Anthony Montgomery has been part of the Star Trek universe, the indie film circuit and now the music scene with his upcoming album. Whether he's soaring space as Ensign Travis Mayweather in Star Trek: Enterprise or running from girls in The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks, Montgomery has all the right ingredients to emerge as one of Hollywood's leading men.
Here's my Q&A with him:
1. Authenticity is an overused word in most art forms. What does it mean to you and how does your definition influence your acting?
I'm a fan of using definitions from the source. Webster defines authenticity as true to one's own personality, spirit, or character. At this point in my life I know who I am. I infuse the essence of who I am into each character, making sure to live in truth, moment to moment, on screen.
2. People get into acting for a lot of different reasons. What drives you?
I'm an entertainer, a performer. I got into acting because performing is in my blood. From the moment I did my first play in college (a children's theater piece) I was hooked. I'm driven to be the best I can be so I continually look for roles that will challenge me as an actor.
3. What's your process for picking projects? What elements have to be in a script to make you say "I have to audition for that role"?
Early in my career, I allowed others to guide my choices and many roles were chosen out of necessity. Now I choose projects that truly move me. I have to see something on the page that makes me want to be a part of telling that particular story to the world. I love character driven scripts. Be it comedy or drama, the characters I'm drawn to need to have depth, exploring a broad array of emotions.
4. What do you do to cheer yourself up when you don't the the part?
When I don't get a part I allow myself to go through the emotion of being disappointed, but being an eternally optimistic person, I don't stay in that space long. I was taught by my mother and grandmother that when one door closes, God opens several more. I believe that when I am meant to have a role it will be mine so I try not to get attached to a part just because I want it. I focus on doing the work. God will handle the rest.
5. Your film The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks might be classified as a black artsy film by some. What kind of films would you like to see developed by minority filmmakers?
I don't know if you know, but the distributer (Image Entertainment) changed the title of the film back to it's original title I'm Through with White Girls. I'm not a fan of that title, especially since that's not what the film is about, but that is their prerogative. As for the film, Jay Brooks was a fun character to play because we don't see characters like that portrayed very much. I would love to see minority filmmakers continue to raise the bar and elevate the images of minorities on screen. As a black man, I want to see more uplifting images of black men depicted in stories.
6. What actors/directors are you most interested in collaborating with?
There are so many amazingly talented actors and directors out there that I just want to continue amassing a solid body of work throughout my career. A partial list of the some of the men I'd love to work are: Sidney Poiter (it would be an honor to work with him in any capacity), Denzel Washington, both as an actor and a director, Don Cheadle, Forrest Wittaker, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, Ethan Hawke, Will Smith, Francis Ford Coppola (a genius), John Singleton, Spike Lee, Terrance Howard, Peter Jackson, Viggo Mortensen, Matt Damon, Jet Li and John Woo. Some of the women I'd love to work with include: Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, Mary Harron, Sophia Coppola, Charlize Theron, Thandie Newton, Halle Berry, Liv Tyler, Scarlett Johansson, Keira Knightly, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Connelly, Tea Leone, Jada Pinkett Smith, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Natalie Portman, Ziyi Zhang, Maria Bello and Jessie Nelson. Again this is a short list. There are too many list them all.
7. Do you see yourself stepping behind the camera anytime soon?
Directing is an art unto itself. I do plan to get behind the camera at some point but that's going to be a very gradual process for me. I've written a short film that I'll probably direct (at least co-direct) at some point. I figure that'll help me ease my way into the director's chair. Right now I'm going to focus on work in front of the camera.
8. What are some of your upcoming projects?
After Star Trek: Enterprise ended, I took some time away from the entertainment industry and focused on my personal life. When I returned to the industry we were in the middle of a writer's strike so I shifted my energy from being on screen to finishing my debut Hip Hop album, "A.T," which is being released internationally October 17, 2008. The album is being released by an independent record label in Germany (AGR Television Records) and distributed through Universal Music Group. The first single, "Bullskittin'," will be available soon.
While recording the album, I worked as one of the leads in a short film, The Porter (directed by Vincent Singleton) which won the HBO/Chase Legacy Film Challenge. The short will air during HBO's regular programming schedule.
I'm Through with White Girls is currently available nationwide on DVD.
9. Anything else you'd like to add?
Karen, I appreciate you for creating this forum. Thank you for giving your readers the opportunity to get to know me. And thank you to everyone that supports me and my career. I appreciate you all. For future updates please visit: www.AnthonyMontgomery.com or check me out on Myspace at: www.myspace.com/atmusic5.