MUSE TV & Culturally Obsessed’s Jennifer Ortega & Sari Cohen recently sat down with the cast and crew of Brian Banks. They spoke to actors Aldis Hodge (Brian Banks), Greg Kinnear (Justin Brooks), Sherri Sheperd (Leomia), Melanie Liburd (Karina), director Tom Shadyac and the very inspirational Brian Banks, himself.
Brian Banks is a film that tells the inspirational true story of an all American high football star, Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge). Banks was a gifted athlete on his way to USC when he was wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit. Despite lack of evidence, Banks is railroaded through a broken justice system and sentenced to a decade of prison and probation. Years later, with the support of Justin Brooks (Greg Kinnear) and the California Innocence Project, Banks fights to reclaim his life and fulfill his dreams of playing in the NFL. An unforgettable true story about the resilience of the human spirit, and a powerful call to reform our broken justice system, Brian Banks is an extraordinary film that will move and inspire audiences with its message of hope and perseverance.
Director Tom Shadyac says he hopes viewers will see Brian Banks as a metaphor for their own lives. “Brian demonstrates the hero’s journey as well as any character I’ve ever encountered in my career. All of us face obstacles, and I’d like people to realize that if Brian could face his situation with courage, they can face the circumstances in their lives, too.” The socially conscious director also hopes the film’s timely message about wrongful convictions will help facilitate long-overdue change to the judicial system. “People need to be made aware that there are populations in this country that don’t get a fair shake,” he says. “Ninety-seven percent of inmates in our jail systems accepted a plea bargain, and when a lawyer threatens you with 40 years behind bars if you don’t cop a plea for something that you didn’t do, that’s not right, and we’re all responsible for it.”
Brian Banks is hopeful the film will inspire as many people as possible. “A lot of people are walking around feeling unhappy or dejected, and I want this movie to uplift them and give them courage. Because if you think differently you act differently. And if you act differently, different things happen around you. It’s a domino effect, and it starts with this film. I love everyone involved in this project. Knowing that filmmakers signed up to tell my story shows that people really do care about justice and equality. I’m just so thankful for that.”
Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Written by: Doug Atchison
Cast: Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd, Melanie Liburd
Produced by: Amy Baer, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson
Executive Producers: Derrick Tseng, Tirrell D. Whittley
Official Website: https://bleeckerstreetmedia.com/brianbanks
Official Trailer (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9-PqY5pEeo