Ernie Hudson
(Principal Turner)

Q: What makes THE RON CLARK STORY different from other movies about teachers?
A: THE RON CLARK STORY is based on a real individual who worked at an inner-city school who got results from the students. I have done high-school movies, but Ron Clark is a real person who has set an example for others. Ron Clark being a real person separates this movie from others.

Q: Describe Principal Turner's first impressions of Ron Clark.
A: The first impression is that he is a guy who is certainly out of his element. He is a white guy coming into a predominately black school, and he kind of behaves like a kid. Initially my character doesn't believe Ron is able to handle the demands of the job, that he's the wrong person for the position. But there is something about his eagerness that makes him appealing to Principal Turner.

Q: How does Ron Clark gain the trust of students who have run off every previous teacher?
A: He earns the kids' trust by letting them know he expects more. He reinforces this ideal by saying they are better than bad grades and bad attitudes and capable of much more. He believes in them, and after a while, they believe, as well. He sets rules and says, "In this classroom, you have to know how to perform a certain way, and these rules also apply in life."

Q: Where does the drama come from in THE RON CLARK STORY?
A: The drama from the movie comes from our society. We live in a society where the educational system has serious problems that we don't want to deal with. We keep avoiding, pretending and covering up the true issues. THE RON CLARK STORY comes from the truth of this system, and what we're dealing with is seen right in front of us in this movie.

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