William “Big Sleeps” Stewart: A Woke Producer Who Wants to Help Others Shine!
Big Sleeps is a multi-talented performer and creator—a working actor and producer as well as a motivational speaker and podcast host with a storied history in the music industry. He’s funny and charming, but he also has an important and timely message that he expresses through his work as an actor and producer. I try to use my role as a video podcast producer and video podcast host to tell many stories of Black excellence; Big Sleeps is not only a wonderful addition to that roster, but he is also an anti-racist activist through his own efforts as a commercial actor.
Big Sleeps has been featured in several films and television shows, including Coffee and Kareem on Netflix, and TORN: Dark Bullets currently streaming on Amazon Prime. TORN is about a Black teenager who is killed by a racist cop. “I liked the premise based on the fact that growing up in New York I’ve seen systematic racism and racists,” Big Sleeps explains. The film’s timeliness is certain, given the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others at the hands of the police. “I’ve had certain situations with the police… this resonates with me. And I have children.”
Big Sleeps not only has a major role in the film, but he also has a producer role. The film’s writers, Dan Rizzuto and Josh Mazerolle, invited Big Sleeps, along with co-star Dexter Bell, to enhance the authenticity of the Black characters’ dialogue. “We got our producer credits based off of helping grab the actors,” Big Sleeps explains. “Dan and Josh allowed us to go through and clean all that up and make it more authentic as far as how we thought the dialogue would go.” The film has won several awards at recent film festivals—at the time of writing, it had already picked up nine awards. “Hopefully, it says something and it resonates with people,” says Big Sleeps about the film, which he is clearly and rightfully proud of. It’s an incredible film, and if the awards are any proof, it certainly resonates with many.
Big Sleeps also produces and hosts a podcast called Hollywood North Radio. He uses this as a way to give back to his community and others like him. “There are hundreds of people in this industry who don’t get that shine,” he says. “I decided I’m going to do a radio show for my friends and for a lot of people who are like me who never got the chance to actually speak on their resume, to tell their dreams and aspirations,” he explains. “I just thought—hey! let’s just set up a platform for us to talk,” Big Sleeps shrugs, modestly, explaining how he pays it forward so that others like him can “get a little shine!”
I know you’ll be as inspired by Big Sleeps as I was. After checking out the interview, be sure to check out his many amazing projects, and follow him across social media platforms @big_sleeps.