Last month we had the opportunity to see an exclusive early screening of the new independent film “Life, Love, Soul” and interview “The Wire” actors Chad Coleman and Jamie Hector who star in the project. Also featuring Tami Roman, Egypt Sherrod and Terri Vaughn “Life, Love, Soul” follows the story of young Roosevelt — forced to live with his estranged father after the tragic death of his mother and little brother. He and his father bump heads at first, but just as they begin to make a breakthrough, Roosevelt is faced with a huge decision of his own. The film hits theaters today but if you need a little more info before copping your tix, check out this interview Bossip did with Coleman and Hector below:
Bossip: We’re big fans of “The Wire” so we loved watching you guys in this film. We noticed a lot of themes around African American males role models and providing examples and wanted to see what has inspired you.
Chad Coleman: The film is about an African American man, who is estranged from his son. I think the film was able to demonstrate how even though he may have had a broken relationship you can reach out and rebuild bridges where they once were walls, despite the relationship between him and his ex, who unfortunately passed away. I thought it was a great opportunity to show the growth between and father and a son and it’s never too late to for an individual to change, an African American male to change, and accept his responsibility, and demonstrate that this is something he can do, we have so many negative images this is an opportunity to show that we can have those types of relationships.
Jamie Hector: Also one of my favorite things in the film is when my character goes to visit Robby’s father, because that shows the audience as well as myself that it takes a community to raise a kid. Chad and I both have organizations, nonprofit organizations… What you see the character doing in the film is very close to what I am doing. We don’t charge people to come, we focus on developing a character while helping them, We support each other in order to serve the community.
Bossip: In the film, how did you bridge the gap, what did you see in the script as being able to overcome these situations, the things that you baby mother might have said, that made Roosevelt act the way he was acting?
Chad: That was very challenging –the circumstances, the way the things were set up. It breaks down communications in the earlier years with the exes. It’s fundamental, you have to be able to communicate with each other and share the vision where you are going together, if you don’t have that type of communication going on you will have separations. The personal baggage creates a huge difference. I was inspired by the fact I was given a second chance with my son. We couldn’t work it out, but she was still participating which was great. Relationships are very difficult to negotiate, but these things do occur, so what are you going to do? I hope we inspire a lot of people to feel there should be a second chance. If we can inspire a change of heart, to try to come back at it, to come to some kind of common ground, where there is humanity for the child, regardless how much you may have to work. Even if it doesn’t work between me and her, as men we have to do the best we can, have to be willing to take risks. I had to put myself out there, I never gave up on it.
Bossip: Would you say your character is abusive? Do you think there was an issue with alcohol for your character?
Chad: I don’t think it went to that degree; there was a level of self medication. I thought the film showed an honest way of this man having to come to terms, not through continued alcohol use, but confronting internal pain, finding a place in his loved ones life, that he will be a blessing to his son, through that incredible inner pain, I think its very courageous.
Bossip: Do you think enough attention is given to teenage pregnancy and kids staying in school despite these obstacles? As a community what should we do to address this issue?
Jamie: One thing that we know is that young folks are going to have sex. We have to educate them and be their support system. For me personally, finishing school is mandatory. I love the way the story expressed that. When you have a child, it’s not just about one person, its about both. They both need to take care of that child. That’s one thing I like about the film — even though the parents got pissed off, Moms she was heated — which I truly understand — afterward you see the support. You know they could have gone to school, gone to work and having to make these decisions, there was no way this could have happened without the support of the father, teacher, the community. When the girl gets pregnant you have to make sure she doesn’t do anything drastic or become depressed. We are human, we have to develop. The film exposes life after a child, you don’t have to put yourself in your own section just because you had a child — you have to educate yourself and those around you. You’re still a kid even though you had a kid.
Chad: I would agree, he put everything on the table; there wasn’t a perspective that was not represented, which says within the community there are very distinct voices. Where these kids landed, through all those varying perspectives, there was hope for those children. The key is to not give up, to continue to work on yourself. It’s never over. In reality, there are challenges.
Bossip: If you had a daughter and she came to you in that same scenario hw would you react?
Jamie: I would do my best as a father. It’s always my job. I have to find that healthy perspective, that is going to inspire to help her grow even dealing with that situation
Check out a trailer for the movie below: