One word comes to my mind when I think of George, the character that Charles S. Dutton plays in Martin Papazian’s, Least Among Saints: I think of the word "humble." I also think of the word "compassion."
The film is about a young veteran, and his unfortunate, yet insightful journey back home. Mr. Dutton’s role in the film is pivotal to the healing that takes place in the veteran’s life.
It’s a film that captures the emotional, physical, and mental after-effects of war on our soldiers.
This past Monday, Shadow and Act spoke very briefly with Mr Dutton about the film, his thoughts on the displacement of veterans, and his upcoming projects.
Shadow and Act: The displacement of veterans is a very serious issue. I applaud the film for exploring the subject. Can you tell us your thoughts on this issue?
Charles Dutton: I do a lot of volunteering with the veterans in my own state. I tend to talk with them a lot when I speak on my experience from going to jail to Yale. Many come back from wars and can’t even get Government assistance.
When I was coming of age, people were forced into the military. I had a criminal record, so I could not get drafted. However, I’ve listened to the stories of my family and friends and it hurt. After all the military has done for America, you’d think that when they returned with all their syndromes, that a system would be lined up to help them out. It’s all appalling.
Shadow and Act: Can you tell us how you got involved in this film?
CD: Well, I know the directors Dad very well. His Dad reached out to me and explained that Marty Jr. was putting together his cast list for a film, and asked me to be involved. I said yes, before I read the script.
Shadow and Act: That was a pretty decisive move. What prompted you to take the role without reading the script?
CD: I know his Dad’s taste is beyond question. When I heard that Marty Jr. had written the script and planned on directing and starring in it, I understood. I’ve had to do that myself. He wrote the script from his heart. I had strong feelings about the subject matter.
Shadow and Act: Your role in the film is limited, but very powerful. Can you tell us about your character George?
CD: Well, he's a Vietnam veteran that has gone through many of the same problems that Marty's character has gone through. He understands his symptoms and struggles. My character also realizes that many people are sympathetic to vets when they return. My character did care.
Shadow and Act: Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
CD: On November 6th “The Obama effect” comes out on DVD. We were not able to get any major distribution from the studios with that film. It seemed as if none of the studios wanted to come off as “Pro Obama”.
Next up, I have “Must Be The Music”. It’s a film about an old school label executive who refuses to become a new school music executive. Its features Tasha Smith, Clifton Powell, Lisa Wu, Jadakiss, Meek Mill, Trina, Black Thought, myself and several new artist. Snoop from the “Wire,”plays one of my daughters. It’s in post production right now.
We thank Mr Dutton for giving us a few minutes to chat with him!
Least Among Saints, directed by Martin Papazian, stars Papazian, Tristan Lake Leabu, Audrey Marie Anderson, AJ Cook, Azura Skye, Tom Irwin, Taylor Kinney, Lombardo Boyer, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Laura San Giacomo, and of course, Charles S. Dutton.
It opens in theaters tomorrow.
Watch the trailer: