Spit Interview Questions:
Mtume Gant – Director, Writer, Producer, Actor
When Jeremiah’s girlfriend repeats the words once spoken by his own mother to his father, “Feed off me,” you make a hard but honest choice artists are many times faced to make: When is it enough? When does the hardship of creating art come at too much of a cost? And when must one persevere? In your own experience, do you think that the burden becomes too great and the sacrifice at the expense of others?
I think when you live in this society, that is about dog eat dog and how the active life of a artist and creative has now became directly linked to capitalist linking of “self promotion” and “hustle” one must become very clear on whats needed for the kind of “success” that you want. Monk’s situation is that everyone else is playing poker while he is still playing Blackjack, in the confines of particular circumstance he would have to repeat a cycle that he has seen before thus making him someone he never wanted to be in the first place, so then if this situation is turning you into something you hate, why do you keep doing it? For him to persevere would mean he would have to do it on the back of someone else and deny principles he he has. So in the end one side must win, for Monk not repeating the sins of the father is the greatest goal, but…that leaving also has a serious price….
Do you feel that Jeremiah fears that he has become his father?
I think Jeremiah fears that he is already his father, thats why his choices are drastic and large.
Is this fear holding him back from his true potential?
Hmm…thats an interesting question. I would say circumstance is destroying his true potential. He goes by the name of Monk…but how can Monk function in a society that is the antithesis of a Monks philosophy? Now maybe the question Monk needs to ask is why does he see staying within this societal framework as his only other choice? But that would be another film…ha!
How autobiographical is this piece to your own life as an actor, writer, director, and your own father who pursued his career in jazz?
I would say its personally inspired but not autobiographical. My father actually did what Jeremiah did and quit music when he became a father so he could be “responsible”, personally I think this had a long term effect on his soul. So if anything I transferred my fathers story and morphed it in a modern context. The parent relationship also in the film is not familiar to my personal upbringing…but its something I have seen from people close to me. But all the other characters, the Manager, the Best Friend, his girlfriend Cassidy…all of them…are composites of people I know and have experienced in my life. And Monk is a composite of me, but also a few people I have seen do exactly what he chose, to break away and what its done to their spirit. I can’t say Monk is me, cause I would never make that choice…there are fundamental differences to his person than my own.