Born in Hickory Flats, GA; married Mona Milstein; children: Sam. Education: Ohio State University, degree in literature.
Agent—c/o Lionsgate Films, 157 Chambers St., 11th Fl., New York, NY 10007.
Screenwriter, producer, and actor. Has appeared in films such as Tougher Than Leather, Galactic Gigolo, Monster's Ball, and Trespassing; appeared in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions and on television in soap operas All My Children andOne Life to Live; coproducer of Monster's Ball.
New York Times Critics Pick award, 1987, for Galactic Gigolo, 1988, for Tougher Than Leather, 2001, for Monster's Ball, and 2005, forShadowboxer; Independent Spirit Award nomination for best screenplay, Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay, Writer's Guild of America nomination for best original screenplay, and Golden Satellite Award for best original screenplay from International Press Academy, all 2001, all forMonster's Ball.
(With Milo Addica) Monster's Ball, Lionsgate Films, 2001.
Shadowboxer, Lee Daniels Entertainment, 2005.
The Jailhouse Lawyer, Dylan Sellers Productions, 2006.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Chasing the Whale, a film rewrite for Regency Enterprises; Billy Liar, a film screenplay.
Will Rokos is an actor, producer, and screenwriter. He was producer and, with Milo Addica, the author of the screenplay for the well-received motion picture Monster's Ball, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry. Rokos also appeared in the movie in the role of Warden Velasco. Lisa Schwarzbaum, writing in Entertainment Weekly Online, calledMonster's Ball "artful and earnest, high-minded and atmospheric. It's inlaid with wordless scenes assembled to create a mosaic of meaningfulness about that most sturdily American of conditions, the possibility of redemption through love." The movie's main characters are Hank Grotowski, played by Thornton, and Leticia Musgrove, played by Berry in an Oscar-winning performance. Hank and the other members of the Grotowski family are hateful, white racists in the movie's southern Georgia setting. The Grotowski men are also deeply involved in the state penal system; Hank's father, Buck, is a retired prison guard, and both Hank and his son, Sonny, work as correctional officers in a local prison. Hank is called upon to supervise execution of an African-American inmate, Lawrence Musgrove, played by Sean Combs. As Musgrove is being led to the electric chair, Sonny's nerve fails him and he falls out of line, throwing up from the stress. This act deepens an already severe conflict between Sonny and Hank, and serves to underscore a violent act that later claims Sonny's life.
Also involved, initially at a distance, is Leticia Musgrove, Lawrence's wife and widow. Deprived of her husband, Leticia works as a waitress and struggles to support herself and her overgrown twelve-year-old son. As the movie progresses, Hank quits his job and offers help to Leticia, and in the process the two begin to fall in love. Beyond the complexity of an interracial relationship in the racist south, and with a demonstrated racist, is the irony of Leticia's falling in love with the man who supervised the execution of her husband. "Hank and Leticia are not easy people, and much to its credit, Monster's Ball is not an easy picture," commented A.O. Scott in the New York Times."Strip away the strident melodrama, and you have this season's moodiest, most adult love story," stated Timereviewers Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel. The film is "bolstered by a poetic, intelligent sensibility," added Variety contributor Robert Koehler. "Milo Addica and Will Rokos' script, and Marc Forster's direction reinforce one another," Koehler commented, concluding that "the ultimate notes of hope place [the] pic in its own distinct arena where adults may achieve a renewed and well-earned sense of purpose."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Cineaste, summer, 2002, Clifford Thompson, review of Monster's Ball, p. 32.
Daily Variety, March 31, 2003, Claude Brodesser, "Rokos Harpoons Regency ‘Whale’ Gig," p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter, March 20, 2002, Jeffrey R. Sipe, "Rokos Vouches for Artisan ‘Liar,’" p. 8.
Nation, January 21, 2002, Stuart Klawans, "In This Corner …," review of Monster's Ball, p. 35.
New York Times, December 26, 2001, A.O. Scott, "Courtesy and Decency Play Sneaky with a Tough Guy," review of Monster's Ball.
Time, January 14, 2002, Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel, "Three You Should See," review ofMonster's Ball, p. 59.
Variety, November 19, 2001, Robert Koehler, "Film: Poetic, Fragile Ball," review of Monster's Ball,p. 39; February 25, 2002, "The Nominees: Best Original Screenplay," p. A21.
Entertainment Weekly Online,http://www.ew.com/(January 25, 2002), Lisa Schwarzbaum, review ofMonster's Ball.
Hollywood.com,http://www.hollywood.com/(June 19, 2006), biography of Will Rokos.
New York Times Online,http://www.nytimes.com/(June 19, 2006), biography of Will Rokos.
Screenwriter's Utopia,http://www.screenwritersutopia.com/(June 19, 2006), biography of Will Rokos.
Variety Online,http://www.variety.com/ (February 24, 2002), "Award Central 2002: Milo Addica and Will Rokos."