Anthony Neil Moss In The Grass Grows GreenMay 21, 2007 at 2:26 am | Posted in Interviews | Leave a comment
By Toleya Kamara
A few rising actors like Anthony Neil Moss choose to make statements with their art by choosing relevant projects. Co-starring in The Grass Grows Green, a 2007 Sundance Film Festival selection written and directed Jesus “Chin” Beltran, masterfully demonstrates the impact of the Iraq war on soldiers and the community at large. Moss takes on the antagonistic persona of Staff Sergeant Worthy, who pressures Sergeant Lobos played by Santiago Vasquez to continue recruiting young men from a working class neighborhood in Forth Worth, Texas, after the death of a young marine. The question of how long his efforts of recruitment loom throughout the film. We caught up with Anthony Neil Moss to share his experiences on the set of The Grass Grows Green.
Anthony Neil Moss: I saw the audition posting on craigslist.com and submitted my headshot and resume.
TK: Do you feel that it was fate that led you to this project?
ANT: Absolutely, from the writing to the directing to the cinematography to the production itself, everyone did their part. Everyone knew their roles. It was beautiful. I don’t believe I found this project by chance.
TK: How did you prepare to play the role of Staff Sergeant Worthy?
ANT: I pulled from many sources – the script was well written. I had really good direction from Jesus – I was also in the military. I was in the Air Force and I have personal feelings on what is going on in the war in Iraq. Also I pull from my instincts in becoming that character, so good training and insight definitely contributed to the development of the character.
TK: What did playing this role bring out of you?
ANT: Playing this role brought out a very cold and uncaring feeling. It was kind of eerie because I became Sergeant Worthy. I was him and so as him I was rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate, I was an a-hole, you know what I mean. As a matter of fact I don’t even curse in my everyday life, and Sergeant Worthy is a cursing machine.
TK: What were some of the challenges you faced playing Sergeant Worthy, knowing the present feelings about the war now?
ANT: The major challenges were to act like I was putting the core before the kids, the recruits – I had to tap into that feeling that duty to core was more important than anything. In my everyday life the little man is important, I believe in fighting for the underdog. Here the core is all that matters. I had to learn that feeling to make it real on camera. I care about people, I care about life. In this role all that mattered to Sergeant Worthy was making the numbers, meeting the quota – not caring about kids going to college and showing little emotion for a fallen leather neck, and now that he has fallen, his position needs to be filled by a new recruit. Sergeant Worthy was a cold, by the book Marine. I am the opposite of that guy – warm and willing to break the rules.
TK: How was it working with Jesus ‘Chin” Beltran and Santiago Vasquez?
ANT: Working with Jesus was great, he was very personal, very professional and very cool. I love his vision and direction. He is a very talented writer and director and I knew once we sat down and talked about the film, that this was a film that was going to do well and look, his first film makes The 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Wow! It was truly fantastic. I not only consider them friends, but I consider them family as well. We are all pretty close.
TK: What did you want your audience to gain from your part in the film?
ANT: I wanted the audience to feel the pain of Sergeant Lobos and the harshness of Sergeant Worthy. This movie shows a sense of community consciousness as well as some personal feelings of what has transpired from the heart of Sergeant Lobos. I want them to understand and feel all of the emotions and feelings explored and displayed on the screen. This to me shows that we did our jobs as actors. If you laugh, smile, grunt, sigh, feel disgust or relate this to an experience you had or someone you know may have had, then, we did our jobs as actors.
TK: Are you working on any other films that we should look out for?
ANT: Yes, funny that you ask that, Jesus wrote another movie not long after The Grass Grows Green and offered me the starring role. The China Project – filmed on location in China. It is a really great story and a well shot film, it is really exciting and very different in every way from The Grass Grows Green. We are all very excited, so keep an eye out for it. This is another one you don’t want to miss. That is really all I can say about that. I know it’s not much, but that’s it for now.
TK: Is this short going to become a film? And if so, can we look forward to seeing a repeat performance from you?
ANT: Jesus has thought about making this into a feature, there is someone actually working on a documentary on this subject of recruiters and I am not sure at this time whether or not he will pursue this avenue for a feature. I hope that if he does I will be involved, we have not discussed this however – I would love to do more work with Jesus. He is a great director and a good friend, I can’t say for sure what his plans are, however my door is always open to him. If he wants me for a role you can pretty much count me in.
For More Information on Anthony Neil Moss Go To http://www.myspace.com/am3419