celebrity

Exclusive Interview: Angela Bennett (Co-writer, "Blind Date Rules")

The culmination of the Blind Date Rules interviews is here! Over the past week, I’ve posted conversations I’ve had with director Christine Chen and co-writer and star Brie Eley. Today, I’m posting an interview I conducted with co-writer Angela Bennett. In this conversation, Bennett and I spoke about the writing process, issues with rom-coms and shaking up the rom-com game. 

Exclusive Interview: Christine Chen (Director, "Blind Date Rules")

The second in the Blind Date Rules interview series is here! As you might recall, I’ve spoken to co-writer and star Brie Eley, and today, I’m sharing my interview with the director of the short film and founder of Austin, TX-based Moth to Flame Films, Christine Chen.

In this interview, Chen talked about working with the cast, what she’d like to change about rom-coms and the importance indie filmmaking has when it comes to changing Hollywood’s status quo. 

Exclusive Interview: Brie Eley ("Blind Date Rules")

Brie Eley is hoping to shake things up in Hollywood with the rom-com short Blind Date Rules. The film’s trailer has already been a part of COLOR’s semi-weekly trailers/posters/promos round-up, and I’m happy to say that I’m back with the first of a round of interviews from the folks behind the short film.

In this interview, I talk with co-writer/actor Brie Eley, who discusses how the film came to be, the serendipitous way the film came together, and Hollywood’s issues with non-diverse rom-coms. You can watch the trailer within this post or at the film’s Facebook page and Marele Entertainment’s website.

Interview Rewind: Kal Parekh ("Pan Am")

You might recall my interview with Kal Parekh about The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim a few weeks ago. As I’d written in that post, that wasn’t the first time I’d interviewed Parekh; years ago, I interviewed him about his role on ABC’s jet-set show Pan Am, which really played with my emotions, as you can see in this archived set of recaps I wrote for my old site, Moniqueblog. In those recaps, you can also see where I highlighted the moments featuring Sanjeev (or as I used to call him, The ‘Jeev). Those moments were what got me in contact with Parekh (I also landed a spot on the podcast The Secrets of Pan Am led by SQPN’s Fr. Roderick, which was pretty cool).

Anyways, I’m writing all of this to set up this interview way back from 2011 or 2012 or somesuch, when I got to pick Parekh’s brain about playing Sanjeev, what he thought Sanjeev might be dealing with in the 1960s, and what he hoped would happen with Sanjeev if the show made it to a second season. 

Exclusive Interview: Daniel José Older (Author, "Bone Street Rumba" Series)

Daniel José Older is an author you need to know if you’re a lover of sci-fi and fantasy novels. Older is the author of the Bone Street Rumba, series; the first part, Half-Resurrection Blues is already available for purchase. Also exciting is the news that hit earlier this year; Anika Noni Rose has optioned the TV and film rights to Half-Resurrection Blues, which will bring an even more diverse and richer aspect to fantasy entertainment.

I was excited to speak to Older about his writing, how his past life as a paramedic influenced his work, and how literature should provide the answers it needs to people who are in crisis, especially children. Stay on the lookout for his upcoming young adult book, Shadowshaper, as well as his short story on Tor.com; information is below. 

Exclusive Interview: Grace Lee (Director, "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs")

About two weeks ago, I was able to watch a free screening of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, and I was introduced to a woman whom I’d heard about thanks to social media, but has never really understood the impact of her social work. During that same week, I was able to talk to the director of the film, also named Grace Lee.

In the interview below, Lee and I discuss the film’s newest accolade—a Peabody Award—and how Lee came to find what she didn’t she didn’t know she was looking for Boggs. We also discussed the hot issue at the time (and technically still is a hot issue despite it not being featured in the news), the unrest in Baltimore triggered over the police-involved death of Freddie Gray.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs is currently available for free viewing on PBS until May 24. Definitely check it out for yourself. 

Exclusive Interview: Kal Parekh ("The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim”)

If you had read my past Moniqueblog recaps of Pan Am (which are still available on the Internet Archive), then you might remember how much I loved Kal Parekh’s co-pilot character Sanjeev, or “The ‘Jeev,” as I called him.

I was able to speak with him back then about his role on the show, and now I’m happy to say I was able to speak with him many years later about his role in a new film,  The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim. 

The film, based on real experiences, tells the story of a Muslim informant hired by the New York Police Department’s intelligence unit to provide information (bated or otherwise) on terrorist activity. Parekh plays Det. Nick Patel, whose intent on meeting his goals could prove to be detrimental.

Read below to learn more about Parekh’s character, as well as more about the film, working with the cast, and how the film tackles the subject of Muslim stereotyping. The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim comes to AMC theaters in Times Square in NY May 29.