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Wingman Wednesday

Malcolm David Kelley

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This week we’re taking an extended look at the new movie “Glass Jaw,” chatting with the creative minds responsible for bringing the gritty drama to life. Arriving in select theaters and digital HD on Friday, the film is a story of redemption set in the world of boxing and stars Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Jon Gries, Mark Rolston, Jaime Camil, Malcolm David Kelley, Vernon Wells and Steven Williams.

Next up we’re chatting with Malcolm David Kelley to discuss his love for boxing, getting to work alongside a childhood idol, and why his music and acting fall under the same creative umbrella.

TrunkSpace: “Glass Jaw” is not the first independent project you’ve worked on. As an actor, is there a bit of a leap of faith involved with signing on to work on an indie, not knowing when (or even if) a particular film will see the light of day?
Malcolm David Kelley: Yes, there is always a gamble, so to say, but I think it’s also needed for filmmakers coming to get their vision across with a great story, work the festivals and find a partner. It works both ways – investors or studios want a project done and the up-and-coming want to get their project out. Then comes it being taken to theaters and it’s a dope process to learn and continue to execute.

TrunkSpace: What was it about “Glass Jaw” and the team behind it that gave you the confidence to jump into the work and take on the character Dennis?
Malcolm David Kelley: My dad and I love boxing and boxing movies. I also appreciated the character Dennis because he wanted to help, genuinely, and that’s like me, so I liked that characteristic and knew I could do that. I then found out one of my fav rappers growing up, Lil Boosie, was attached, so I was also excited. A dope experience.

TrunkSpace: You already touched on this a bit, but what was it about Dennis and his layers that interested you? What were you most excited to inhabit when it came to his personality?
Malcolm David Kelley: As I stated previously, I appreciated how sincere and how generous he was. Helping to see how people in his life have been, no matter if they haven’t been there the whole time, is one of the main things I liked about him because that’s a lot like me.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the work you did in “Glass Jaw?”
Malcolm David Kelley: Being that presence and working on the project – it being an indie and that people get to enjoy it in theaters. I love boxing movies – the stunt set ups – this was fun.

TrunkSpace: People love sports films, especially those that inspire us and give us that “we can accomplish anything” high. In your opinion, how does “Glass Jaw” stack up against some of the greats from the genre?
Malcolm David Kelley: I think knowing, on an indie, they achieved a lot with telling a story about not giving up. I think that’s a universal message that will connect with anyone who sees the film, so I think that’s the most important thing.

TrunkSpace: Outside of acting, you’re also a part of the pop duo MKTO. Do you view your work in music as a separate career or do they both fall under one larger creative umbrella?
Malcolm David Kelley: Appreciate you mention the music. That’s why I love how I kind of had music under wraps until I can back into the acting and then I get to promote both. It’s what I have always wanted. In my world, they all fall together under the entertainment umbrella. Both are run different, but they both open doors to do other things. Movies have music to set the mood and music uses videos to tell a story, so they go hand in hand to me. Music is a lot faster consumption to the consumer, where with a film it will take a year to come out, but both can move people emotionally, which I love.

TrunkSpace: Both the business side of music as well as film/TV continues to evolve, especially on the consumption side. Which world is more difficult to navigate in 2018?
Malcolm David Kelley: I would say film/TV would be a little more difficult to navigate, but, you have social media platforms to build up notoriety. For an artist coming up, they just need to use YouTube and Instagram to build up their following and someone will see them if they grind long enough and tour on their own and have the ups when dealing with a label. With an aspiring actor using the Insta Stories, that’s a dope way to build up your following. Studios are looking at numbers on IG, which has a say in the booking of a role. They have to be ready for the opportunity and work two times harder than the next actor, but opportunity is for everybody and everybody has their own path. They just have to stay focused.

TrunkSpace: You’ve had some incredible costars over the course of your career. Who have you learned the most from, even just by osmosis, that you still apply to your work today?
Malcolm David Kelley: I learn from every situation I have been a part of, from “Lost,” to just absorbing all the knowledge from all my castmates who were older than me, to working with Denzel (Washington). Preparation is key. Filming “Detroit,” I learned about about where acting is today and all of my castmates in that film were amazing. I learn from performing on stage as well.

TrunkSpace: What’s been the biggest highlight of your career thus far – that “pinch me” moment that makes all of the hard work over the years worth it?
Malcolm David Kelley: Man, it’s hard to name one. I also have a lot more on my bucket list I want to accomplish and there are things I wish I had done, so I have to get theses thing on my bucket list accomplished. I’m so mad I didn’t get a chance to meet or work with Michael Jackson or Tupac. Loved working with Denzel, even though I was so young. Forever proud of “Lost” and “You Got Served.” to the music with gold and platinum plaques. A lot more I will do, like directing, writing films and solo music, to give to the world in this lifetime.

Appreciate the time. Go see “Glass Jaw” and follow my socials: IG and Twitter @therealmalcolm.

Glass Jaw” arrives in select theaters and on digital HD this Friday.

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Wingman Wednesday

Mark Pellegrino

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Supernatural — “The Rising Son” — Image Number: SN1302a_0086.jpg — Pictured: Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved.

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

According to the current “Supernatural” universe, that’s technically true, at least as it concerns this particular plane of fictional reality. And although it wasn’t a trick that he himself pulled, trickery was involved.

Playing out in the finale of season 12, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), along with the help of angel Castiel (Misha Collins), demon-turned-devil Crowley (Mark Sheppard), and their mother Mary (Samantha Smith), trapped Lucifer, played brilliantly by Mark Pellegrino, in an alternative universe where Hell on earth is an actual thing. Never one to go down without a fight, the fallen archangel did some serious damage to the Winchester crew before popping out of existence, serving as the catalyst for Crowley’s sacrifice (permanent), murdering Castiel (semi-permanent), and pulling Mary into the alt-dimension with him.

Lucifer is the bastard of big bads, that much has been made clear since he first appeared on the series back in season 5, but we just may be seeing a different side of him moving forward, one that replaces his devil may care attitude with an all new Prince of Not-So-Darkness. Stuck in the alternative universe with Mary and no longer the most powerful being within finger snapping distance, a vulnerable and reliant Lucifer is emerging and it’s a character journey that Pellegrino is excited to see play out.

We recently sat down with the Los Angeles native to discuss how his relationship with Mary will be forced to change in the alternative universe, why he feels fans may start rooting for Lucifer to do the right thing each week, and what makes the SPN Family the best fandom in the business.

TrunkSpace: Heading into season 13, Lucifer is stuck in a strange land with a sworn enemy, but from what we’ve seen teased out, it looks like you may have to rely a bit on each other. Is that accurate?
Pellegrino: Yeah. And I think that makes for good drama and good comedy, because we are the odd couple, for sure, and sort of chained together at the hip, and definitely need each other to either escape this place called the “alternate universe,” or get out of it.

Yeah, and I feel like in doing the scenes, we were sort of like an old married couple, to be honest with you.

TrunkSpace: Because of that, are viewers going to see a side of Lucifer that they haven’t seen before?
Pellegrino: I think so. I think we haven’t seen Lucifer really vulnerable. And I think in this new universe, even though he tries not to show it, there’s quite a bit of vulnerability revealed because he, as powerful as he is, and he proves it while he’s there a couple of times, he’s also out of his depths in a lot of ways. And so I think it’s going to be kind of a cool thing for the fans to see someone so powerful struggling with realities.

TrunkSpace: With the death of Crowley last season, fans are without a lovable bad guy to root for. Is Lucifer going to step up and be that guy that fans hope will do the right thing week to week?
Pellegrino: I hope so. I mean, that’s what I like to think. I like to think Lucifer has some redeeming qualities to him, and they’ve so far written a Lucifer that really goes against the archetype that we’re used to. And I like that. I like that a lot.

You know, they say parenthood changes you. And I’m hoping that there’s something to that with Lucifer. He seems to be yearning to have a connection, and I think that is sort of the opening, the door opening, to spaces that he’s had to keep closed since being alienated from the universe. So yeah, I’d like to think there’s doors opening in Lucifer’s character, and that it’s going to bring out that latent good thing that I sort of hope everyone has.

TrunkSpace: Lucifer is yearning for a connection, but at the same time, the writers did such a great job setting up that same yearning in Samantha Smith’s character Mary last season. Are the two characters, stuck as they are, going to find a kinship in each other?
Pellegrino: I hope so. I mean, I really see… it’s just good writing. I see those dynamics playing all the way through with all of the characters. They’ve got very similar issues to resolve, just on sort of different levels. And I think that’s great. I think that’s what makes them, even as enemies, familiar.

TrunkSpace: Lucifer wants out of the “alternative universe,” but at the same time, isn’t this exactly what he wanted? Wasn’t he looking for a world with this kind of end result, especially one that is free of Winchester brothers? What’s keeping him from wanting to stay there?
Pellegrino: I think I sort of played that when he originally came into the world. He was like, “Whoa. Cool. This is interesting…” But I think Lucifer reveals a respect for creation. I think he reveals a sense that, “Hey, we could do this better than has been done.” He actually has an ideal that isn’t about destruction, and pain, and death, but something else, something noble, believe it or not. And so at first, he might have enjoyed the chaos, but I think he has something that stretches further than just that. I think that’s sort of superficial.

Supernatural — “The Rising Son” — Image Number: SN1302a_0507.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester and Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved.

TrunkSpace: It also kind of feels a bit like Lucifer, as powerful as he is, needs the Winchesters in his life because, if for no other reason, they’re the only ones who aren’t afraid to stand up to him and that seems to excite him a little.
Pellegrino: Oh, I think Lucifer loves people who are smart, loves people who are courageous, who have the chutzpah to go against, I mean, even God. The Winchesters are ballsy, and he can respect that. If you remember when Crowley shows up in the alternate universe, Lucifer sort of hops around on the ground like he loves that Crowley had the chutzpah and the intelligence to beat the odds.

And there is that element to Lucifer’s character, that respect for defiance, and that respect for courage, that he has in spades. He’s always sort of pushing the limit as far as he can go. And he’s that guy that likes no-limit men and no-limit women. And when he sees it in them, he can’t help but smile at that quality. So I think there’s a lot of layers that are going to come out with Lucifer, and you’ll see that perhaps he’s not as desirous of chaos and destruction as one would think. He just has a better idea.

And the revolutionary is one that thinks that it has to be burned down before you rebuild it again. I want to rebuild it, and make it better than it was before. That’s kind of noble.

TrunkSpace: You mentioned that Lucifer respects ballsy people. How would Lucifer get along with himself if he came across a version in an alternative world like the one he’s stuck in now?
Pellegrino: (Laughter) Well, in this world, luckily or unluckily for him, Lucifer doesn’t exist. Lucifer lost the battle in a big way. So he’s going to be that guy in that world. And the question is, will he measure up to the alternative universe Michael, who’s a very, very different cat than the one in the world that we knew?

TrunkSpace: Who we’re actually going to meet in tonight’s episode, correct?
Pellegrino: Yes.

TrunkSpace: Sounds like complicated roads are ahead! Finally, Mark, in terms of your ride on this journey so far… in your experience, is there anything that compares, fandom-wise, to the SPN Family and their commitment and loyalty they have to the show?
Pellegrino: Oh, no. Not at all. And I think that’s in part due to the unique relationship we have with them. It’s reciprocal. We help each other out. And unlike most fandoms, they don’t see that barrier between us and them. And it’s kind of cool, you know? And it’s great being part of that sort of passionate group of people.

Watch Lucifer come face-to-face with alt-Michael tonight when “Supernatural” airs on the CW.

Featured Image By: Manfred Baumann

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