Distinguished, dedicated and inspirational are the three words that describe director Bille Woodruff. Few filmmakers attain his level of fame or respect within the industry at large. Since 1991, after directing the favored gospel song, “Optimistic” (Sounds of Blackness), Mr. Woodruff has taken the entertainment industry by storm. Later he added a number of major films to his body of work such as Honey (2003) and Beauty Shop (2005), starring Jessica Alba and Queen Latifah respectively. Bille seems to be able to do it all—even create music videos. In that field he has worked for artists such as Joe, R. Kelly, Britney Spears, and many more! Bill is still on the go and has released a hit television movie for VH-1, “Drumline 2,” and in October, “Addicted” starring Sharon Leal in theaters nationwide. Kontrol magazine had the chance to converse with Bille for an exclusive interview to get a peek inside of his brilliant brain and learn about the man behind the camera.
Unlike most people, Bille always knew he wanted to be a filmmaker. “I always knew it…even as a kid I was always very creative and into the arts…” The love of his craft is shown in any of his projects with own unique brand of clarity. One thing to love about his filming is everything and everyone is multifaceted and developed, telling its own back story. Still, he is admittedly enjoying the fruits of his labor, and all the goodies that come along with Hollywood. “Yes I am definitely living the life!”
The muses of inspiration can originate from just about anywhere, but for Bille he needed look no further than his own family. He considers each of them to be his greatest influences to his personal style and the direction of his life. “…My family is the most influential to my personal style. Each one of them has their own characteristics and they all mix, like a melting pot….I come from such a supportive family… [my] mother, father and grandmother, each one has their own eclectic sense of style…” In addition to his family he admits the honored singer, Prince, is also a source of inspiration due to his style, work ethic, and creativity. Interestingly and gladly, despite his success Mr. Woodruff is as humble and spiritual as ever. His connection to God keeps him deeply rooted to the ground, truly humbled by the fact there is a Creator with abilities beyond human comprehension. With his family and God on his side he truly cannot lose, but accepts are hardship is a part of life. “Whatever you do in life there will always be challenges.”
As aforementioned “Addicted” and “Drumline: A New Beat ” are his newest projects. Both films have been highly successful and met rave reviews. “Addicted” is the story of Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) a woman who seemingly has it all. Her life begins to unravel when she begins a torrid affair that opens her up to a new kind of addiction. The film shows a new side to Sharon Leal and features the Latin heartthrob, William Levy. “Drumline 2” is the made for television sequel to the hit film Drumline. “Everything was amazing; it was such a great experience. The cast was so dedicated and fresh. Leonard Roberts is back in the sequel with a few new comers in the industry and it brings even more fire. I really loved working with them.” You can catch “Addicted” in theaters everywhere and “Drumline: A New Beat” on VH-1 (Check your local listings).
Bille works hard and plays just as hard. During his down time he is an avid traveler, preferring action packed places. He also enjoys the people and foods of the various places he has been to. Besides globetrotting he enjoys optimizing his own personal style with unique and eclectic looks. “Creative, casual and clean describe my style the best…I like to switch it up; I like to try new looks. I’ve been so busy so I’ve been slacking but I really do try new to keep an open mind.” Indeed an open mind is what is has taken and will continue to take for Bille to remain on top. He future plans include more directing, traveling, and creating. Black directors are lie diamonds in the rough nowadays and even fewer produce quality work like him. A star in his own right, Bille Woodruff is a man truly in “Kontrol” of his destiny! To stay up on Bille follow him on Twitter @billewoodruff!