J.B. Ghuman Jr.[Interview]

JB Ghuman1A couple of years ago I saw this great little indie flick called Dakota Skye.  It wasn’t the most memorable of films, but it had an amazing cast of actors and actresses whose performances always stuck with me as a terrific example of un-tapped indie talent.  Especially with the film’s bad boy J.B. Ghuman.  He played the one you wanted to hate so much, but found yourself siding with his ill ways out of love for him.  I spent a lot of time thinking about the film, and decided that I would like to speak with somebody involved, especially J.B. himself if I could reach him.  Well not only did I reach Mr. Ghuman, but I became so enthralled with the cat when I realized he was actually a very accomplished filmmaker as well.  He was actually the man behind another beautiful indie gem that I always loved and adored, Spork.  Spork is a film about a transgendered 14-year-old girl who deals with the everyday pressures of high school that so many kids face, but about twice as difficult as your average new teenager.  It is beautifully shot, funny as hell, and even pulls at the old heart strings a bit.  I came to learn that this was J.B. Ghuman’s true talent.  He is a gifted actor, but has chosen to leave that world behind to live behind the camera.  And there are so many other fantastic things to say about this guy, with his own unique brand of art creativity.  Hell, even his manner in interviews is unique and refreshing!  But, I think I will let the man speak for himself.  Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. J.B. Ghuman!

When did you first realize that you wanted to live, work, and breath in the world of art, no matter the medium?

Oh gosh…hmm. Well…i’d say the first time I discovered a passion for a sort of “art” if no medium matters at least…would be when I was around 10 yrs old or so…I used to write poems for both my mother and sister and then slip them under their doors randomly throughout the day. At first they used to get touched by this…later they simply would forget to tell me they read them. I’d get upset and storm off. Why do you ask, love? ox jBjR!

Your beautifully dark and edgy indie film Spork has enjoyed a great amount of success since its release.  Tell us, what was your general rhyme and reason for making this film?  What was your inspiration, so to speak?

To be honest, I don’t have a specific “Reason” to writing the film. In danger of sounding a bit too bohemian, I tend to get a bit “possessed” with an idea at the most random times and then simply become hell bent on seeing it come to fruition. As far as inspiration goes…I’ve heard I think the most from folks that my film rips a lot on “Napoleon Dynamite” and whereas I did not actually rip from that film…I did in fact rip from a even more profound and dark film by the title of “Welcome To The Dollhouse” while writing “SPORK”. Todd Solondz is a true maverick in story telling and his skillful yet careless way of crass language and serious under tones was a major influence as far as dialogue and vibe. Though John Waters is king of surrealism and false realities with there bright colors and over the top personas. I just adore the child in him…he/she is so wild and fun in a sort of sinister way. But…a’dunno…I worship the dark, magical stuff in Tim Burton’s skull. He’s got this strong way about him that…ya know…lets you know he’s coming from a mile away. It’s neato…but doesn’t feel that “cool”…like a car chase or big action film director can do…rather a bit more etherial…more subtle tone of flare. I dig it…a’dig em’all, man. The music is a uber soft touch on Baz Lurhmans kneck. Not really a tap or even a pinch…i’d def. say a soft touch. So music was added…I had been walking home from the gym and this song came on…”Is it cos’im cool”. So random…never really got big in the states, and whatnot. I had been staring at spork for so long and then jus took a break. I started to sort of dance on my way home to it and it just felt so…a’dunno…so bitchy. It made me laugh. I rushed and added it before I forgot it to the script. I filmed it a bit more fun too. There’s this amazing scene when Betsy and all the girls grab their asses and it’s right into camera. It was in the film all the way up till it’s initial export before Tribeca cause my producers said the mothers wanted it out. I was like “Wtf…why?!?! We can have black face but not little bratty white girls grab there clothed ass in a comedy? Absurd.” Gosh, I ramble a lot. So weird…how we are all getting so comfortable…with typing…it’s like i can hear my thoughts as i….type them. (sniff, eye rub)…so…what’s the next question?

IMDB_SPORK_WREKIN HILL_TRAILER_POSTERWere you at all surprised by the success of this film?  And do you think audiences have understood what exactly it is you where trying to convey?

That is…a full question, my dearest. I mean…cheese, man. Well…(neck-crack)…i was actually. I dunno…i guess i was. I had some wacky family stuff going on at the time. I’m not big on talking about it to be honest but a’will say that it was just like…ya know…a pinch in time, dark. Like…black hole dark. So..when shit gets like that…and i’m sure some people understand…you don’t really care about anything else. Though…as the film started to climb, awards, traveling…the countries and smiles…a’dunno…it did sort of surprise me i guess…cause…i mean…if i had known how happy the films success would have made me…a’think I would have just gotten happy ahead of time. And I did not…so…yea, it surprised me. In the most awesome way, though. In that sort of way, given all that was going on, where it doesn’t make you puff out your chest and feel better than anyone…but like…in that way that makes you wanna shrink…so small that you can only see the shine of it and it makes you teary eyed and shit. And hell yea, dude…i do think audiences understood. I mean…let’s put this shit this way…I was in brazil…literally i’ve said this story a thousand fukin times, but i don’t care…i was in brazil..and i literally…could give a shit about anything. zero magic, zero care of the air…moon, sun…whatever…i just wanna go back to bed…and not think…about anything. I walk downstairs…watch my film in another fuckin language…Portuguese…and it’s not even like the exact translation. i was like…”Wtf…this isn’t evan landing right…the jokes an shit?” Sigh…i jus sat there…pondering if I should do something crazy…sleep on the street or some shit…i dunno. We walk out and this bum stops me…he yanks on my arm and keeps trying to say something. They push him and i’m all “nah, nah…let’em speak…sup, bud?” He starts to wave his hands and ramble some toothless speech. He gets teary eyed…i stare back…i start to get teary eyed…dunno even know why yet…i ask the lady next to me “what…what is he saying…?” she listens and then says back to me…”he says your movie…is like medicine…for the heart”…and then…i kid you not..i fucking…lost it. Like…started balling and hugged this smelly ass homeless man. No lie, hand to the stars. So yea…they did…and I think they did cause it’s not me I’m talking about in the film…it’s basically a human experience to find yourself and be happy. I simply said it in a fun and sort of dark, comedic way. With like…random shit.

I first became interested in hearing from you to talk about your role in the 2008 flick, Dakota Skye, in which you performed so delightfully.  Can you tell us a little bit about how you geared up for that role, and what was it like being a part of that project?

Geared up for that role? I mean…I read a book on punk and then just sort of had fun on set. It was cool…really cool. The last time I really tried the whole acting thing. I dunno…it’s just not for me…i get nervous now in front of crowds and…i’m just not that guy anymore. But the director was a total sweetheart…same with the writer and cast. All we’re chill… 🙂

I’ve noticed that you have seemed to have taken a break from the acting world lately.  Is this a positive step for you, or do you miss the world and plan to return?  Or is it all up in the air?  

A’mean…you really go for it with these questions, gurl. (nsert wipe of brow) Well…yea…i’d say it was positive. To be honest being an actor taught me sort of how to brand my own self with my art…but at the same time…give me the confidence to know I’m simply not the Dorothy…I’m the wizard. And I’m happy with that…with my social anxieties now and jus…i’m off the grid to be honest and enjoy my sort of “in the shadows” life…It allows me see things in a way I think is good for me given what i’d like to say in my work. That makes sense, right…? I think so…

Is there any word on your script for Rhino?  Is there a chance we might be able to see it become a reality soon?

Oh gosh…honey…You mos’def. will see RHiNO! soon. I have passed on so much shit that would have made me so much money, eaten so much fucking pizza and literally have almost broken my creative back…(nsert slam of foot on floor)….to stretch my creative eye to the point it no longer blinks. It’s been tuff, gurl…everyone wanted me to simply jump on a teen comedy to move into the matrix right away and cash in…i was so high on the magic that SPORK had given me…i simply…a’dunno…a’jus…a’jus couldn’t imagine pushing RHiNO! aside doing something for money when what I am trying to do with RHiNO! could do for someone what SPORK…did for me. I know it sounds cheesy and stupid…and almost self driven. But…a’swear, it’s not. And the funny thing is I think the stars had planned for me have to wait for it this the whole time. Cause I look at SPORK and the stuff I’m making now if even as a personal installation or even a music video with hardly no budget..and like…it’s working. I’m totally…growing. I’m learning more and more on just how to get the things I share to look exactly like i see it and if not…then at the very least…better. Whether it’s from anothers input or simply a road block that turns into the best exit. But…who knows…i pray it lights up soon. I do know one thing…no matter how much time it takes…i’ll simply be that much more of a stronger director to bring my mamma to life.

So, what else have you been up to lately?  What are some of your latest works?

MMmm…i dunno. It’s been so creative weird and hectic for me. I’m trying to really take things to a higher level and sort of get my slant out their but in the business realm of things. I did a music video for LIL DEBBIE and then CAZWELL, LUCIANA, etc. I’ve got another Lady Tigra video in the can and two more music videos I just shot in the can as well…but there wicked rad looking…so I’m pumped to stitch them all together. But then I did this really neato-beato photo-installation shoot in Palm Springs with Jake Shears and Amanda Lepore. Jakes one of my tight boys and I’m a huge Amanda fan so it was jus dope as fuck and the shots are sick looking so it’s gonna be a cool installation once it’s done. Did another installation with David Woodman, the cat who was apart of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin and shit…oh, and talking with Miley Cyrus for something a bit off the cuff but sorta dope as hell as well..can’t say much but i’m uuuuber stoked to shoot it. Holy shit i need a dish washer.

I understand you grew up as a B-Boy as a youth.  As the years go by, do you still participate in break dancing, or have you had to hang that coat up?

Are you crazy…I breakdance weekly, punk. (insert beat-box / shoulder floss) Nah…I mean I do…and surf and all that “i’m so hot” guy stuff. But to be honest…i’m approaching my mid-thirties now, honey. My back hurts, my shoulders been pulled for 3 months and this kid wizard has so much on his plate yet at the same time is doing it all for the shine with shadows darting left and right. I try and break as much as i can, esp. on my roof with my head phones. But it’s getting to be very rare these days.

JB Ghuman2What have been some of your favorite films from 2013?

Er…i’m a little behind to be honest. Is it lame if I say THE LITTLE MERMAID on BluRay 3D?

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

Aww…I wanna say so badly that “it’s the question itself” but that’d be so cheesy, no…so obvious…right? Grrrr….hmm…whatever. It is…it’s the question itself. So what….eat me.

ox jBjR!

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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