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Entertainment Weekly


Forest Whitaker on what he did to 'feel free' after playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin

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Watch the full episode of Couch Surfing streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Forest Whitaker has a decades-long acting career filled with memorable roles, but when he sat down for People TV’s Couch Surfing, he revealed some roles are harder to leave behind than others.

“That was an all-encompassing experience for me,” Whitaker says of his Oscar-winning performance in The Last King of Scotland, where he portrayed former Ugandan president and violent dictator Idi Amin. “I started working on it months and months before I even came to Africa, just trying to learn Kiswahili and understand the history.”

This immersion made it hard for Whitaker to move on from the role. “I remember the first day when I knew we were done I was taking a shower and I was just trying to get the voice, [I was] screaming it out of myself to let myself feel free,” Whitaker recalls. “Certain things stayed with me for a long time. Some characters stay with you longer.”

Watch the video above for more.