Every project Gregg Daniel partakes in is an opportunity to inspire, encourage, and enlighten diverse audiences and communities about thought provoking issues. Gregg is not afraid of rejection or those naysayers, for he knows the power of his truth and the voice of activism that echo. To learn more about Gregg Daniel, enjoy his feature interview.
What can we expect from your groundbreaking role in 50 Cent’s “For Life”?
My sincere hope is that the role I play on “For Life” (Easley Barton) as an innocent man wrongly convicted and sent to prison for life might help shed a greater light on Prison Reform and the inequities within the judicial system. “The United States prisoner rate (number of prisoners per 100,000 people) is 737, the highest in the world. There are ways we can reduce the prisoner population such as including replacing mandatory sentencing with more flexible guidelines and reducing the “three strikes” laws for non-violent offenders. We also need to take a closer look at reintegrating former inmates back into their communities, the goal is to help these men become useful contributing members of society, not menaces.
Increased emphasis on career and technical education, employment opportunities and housing assistance are crucial in reducing the rate of recidivism in our country. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was surely moved by the real-life struggles of Issac Wright, Jr., the gentleman the lead character, Aaron Wallace is based on. By producing this drama, there is an opportunity to educate the public on wrongful convictions within our criminal justice system.
As a legendary actor, what advice would you share with aspiring actors, directors, and creators navigating the industry?
It all comes down to pursuing your dreams. This is not an industry for the faint of heart, the rejections you will receive is all part of the journey. If you’re ultimately a storyteller, (which is what all of us in the entertainment industry are), then commit yourself to telling your story and don’t be daunted by the obstacles. There will be individuals along the way who will help to further the pursuit of your dreams, make sure you treasure those people. And in contrast, there will be individuals along the way who will be naysayers to your growth and career, you should avoid those people like the plague. Surround yourself with a supportive team of friends & family you trust & who have your best interests at heart. Stay healthy, positive and have faith that the journey will ultimately lead to accomplishing your goals.
Tell us more about the social justice issues and projects you’re an advocate for.
As I stated earlier, prison reform is probably at the top of my list. However, I would be ecstatic if people became more involved in other social causes as well. Whether the social cause is “Black Lives Matter”, “Me Too” or the worsening homelessness crisis in our major cities. There
is need for more activism among those who genuinely care about these issues. A great beginning step to getting involved would be for everyone to realize the power of the vote. Know who your local and national representatives are. Align yourself (by actively voting) with those individuals whose interests and sensibilities towards social causes are similar to your own.
With the new season of Insecure coming up, can you tell us what your character will be doing?
My not so cunning answer is, you’ll have to watch our current season to see what happens. I can tell you that Molly (Yvonne Orji) is having an extremely hard time forgiving me for cheating on her Mom years ago. My wife and I have reconciled, my sons accept what happened and seen that I’ve made amends. However, Molly can’t seem to let it go, my infidelity is the “white elephant” between us when she and I are together.
What other projects are you working on that you can talk about?
I’m the Artistic Director of a theatre company based in Los Angeles (Lower Depth Theatre). Our company has just launched a new initiative we call, “The Pandemic Plays.” We’re commissioning ten playwrights from across the country to create a ten-minute radio play based on our current health crisis. The plays are meant to capture how
the current pandemic is impacting and reshaping the lives and relationships of people in America and around the world. We held an Open Admission process and read some of the wonderful idea’s playwrights created Some ideas are decidedly humorous and others touching and poignant. All the plays are meant to unite us during these troubling times, the material will be recorded and performed aurally.
Is there any information that you would like to share with us that was not previously asked?
I’d like to strongly urge everyone to stay safe during this unprecedented health crisis we’re facing. Practice social distancing, stay at home, follow CDC guidelines and wash your hands frequently. We will get thru the Covid-19 pandemic, however the only way we can overcome this is by looking out for each other. There’s never been a time when good will, common sense and caring for your neighbor is so vitally important.
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