Throughout his career, Forest Whitaker has delivered memorable performances in movies like Platoon, The Crying Game and the critically acclaimed TV cop drama The Shield.
In The Last King of Scotland, Forest portrays Idi Amin, the infamous Ugandan dictator who brutally ruled his country from 1971 to 1979 and ordered the slaughter of 300,000 citizens. The demanding role has garnered him rave reviews, a Golden Globe® for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture—Drama and his very first Oscar® nomination!
In September 2006, Forest told Oprah he immersed himself in as much of Amin's life as possible to prepare for the role. "I pretty much lived in that energy for the whole time I was [in Africa], trying to soak up everything." Forest even learned to speak Swahili for the film.
The hard work paid off as he captures the complicated, intricate layers of Amin's personality—the showman, the charmer, the decorated warrior, the volatile and murderous paranoid—"in every breath," Oprah said.
Forest said he has been enjoying the praise for his work for one very simple reason. "I hope it makes people go out and see the movie because I feel very proud of it."