called the Black Knights. A racing prodigy, "Kid," (Derek Luke) wants to take his helmet and the title of the best biker that goes with it.

"Kid" and his friends start their own motorcycle club, Biker Boyz, to challenge the established motorcycle organizations — causing tempers to fume.

The film also stars Orlando Jones ("Drumline"), Djimon Hounsou ("Gladiator"), Lisa Bonet ("Enemy of the State"), Brendan Fehr ("Final Destination"), Larenz Tate ("Love Jones") and Kid Rock ("Joe Dirt").

Fishburne says when one thinks of motorcycle gangs, he or she might immediately think of the Hell Angels or the Outlaws. But, he says, there are many more clubs in the U.S. with bikers of different cultures.

The actor says the riders in "Biker Boyz" reflect their true-life counterparts. They are mostly blue- and white-collar workers (lawyers, civil servants, doctors, etc.) who take on a different guise at night. And unlike some other bike clubs, Fishburne says, the motorcycle organizations portrayed on this film have rules and codes that serve as a fraternal order.

The film "Biker Boyz" was inspired by an article written by freelance journalist Michael Gougis for the now-defunct Los Angeles New Times. He reported on the world of African-American motorcycle clubs in Southern California. The "Biker Boyz" feature was a tour of that world, guided by Manuel "Pokey" Galloway. Gougis wrote of sleek vehicles, triple-digit speeds reached by the racers and the fraternity of bikers.

Fishburne's next movie releases will be the highly anticipated "The Matrix: Reloaded" and "The Matrix: Revolution" — sequels to the movie "Matrix," in which he reprises his role as "Morpheus."

Some Facts About Laurence Fishburne

  • Laurence Fishburne was born in Augusta, Ga., July 30, 1961.
  • Fishburne was raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
  • In 1975, Fishburne made his feature film debut at 12 in "Cornbread, Earl and Me."
  • In 1979, Fishburne landed a co-starring role in Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic "Apocalypse Now." He later reunited with Coppola on the films "Rumble Fish," "Gardens of Stone" and "The Cotton Club."
  • Fishburne has collaborated twice with director John Singleton on the films "Boyz N the Hood" (1991) and "Higher Learning" (1995), receiving an Image Award for Best Actor for the latter.
  • In 1992, Fishburne swept the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards for his performance in the Broadway production of August Wilson's "Two Trains Running."
  • In 1993, he won an Emmy Award for his guest appearance on the series "Tribeca."
  • Also in 1993, Laurence received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Ike Turner in "What's Love Got to Do With It."
  • In 1995, Fishburne won an Image Award and garnered Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his work in the HBO drama "The Tuskegee Airmen."
  • In 1995, Fishburne starred in the title role of Kenneth Branagh's "Othello," becoming the first African-American to play Shakespeare's Moorish general on the big screen.
  • Fishburne starred in and was executive producer for the television movie "Miss Evers' Boys" (1997), for which he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie, in addition to earning an Emmy nomination and winning an Image Award for Best Actor.
  • In October 2000, Fishburne made his directorial debut on "Once in the Life." He also produced and starred in it.
  • Fishburne belongs to a biker club called "The Guggenheim Motorcycle Club," a group made up of millionaires and movie stars.