ATM: Captive State reminds me of the premise of Aldous Huxley’s 1931 novel Brave New World.
AB: I am not familiar with it.
ATM: It’s a book written four hundred years into the future of a London city. The government controlled the citizens, and the citizens were brainstormed. They were not aware they were being controlled. The novel shows both sides of their post-apocalyptic society.
AB: Yes. You are right. Captive State takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago. The residents come together to find a new way of life while under a different form of living under new leadership. The city was attacked. Most of humanity was wiped out except for a certain number of people who come together trying to reclaim their city. The book seems very similar.
ATM: In this book, the collaborators or the government are controlling everything. They have a strong authoritative personality. Describe what you can assess about their authoritative persona in this film.
AB: It is a very strong personality. It is an out of this world personality, meaning not from this planet. They have to get used to new legislation. People assume that it is another human being in power. The twist is aliens might be running our world. Not just in the apocalyptic Chicago, but since the beginning of time and we have not known this.
ATM: Describe the demeanors of the people who are being controlled by the government.
AB: The survivors are intelligent people. They are a different mixture of people outside of race and ethnicity. You have politicians, public figures, military officials, and then you have regular people. A little bit from each person banded together is what makes them powerful and try being able to adjust with new laws and new leadership.
ATM: What are some strengths seen in a dystopian world?
AB: Different people from different walks of life are putting their differences to the side. They are putting their expertise against one another not in a competitive way, but in a united way. This is important not in the film, but the world. I want viewers and moviegoers to know we can put our differences aside. We can be strong against whoever is creating an injustice. These people are regular people at the end of the day. There is a lot of humanistic vibes to this film and also there are a lot of real and relatable moments.
ATM: Are there a lot of relatable moments because this represents our American utopian society?
AB: Yes. You will also see the other side of a utopia or the opposite of this. You see the rules have changed. We might not have as much freedom as we used to have. This is another relatable moment. We complain about what is going on. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves this is one of the best countries in the world. This is another relatable moment from the film. The rules have changed, and we are under new leadership and legislation. The old rules have gone out the window, so you should forget about them. It is a brand-new world.
ATM: What is a weakness in a utopian society?
AB: People go into it wanting to be a leader or dictator. This creates the disconnect within the people, not just within the film. This is just in general. If we spend more time being kind to one another than awful, then we would realize we have more in common than what separates us.
ATM: Are the means of transportation and mobility the same in a dystopia and utopian world?
AB: Absolutely. You will see things are of the future. The cars are different. The movement is different. The transportation area is different. It is an exciting time within the film to see unique things. It was cool to see my hometown of Chicago to undergo the makeover to depict a futuristic version of Chicago. I am really proud of my work. It had a couple of push backs. It was slated for March 29th and it got pushed up to the 15th. We all are very excited. This interview was an honor.
ATM: Why was it an honor?
AB: It is. I grew up in the middle class. I did not know anyone in the entertainment business. My parents are immigrants. So, their thinking was, “We moved to the United States, and we did not immigrate over here for you to become an actor. We immigrated for you to go to school and get a job.” In this sense, it was tough growing up because I knew this was all I wanted to do. Now, I am living in my truth, standing in my dreams, and answering questions about my work.
ATM: How did you move to pass this initial pain or non-emotional support for something you had a desire to do?
AB: It is one of those things where I do not know if you ever get over it 100%. Initially, I was so happy to have a seat at the table. I was happy to be there and be in the same room as the people. This joy took any pain in my heart, mind, and body away. I thought “I am not where I want to be yet, but I started. If I stay on this path, then I will get somewhere.” I have learned there is not only success in the arrival, but there is a success only in the journey.
ATM: Yes, but most people do not see it like this. A lot of people outside of the entertainment business want to become this and that. It is nothing wrong with dreaming, but my question is always “What are your goals?” Personally, with my career, I make daily, weekly, and monthly goals. I work to make them. If I dream or want something Monday, then Tuesday it happens or perhaps throughout the week. People talk about what they want to do and expect everything to come to them. This is not rational behavior or thinking. A lot of times people do not have anything special to bring to the table. It is about the journey. For an actor, you have to at least get up, get an agent, send a headshot, and walk into the audition room. You might get 20 nos but you got up at least. This is all that matters. People are afraid to do this.
AB: Yes. You can get 20 nos, but all that matters is a person telling you yes. I truly believe this. More than half of your success is getting up in the morning, getting dressed, and showing up. If you do not show up, then how can they pick you. This has been a common thread in my life. I always tell people never to underestimate the opportunity or the underdog. Go out there to do your best.
ATM: You are your only ‘yes.’ The reflection that looks back at you is your only yes. It is not about the outside people who you are hoping to give you a yes. You have to be your own ‘yes’ when people say no. And do not take it personal but just prove them wrong, and keep it moving. And being a ‘no’ is not a bad thing, but it is a good thing. Because look at this, the people that work and work to override a ‘no’ are the ones that really want it. This is how you make a distinction. It is 2019 Andre, the saying of “Oh, it takes 100%” is false. So many people have beat the 100% expectations that it has become the norm. Now, today in society, it takes 300% percent.
AB: The person that told you yes was told no about 100 times. One person told them, yes and they were able to do something with their life. This will stay with a person. If this person is a good person, then they will pay it forward and do it for the next person. I believe my journey goes beyond acting. This is my journey to start helping people. It is truly an honor to speak with you.
ATM: Some people just go and do not look back. So, when you go and never look back, but only take a peak, you will realize the distance is far away to a point it becomes a distant blur. This distance is the person you used to be, not the person you are destined to be. You cannot worry about failing because it is inevitable.
AB: As an artist. . . I consider you are an artist, you cannot stop a true artist. I like what you said. “You have to be your own yes.” You never fail until you stop trying. As an artist you can really tap into a different mind and become limitless. It is all about progression. As you move forward, you will become the best and number one in your field. This is because people get comfortable and become stagnate. They are okay with mediocracy. As they start to slow down, you do not even have to speed up. You can keep going at the same speed. Eventually you will pass everyone to remain the person who has found their niche.
ATM: Everyone started where you are. It all starts with planting two feet on the pavement or concrete and going.
AB: This is what it takes. For successful people, they have humility and are compassionate to want to help others. We all have a story to tell. We all have gifts that have been given to us by God. When we use these gifts, he smiles. We must be responsible for our platforms, and from here we develop longevity.
ATM: You call it a story, but I call it an internal memoir. We all have an internal memoir. Now, if it makes it on the book stands, then you might have a pretty fine memoir. But, if it does not end up on the stands, then so what. If your internal memoir does not make a visual memoir, which is a biopic, then so what. Everyone has an innate ability. Some people do not use it. Their main question is “How do you use it?” You just do it. Sometimes you might not know, but you have to just go for it. Are you aware of a Nikon and a Canon?
AB. Yes, I am aware of both of those brands.
ATM: The cameras that focus on the people in entertainment, for the most part, but mostly they only fall into these types. All the spotlight is, is a Nikon or Canon in your face. *click click* Oh, that’s the sound the cameras make. They end up on Google, and people go “oh my God” and which they were in the picture. A Nikon or Canon do not cost that much. A skill will last you a moment and might get you fame, but talent will get you buildings, companies, clothing lines, fragrances, awards, and more. With a talent, the sky is the limit. I know it is possible because I have talked to people who were once less fortunate during their early years and now they have become one of the richest. So, it can be done. People should stop making excuses. So, Andre, what is your talent and what is your skill? Answer the question. You must know the difference to take any step.
AB: My skill is focusing on the positive and my talent is bringing people together. You have to have the vision before it comes into fruition. If there is no vision, then there is nothing to come about. It is all about tapping into our third eye and digging down deep into our spirit. We have to recognize that we have an animalistic quality of us. This quality sets us apart from any one person. We are smart, loyal, beautiful, and grateful. When we use these qualities, we make other people embody them. This is how you change the world. It is not about changing everything at the same time, but it is about changing yourself first. This has been a great conversation. Thank you, Gabrielle. I really appreciate your hard work and consistency. It really shows and matters to me.