Trisha: Laughing to the Bank (L2B) tell us about that project.
Brian: Yes. The movie Laughing to the Bank is my new project and it’s a feature film (comedy) coming out in theaters on August 23, 2013. It’s sort of like a modern day Hollywood Shuffle with those familiar with the Robert Townsend film years ago. The tone of the film is like the movie Hangover, and I’m really excited about it!
The film came about while I was doing a lot of stuff behind the scene, working with filmmakers and putting them on because I have a very extensive background just in independent film making. I partnered with Bernard Bronner, who is my partner and he is also CEO of Bronner Brothers Hair care, Upscale magazine along with a host of other things. We came up with the concept of the movie because I wanted to do a comedy. Two years later here we are! Everybody was excited about the film to the point where they were like let’s put it out in theaters.
Trisha: You not only wrote, produced and directed the movie but you also starred in it as well. Which is more challenging for you, the behind the scenes work or being in front of the camera?
Brian: The writing and producing is more challenging. I write when I have to but I am not a fan of writing. Writing is a very difficult task! Anybody can write but to write something that makes sense and that people would want to sit through and be entertained with is a whole other story. There are a lot of long hours and sometimes the challenge is trying to create all these ideas by yourself that make sense. Also, there is the task of coming up with funds to keep everything going and handling any problems that may arise along the way. Now acting, however, that’s like second nature to me and I love it!
Asha: Hello Nick! (thought I’d joke around with Brian about his TV character’s name)- “Just had to see if he was alert!” <laughs>
Brian: Hello! <laughs>
Asha: You are multi-talented in acting, directing and producing so tell us what the conversation is like among your peers in the industry… in terms of what type of movies should be made?
Brian: When the recession hit, it got extremely bad for many of us because it was just so little going on! We are already in an industry where there are not a lot of roles or work for African Americans though, I think it’s on the upswing now! Everyone just wants to have more variety with different projects and in how we see ourselves on screen; I think that would be the common conversation that you hear among my peers.
Asha: There are a lot of actors that have acting workshops aside from just being in movies or on sitcoms. How is that contributing to the work in Hollywood?
Brian: I think the entertainment in Hollywood is independent friendly and it’s sort of like an independent business right now…I believe that is where Hollywood and entertainment is at this moment. The actor’s workshops continue to grow where actors are traveling more and reaching people in other parts of the country through their work.
…At the time this interview took place the verdict of the George Zimmerman case had just been read days earlier. We asked Brian his feelings about the case.
Asha: I’m switching gears to ask this next question because I think it’s very important. What were your feelings regarding the George Zimmerman verdict in the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin?
What do you feel is your responsibility as an actor. in the industry, toward our society?
Brian: Hearing the verdict, it was devastating! I was completely shocked and I was someone who didn’t follow the case day by day but when the verdict was read, I caught myself up. There were some people who I know that said, “I’m not surprised at the verdict!” but I, myself, never thought that Zimmerman would be able to walk out of the court room without being found guilty of the crime.
We experience moments like the re-election of President Obama and we feel like we’re growing but then when something like this happens it reminds us of the work that still is left to be done. We have to stay focused! When we become aware of and learn the different backgrounds and cultures that exists between each other, I believe then that it will start to deter a lot of the ignorance that we see everyday. As for my part in what I can do, I just want to be able to educate people that, Yes. We are all different and being different is not necessarily a bad thing.
Asha: Switching back gears to the fun questions <laughs> Do you still keep in contact with your cast members from the TV show EVE?
Brian: We actually all got along! We would do a 10-hour day on the set and still go hang out with each other afterwards…that was the bond we had. Everyone is doing their own thing right now, we keep in contact when we can and hang out every blue moon. Lifelong friendships were developed from that show and we just all had a ball during that time!
Trisha LaNae’: What do you do on your time off?
Brian: I have very little time with so much going on but I do like to watch movies, play golf, and travel. I just like to get out and exhale but I also I have kids…so my free time is their time as well <laughs>
Asha LaShae’ & Trish LaNae’: Thank you Brian for speaking with us!
Brian: Thank you. If you guys every need anything don’t hesitate to reach out!
awwh! He’s such a nice guy! – Twins of Media
Go out and see Brian’s new film Laughing to the Bank – August 23, 2013 and tell us what you think!
Top photo/Movie Poster courtesy of Jay
Follow Brian Hooks via Twitter: @B_Hooks (https://twitter.com/B_Hooks)
Facebook: Brian Hooks https://www.facebook.com/brianhooksonline